|Fred Roscoe Jones|
Grandpa would occasionally let me wring out a chamois. These fascinating objects lived in the tub of an old wringer washing machine, slithering around like eels in the murky water. My job, when the stars and planets all aligned, was to fish out the corner of one of these strange and slippery things and gingerly insert it between the rubber rollers, all the while heeding instructions to watch out about my fingers. Someone cranked -- perhaps my older brother, I was way too short to reach the top of the handle's arc -- and the wringer spit out a nearly dry chamois. I had helped.
|Jones' Texaco in Shawnee, OK|
When a car pulled in it ran over a hose hooked to a bell. The sharp ding-ding triggered a reaction that was much like tapping a wasp's nest. The staff boiled out to swarm over the car, checking oil, tires, pumping gas, and wiping the windshield with a damp chamois. Grandpa supervised it all and rang up the sale on an enormous cash register that made more noise than a fire engine.
Then to celebrate a job well done he might dole out a treat. His roughened hand would touch my much smaller one to deposit salted peanuts that he got from a machine that stood by the cash register.
Able Bodied Crewman
I would drive Sweet Pea into the Texaco and hear that bell's ding as her keel ran over the hose. As his crew wiped her down I would ask him whether he thought I was doing as good a job with my grandson, Daniel, who has crewed many times and is partial to York Peppermint Patties.