One Very Weird Commerical

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cost about 40 cents more per gallon. Carey, whose husband is in a wheelchair, didn't mind paying extra, she said.

´╗┐Full service still thrives at a few gas stations

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"Really?" McCauley said. "They are very rare. I bet you across the whole country, you can count full service on a couple of hands."

"We have a lot people who will come in and aren't necessarily from the area; they will pull up to the full service and get out to the pump," King said. "We will walk out, and they will look at us and say, 'What have I done?' We have to explain that we have full service. We run across this more and more nowadays. People aren't even familiar with full service. They don't know what it is. When they were born, there wasn't even any full service about."

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very good here, very concerned. They are like a friend."

That the Birmingham area has three stations with full service bays was surprising to Kirk McCauley, director of member relations for the national Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades.

Full service stations were all the rage until the oil embargoes in 1973 74, which brought high gas prices and long lines. That became the decline of hearing the ding of the service station bell when a driver rolled over a hose to signal a uniformed service station attendant to appear.

Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic

View full sizeJack King III and Jack King Jr. stand in the office at Crestline Shell that is one of the few service stations that still offers full service. Thurs., Dec. 16, 2011 in Birmingham, Ala. Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

"They are able to check my tires, keep my car safe," she said. "They are Cheap Womens Converse Shoes Australia

Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic

The national trade organization does not keep statistics on full service because of the scarcity, McCauley said. However, two states New Jersey and Oregon have bans on self service that date to 1949 and 1951, respectively.

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16, 2011 in Birmingham, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale).

Clay Ingram, a spokesman for AAA Alabama, said AAA does not differentiate between full and self service, but he agreed that full service stations in the state are a rarity.

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Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic

"There are not too many of them around unfortunately," Ingram said "By and large, people are fine with pumping their own gas, especially if they can save a little money in doing so with the level of prices we've seen in recent years."

"It's a whole lot cheaper to be self service," McCauley said. "No one wants to pay extra."

Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic

Converse All Star Leather Ox Low Gold Metallic

It bothers Henry Austin, who has been in the gas station business for 40 years and operates Austin's Vestavia Shell at 728 Montgomery Highway, that with the influx of self service and pay at the pump, there is little, if no, human interaction.

King's station on Church Street remains a throwback to a bygone era. While most stations have gone with cheaper self service, pay at the pump options, King still offers a neighborly attitude and a full service bay, where an attendant pumps customers' gas, wipes the windshields and checks vehicles' fluid levels, battery and tire pressure.

Such full service is so uncommon that the attendants often startle people who pull up at the bay unaware, prepared to get out and pump their own gas. This is common from the younger generation.

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Across the nation and the state, full service is a dying breed, gas experts said. In 2004, there were at least nine stations with a full service bay in the Birmingham Hoover metro area. Today, King's station is one of at least three in the metro area that remain with a full service island. Austin's Vestavia Shell and Bailey's Chevron in Gardendale also continue to forge on.

On a recent Tuesday, Ann Carey pulled into the Crestline Shell, where full service gas Converse All Star 2 White Low

lower prices for customers, began to crop up. So did tire stores, specialty repair shops, quick lube shops and retail auto store chains.

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