Fridays Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South
Maybe A Glimpse Of Our Future
At 2:30 this afternoon I was heading from the studio to open up the gallery, and for some reason decided to go out and look for a treat. I didn't have to open until three, and in the city here there is always something sweet to eat close by. After leaving the Art-park, I took a left on Railroad Avenue, and the first thing I noticed was a traffic jam up near the gas station.
Well I headed up there and stopped at the photo studio behind the gas station to ask the man there what was going on. He said that this station still had gas at $3.69 a gallon, but on the other side of town it was up to $5.90 a gallon.
I got back in my truck and wouldn't you know it, I only had a quarter tank. I called Wanda and told her about it, and she said that she had filled up Thursday night, so her tank was on full.
I started to drive around looking for another station. Every station had a line that went out in the street and down the block. I drove around a bit more, and decided I would go back to the shop and open up, I thought maybe I would try getting gas in the middle of the night after every one else had filled up. As I was heading back to the Park I saw two guys duking it out in a line of cars going into a gas station. There were a bunch of squad cars there, and it looked like a group of police were about to rush these two, but before that happened I was by there.
The next station down the road had no line in the street, and I pulled in. The pump price was $3.69. There were five cars ahead of me, but with ten pumps it didn't take long to get to fill up. Everybody at this place was friendly, and we all started chatting about what would happen tomorrow, and how good it was to fill up now.
I got back to the gallery and opened up, but few people were shopping. Art doesn't really sell all that well during a disaster of any sort. When I went home at seven, the lines at the station down the block were still long, and the man on the radio said many stations were out of regular.
One media type on the radio was saying how terrible it was that people were making a run on the gas stations as the gas would just sit in their tank. All I could think about was how some people get paid if they are at work or not. Salaried people get a pay check even if they have to take a day or three because of some glitch in the system stops the gas from flowing, but people who work for themselves or work by the hour have to get to the job to earn anything.
If you are playing it close any way, losing two or three day's wages can make life awful. I think a lot of the media people forget what it is like at the bottom.
So, many people wonder why we went to war for oil. Oil runs our country, and even the hint of an interruption of oil flow into the system because of a hurricane can cause a mini-panic. We had better come up with some new way of moving people around, or yesterday's panic at the gas station could get a lot worse.
If terrorists ever hit our refineries, we would be in a world of hurt.
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