Snarling from the front seat


"Here we go," said Arco attendant Austin Egland, 20, as a swarm of vehicles pulled up to the pumps at one of southeast Portland's busiest gas stations. "It's going to get nuts."  Oregon mandates full-service gas stations, and until recently, nobody snarled at the gas jockey who did the honors at the pump. But with prices climbing until it now takes $145 to fill a truck's tank, Egland said some drivers have started picking on him. "This is outrageous," grumbled a woman, glaring at Egland. "Yes," he agreed. "It is." Other drivers reminisced about the good old days of cheap fuel, reports the Oregonian. John Whittmayer, 61, recalled that in 1996, gas cost $1.29 a gallon. He was easily topped by Harley Leiber, 56, who had a summer job pumping gas in 1972, when it cost 24 cents a gallon. "Minutes later, another veteran pumper stops by. Michael Libby, 58, told Egland that he sold gas at an Arco station in Los Angeles in 1967: 'I pumped at 12 cents a gallon.' " Back then, he added, gas jockeys also gave out S&H Green Stamps and washed all the car windows. "It was about service." During the course of the late-June day that reporter Tom Hallman Jr. hung out at the gas station, the price of gas rose another six cents, to $4.13 a gallon.

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