Randy, Lou, Mom, and Emily were to meet me at the Texaco station's top grade restaurant in Osceola, IA, at noon to make the exchange. Since I am always late, I vowed not to hold them up, as Ran and Lou had a convention whose first meeting was at 7 in KC, MO. I wanted them to be sure to get there in time.
I arrived at the intersection, where, to my horror, the gas station had been changed to a Shell. On the window of the restaurant was a sign "Texaco" and an arrow pointing toward the Shell station, which looked nothing like I remembered. The door carried a sign, "Please excuse our mess. Under new ownership." Peeking inside to find a clock, (11:15) I saw "TEXACO" spelled out in huge letters across the east wall.
Although I had suggested to Louise that the station might be a Mobile, I was terrified they would drive on by where the bulldozers were working across the road from the new Shell. For a while, I sat on the hood of the Beamer, but as the sun crept around, that got hot, so I moved to the cement rim of a potted fruit tree.
At 10 to 12, I helped two old ladies park far enough forward that the pick-up parked aslant would not bump them as he backed out. At five after, I told the owner of that same truck that I was not a local and did not know anything about where the Three Finger Lake was. I suggested he ask someone at a bait shop.
Near 12:30, I went inside. The restaurant had been constantly busy, so I sat on a bench until a booth was empty. Standing by it while I waited for the waitress to come clean it off, I saw Lou walk past the window. Quickly I went outside and called to her. They had NOT come in from the west, as expected.
Nothing ever stays the same. There are now two entrances to Osceola, and they'd used the one closest to them... not the one long in existence that had been built up all the way out to the exit.
We had a jolly meal, living up to the slogan on the backs of the waitresses: Food so good, you'll think we stole your mother, then too soon both parties set off.