June 27, 1979: Imagine making plans to travel for the 4th of July weekend, wondering if a trip by car, truck or recreational vehicle would even be possible due to the likelihood that gas stations would be closed- not because of the holiday, but because there would be no gas to sell. Such was the case 40 years ago when the second major oil crisis in the United States was brought on by reduced oil production because of the Iranian Revolution. Over a twelve month period, the price of crude oil more than doubled, which resulted in long lines at gas stations, much like what had been seen six years earlier in 1973.
It is interesting to note that in 1979, when there was gasoline to purchase, drivers in La Porte City had many more options to buy it than they do today- at least half a dozen gas stations operated around town, according to the article published in the June 27, 1979 edition of The Progress Review. By the way, the average price of gasoline back then was in the neighborhood of 86 cents per gallon. Adjusted for inflation, that price would equate to $2.31 in 2019.
Consider the words of Professor Penelope J. Corfield: “Communities speak languages that are inherited from the past. They live in societies with complex cultures, traditions and religions that have not been created on the spur of the moment. People use technologies that they have not themselves invented. So understanding the linkages between past and present is absolutely basic for a good understanding of the condition of being human. That, in a nutshell, is why History matters. It is not just ‘useful’, it is essential.”
Want to learn more about La Porte City’s history? Back issues from 1880-2017 of The Progress Review are now available online, courtesy of Hawkins Memorial Library, The Progress Review and a number of generous local donors. Explore La Porte City’s past by logging on to www.theprogressreview.co or www.laportecity.lib.ia.us.
Gas Situation No Better For Next Weekend
Local gas stations were still in the midst of an on-again, off-again situation last weekend as local dealers continued to run short of gas of one kind or another.
The only station selling gas in La Porte last Sunday was Pronto. The situation for next weekend doesn’t look any better.
In a Monday morning check of local stations in regard to gas supplies we garnered the following information.
Brown’s Auto had gas in Monday morning after being out since Friday. Their next allotment is due July 2nd but is not assured. Brown’s closes at noon on Saturday, 5 p.m. daily, and plan to be closed the 4th of July.
The Casey Store reportedly was out of gas Monday with no idea when they would be refilled. Manager Lorraine McFarland said they had been out of regular for a week and sold out the last of their unleaded Sunday. Regular store hours will be maintained and the store will be open the 4th of July. Gas will be sold if there is any on hand.
Max’s DX re-opened last week after a week off for vacation. Owner Max Taylor said a truck was due Tuesday but the trucker’s strike could affect delivery. Max closes at 5 p.m. daily and is not open Sundays.
Pester Derby reported a 1000 per gallon a day allowance. All Derby stations will be closed Sundays till further notice. Manager Calvin Dunegan expects problems with supply thru July 4th.
Don Warford, owner of Warford’s Skelly, is out of regular but has unleaded gas. He expects a new allotment June 28 and hopes to have gas to start the month but he too is unsure of delivery. All stations advised staying close to home or being sure about the return gas situation if you plan to take to the road on the pre-4th of July weekend.