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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    It wasn't profitable

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 09:17:57 AM EST
    Tags: Business, Michigan, Traverse City, Jobs, Closings (all tags)

    As a college student, and young parent, I still somehow found time to work three jobs, with two of them nearly full time.  One of these was a position as a gas station attendant for a small corner shop on the West side in Traverse City.  It wasn't a glorious job, but it was work.  Sometimes even interesting work.

    In fact, the manner in which I was hired was interesting enough to repeat.  Short story:  Manager was in hospital, assistant manager had pulled 3 days of 18 hours each, I walked in and asked if they were hiring, and was given the keys right away.

    I guess I was always a good interviewee.

    A whopping $3.35 an hour for my time spent selling gas and the assorted goodies in the small corner store at Randolph and Division.  It was enough at the time to keep food on the table, and along with the other jobs paid the rent and the part of tuition not covered by my savings.  It was enough to cover the great Santa Claus affair of 1986 as well.

    Yep.. that was me.

    Christmas of 1986, and my son was a little more than a year and a half old.  I wanted to surprise him, and rented a Santa Outfit from the Hocus Pocus magic store downtown to pull it off.  The option was for the entire day of the 25th to be returned on the 26th.  That morning the suit went on, the kid was wowed, and at noon I covered for the entire shift.. dressed in a fat man outfit of red and black and white trim.

    Working that 12 hour shift, I even personally shoveled the parking lot that day dressed as ol Saint Nick.

    Then local news guy Dave Fortin rolled up in his suburban with a big old TV camera and did a story on how Santa Claus wasn't done at Christmas until he finished his shift at the Clark gas station. News at 11.  Showed me shoveling a path to the camera, patting my belly, and waving to the good folks watching.. Some of you up here may even remember it.  It played for a couple days fortunately, and I could even witness my own 15 minutes of fame before it went into the netherworld of old human interest stories.

    It was part of the fun of a simple job.

    Back then, it seemed tough to imagine the day when the old station might not be around.  100,000 gallons of gas, (as low as $0.72/gal at one point) and soda and cigs.  It kept on going, even with the growth of the convenience store model, the small corner gas stop somehow managed to keep pumping.

    I guess times are different now.  As of last night, the last Clark gas station in traverse City is now closed.  It became unprofitable:

    Nevertheless, the smaller sites "haven't been profitable," says Blarney Castle Petroleum Sales Manager Dennis McCarthy. "Most of the sales (at gas stations) come from inside store sales, and we basically could only sell cigarettes and gas. The sites weren't fit to offer a good, clean store with convenience items."

    And that is the way it goes.

    < When The UAW Owns Policy Making | Interesting British News Report On Former Delphi Plant >

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