I grew up in a small town, Worland Wyoming, the town was surrounded by farm land and one of the major crops grown are sugar beets so naturally there was a sugar beet factory to process the beets to sugar as we know it. There is also a Pepsi bottling plant which at the time coincidentally used real sugar and real glass bottles; back in the day you could buy a bottle for a quarter and turn the empty in for a nickel.
On hot summer days my dad would treat me to a bottle of ice cold Pepsi and a bag of Planters peanuts and this remains one of my favorite treats and of course brings back such great memories of my dad.
My dad owned a service station, for those too young to know what this is; a service station is where people used to buy gas for the vehicles. At my dad’s station we waited on our customers, pumped the gas, washed the windows, and checked the oil and air pressure in the tires. We also did mechanic work and washed cars . . . by hand. Our station was full service until the late 70’s when we switched the outside pumps to self-serve and you could save 3 cents a gallon for pumping your own gas. And we had a Pepsi machine where you could purchase an ice cold Pepsi for a quarter, we also had a candy machine and you could buy a bag of Planters peanuts for a dime.
Shortly after my wife and I were engaged my dad discovered he had prostate cancer so we closed the station so my dad could retire and enjoy the remainder of his life. He was a hard working man, out of the house by 6:30 every morning and got home about 6:30 every evening. We lived about 3 minutes from our station so the commute was not the longest part of our day back then.
He didn’t live to see our one year anniversary in fact he died 3 days short of his 25th wedding anniversary with my mom. That was 27 years ago . . . My wife and I moved to Denver right after we married and when my father entered the hospital to live out his final days, the folks from the Pepsi plant flew their private jet to Denver to fly my wife and I back home, so I could see my dad before he died. I remain thankful to this day that I was able to tell him I loved him before he died. When he passed away, Pepsi sent their jet again and flew us back for the funeral.
If you ever come by my house, I’m glad to offer you an ice cold Pepsi, in memory of my dad and in honor of Pepsi.