Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Just thinking back on Christmas Day. Yeah, all of my immediate family but my sister are gone, only cousins and nieces and nephews long distant in time and place left. I still haven't located Linda who retired from the hospital in Eugene, Oregon.

One thing I do remember when I go out this day somewhere is that after I left the military I worked at a full service (pumps and bays) gas station just off Interstate 70 at Watt Ave in Sacramento. The station was on the southwest corner of the intersection on the north side of the interstate on/off ramps.

Both Linda and I worked there, she started before me since I hadn't left the military yet and I stayed longer as she got a job with one of the companies who contracted the service of the fleet vehicles at the station. We worked different shifts or at gas stations (he owned several).

But one thing was expected, everyone worked Christmas and New Years Days. He scheduled everyone to work 2-4 hours so no one got the day off and everyone shared the work that day. He also stopped by all the gas stations during the day to thank everyone.

We didn't get gifts or bonuses. He paid the minimum wage with no benefits. Owning and operating gas stations was a competitive business, so there wasn't much margin. He wasn't rich himself and worked hard with all his gas stations, all Union 76 brand.

But it didn't bother us who worked there. Most of my nearly two years was graveyard (midnight to 8 am) shift at the 24-hour station and later swing (4 pm to midnight) shift at the one or another station, usually closing that one for the night.

The shift work was because I was full time at a local community college on the GI Bill. The owner helped people in small ways to ensure they could work toward their goals in life and the owner accommodated me for that, although Linda worked the day shift which didn't help our marriage, but that's another story.

Anyway, I just thought of this day back in 1973. Strange what Christmas memories linger in your mind. Many long forgotten but a few always remembered.

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