It was the coldest It’s a Gas! show I had attended over the past two decades, but many braved the single-digit temps in hopes of picking up some good bargains on collectible gasoline items, also known as “petroliana.”
The show, which formerly was held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, moved to the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon, Missouri, several years ago. It’s A Gas! is one of the oldest and largest petroliana shows in the Midwest and never disappoints, even during COVID-19 and frigid temperatures. Yes, there were fewer vendors and some, especially those to the East, left on Friday. But I could have taken home a truckload of very cool nostalgic items if my chief financial officer (a.k.a. wife) had approved a larger budget for this year’s event!
This show, like others of its ilk, features everything petroleum including gas pumps from condition one down to six, all sorts of signs from gasoline dealers, oil cans, bottles, transportation toys, showroom brochures, old photos, license plates, service station apparel (shirts, coats and caps), automotive shop manuals and much more. Last year I came home from this show with a circa-‘60s Mobilgas pump just like the ones at Han-De Super Service, my father’s Mobil service station at the corner of Hanley and Delmar (see what he did there?), in University City, MO back in the day.
IN THE PASSING LANE: Jazz lovers (including my son Jeff) lost a legend this month with the passing of American jazz pianist and composer, Chick Corea. Born June 12, 1941, Corea started learning piano at age four and recorded his first album in 1966. Corea performed with the likes of Blue Mitchell, Willie Bobo, Cal Tjader, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz and Miles Davis, and became a role model for many young jazz pianists of the 1970s.
UPCOMING EVENTS: The town of Lebanon will celebrate its connection with Route 66 on Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19, (Father’s Day weekend) this year. Lebanon’s first Route 66 Festival was held in 2001 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Mother Road. Hosts again will include the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society and the Lebanon Parks and Recreation and Tourism departments.
Besides a cruise-in, downtown activities Friday evening will include food trucks and live music. Saturday activities will include the Route 66 Parade of classic, antique and custom cars followed by a cruise-in at Boswell Park. Efforts also are under way to have a Route 66 Bike Parade and the Lebanon Elks Lodge No. 2557 will again sponsor a corn-hole tournament. Saturday night’s activities will include a celebration of the Lehman family’s 50th anniversary as owners of the internationally known Munger Moss Motel. BTW, the Munger Moss Motel is already booked for the weekend.
This is a great event and it is on the FIN MAN’s calendar for 2021. Be there or be square!
Also, I am working on details to hold a Breakfast with the FIN MAN which may include bus transportation to a local car collector’s garage. Details not available yet, but will include pickup at a St. Louis area park and ride lot and breakfast. Ticket prices and more TBD. If you would be interested in this event, please let me know. If you do not have Internet connection, write to me at Bruce Kunz, c/o the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 901 N. Tenth Street, St. Louis, MO 63101.