Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sign of the Times Redux - Sign Mini-Theme#2

I found this telling sign in Hillsboro Village, an area of town close to Vanderbilt University.  The sign belongs to a service station that offers car repairs but no gas now.  I didn't stop long enough to ask the owner if the cost forced him to stop selling gas, but I know that has happened to a few stations in the area.

In 1979, the United States experienced a gas crisis not unlike the one we're going through right now.  The big difference, of course, was that gas at that time cost about 1/4 of what it costs right now.  I remember buying gas for less than $1/gallon in the 70s, and I remember how frantic the public became when the price inched over $1/gallon.  Oh, that we should have that problem now!  

At the time, my husband, Bob Orr (now of CBS News) and Derrick Blakely (now of WBBM in Chicago) worked together at WBNS in Columbus, Ohio and did a one-hour special on the gas crisis.  Running On Empty looked at the gas crisis in general and its affect on the people of Central Ohio in particular, and earned my husband and his colleagues their first Emmys.   Oh how much we change and how much we stay the same!  If you have any desire to read about the 1979 gas crisis, click here.

Please note:  I have to suspend "What is it Wednesday?" this week due to my mini-theme look at signs around the mid-state area.


Nathalie said...

What an extraordinary sign!
I understand the reference to 'costing and arm and a leg' but as a French person I'm not sure I understand the last bit. When/if you have the time, can you explain?

And how right you are to liken the current crisis to previous history.
These crisis definitely force deportment changes.

Nathalie said...

I was very moved by your previous post about Michael's early retirement. Congratulations to him for such a successful carrier and to you for supporting him. I wish you both a very happy new life together.

Anonymous said...

That is a great sign ... but the crisis is not that great for anyone!

Chris said...

I thought that some might not get the sign because of the phrases, and I should have explained it in the post. I apologize and hope this helps:

When someone says that something costs an arm and a leg, it means it is very, very expensive. When they say it will cost your first-born child, it means it is very, very, very expensive, and that it will take everything you own PLUS your child to pay for it. The idea behind it is that the item is SO expensive that you have to pay with something that is the most precious thing to you - your child. I'm not sure of the origin, although it may be Biblical in that Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, his first-born child, as God asked him to do. I hope this helps!

Dan said...

Fantastic pic. I remember the gas crisis of 72 as well. But one of the big differences now is that OPEC is apparently telling us to get used to it whereas back then it was retaliation for our support for Israel.

When I see the amount of money flowing into the ME then here these guys tell us to get used to it, I say let's drill our own.

Snapper said...

Time to start riding a bike! By walking and cycling instead of using our vehicle, my wife and I made one tank of gas last 7 1/2 weeks.

Olivier said...

on a maintenant une nouvelle crise sur les énergies. Par contre je n'arrive pas a traduire le panneau.

Pour répondre a ta question sur Évry, c'est une ville de plus de 50.000 habitants, et c'est la plus grande ville du département de l'Essonne.

it now has a new crisis on energy. By against a I can not translate the sign.

To answer your question on Evry is a city of more than 50,000 inhabitants and is the largest city in the department of Essonne.

Keith said...

I remember gas rationing and only being able to buy gas on certain days based on the license plate. It was right around the time I got my drivers license. I told myself it couldn't get worse than this. Boy, was I wrong!

Ming the Merciless said...

Chris, I would love to see the Emmy(s) your husband won over the years.

Even better, you can maybe convince him to re-enact the Sally Field "You love me! You really love me!" scene after she won her 2nd Oscar with his Emmy(s).

Halcyon said...

It took me a minute to get what the sign was saying. Very funny though!