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Jeck’s Service Center is a multi-generation family business. It will soon be the third generation to be exact.

Jeck’s was opened in 1956 at a small two bay gas station only a mile away from our current location. My grandfather, Roy, and my grandmother, Eldora, opened the doors using his nickname, “Jeck”, for the business name. (It was the typical Texaco gas station and service center anyone might remember from the 50s
and 60s. These were the days when grease jobs needed a lube chart to locate the literally dozens of grease fittings a car may have hidden. Tune ups were basic but involved quite a few more items than today’s vehicles may require for a tune up.

Pictured here is my grandfather, Roy, and my father, Dennis in front of the original station. Eldora, my grandmother, is pictured at the register.

 

The History of Jeck’s Service Center

Carburetor adjustments seemed to be considered more of an art than a science. Gas stations were full service and you got a full tank of fuel, your car’s oil checked, the car’s windshield washed, and the air in your tires checked for no more charge than a full tank of gasoline.
There was an old service truck parked outside and two school busses that were used for the Pine Grove School District. All of these company vehicles were from the fifties and the sixties were approaching fast. For 15 years at this location, my grandfather gave his customers good service for a good price, and our customer base began to grow.
As my grandfather’s health began to decline, my father stepped in to help run the business. They tried to buy the building they were renting but there was no deal to be struck. They decided to buy some land just one mile north on the same road that the original station was located. There were a couple advantages to the decision. First, it wasn’t a long distance to move and the customer base would still be willing to make the slightly further drive to our shop. Second, the state was building interstate 81 and the new location was positioned right next to the highway’s route. This meant easy access for travelers to the gas station and repair work.
The shop was a modified version of plans purchased from Texaco designs. The bays were extended to double length so we could pull either two cars in each bay or fit a whole forty foot long school bus in a bay. There was a two post lift in the first bay, and open floor in the second bay, and an alignment rack in the third bay. I was three years old when the shop had it’s grand opening day, June 19th, 1970. I do remember a small bit of the construction, but being only three, it isn’t a lot. 
The new location had another benefit unknown to us in 1970. The 1972 flood hit our area and totally immersed the former location. I remember clearly the water rising and flooding the entire town but our new shop stayed high and dry. 
In 1974, we saw some tough times with the gas embargo. The government was  rationing fuel and there were “even” and “odd” days to buy gas. I pumped constantly and the lines extended down the road. Eventually the gasoline was not rationed anymore, I was adjusting pricing on the pump the first time gas went over one dollar a gallon. These pumps were not equipped to sell over a dollar a gallon. We had to sell gas by putting the price per 1/2 gallon and doubling the price shown on the pump until the new pumps were installed. 
Our school bus business also began to grow. There was even a special station wagon run needed, which sometime later began to be called special needs transportation. Through the seventies, our school bus fleet grew to five gasoline powered school busses.
Around 1978, after a few years of wrenching on these school busses in the tight quarters, we decided to add a large shop to accommodate these. That meant adding an odd shape addition to the rear of the building. There were some challenges such as a roof strong enough to hold the snow weight on the large span and a folding set of “Cooter Doors” that we built ourselves. The idea came from the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show on Cooters garage. The designs we came up with and built for the roof and doors held up well and are still in use today.
In 1983, we expanded our fleet of school busses from five conventional school busses to 17, full size conventional school busses. The additional twelve 1982 “leftover” school busses were our first diesel units as well. 
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