My little buddy from Sinclair Oil Corporation. Why would a 51 year old man be excited to get a stuffed animal?
It's a gift from the brand mom & dad provided to Skunk Hollar (rural Ashville, Ohio) when I was a kid. Some might remember "Ramey's Sinclair" that used to be at State Routes 316 & 104, that was part of my early childhood.
One of the earliest commercial brands I remember was the Sinclair badge on dad's uniform. (That and a close race for second between Lucky Strikes and Camels)
Mom and Pop owned the store for a handful of years. I recall my first day of school because dad waited with me for the bus at the station. It was a sunny morning in 1968, his youngest offspring was headed to the first grade at Scioto Elementary in Commercial Point, Ohio (also home to then, Channel 4 weatherman Jerry Rasor).
Much simpler days. My siblings all had a hand in running the joint, me... I was more of a store mascot than anything probably, the little snot nosed kid who got to interact with customers and delivery men, but not have actually work.
Later in life, long after mom and dad has sold the establishment, I worked there for different ownership in the late 1970s, first for Marjorie Happeney (then known as "Hap's Exxon") and Paul Meredith ("Meredith's Marathon"). When my radio career began in 1980, Paul was the first to put my name "in lights" when he placed on the store's lighted pointed arrow sign "Listen to Dan Ramey on WNRE". Listeners would find a bumbling, stumbling young broadcast trying to find his way.
To think it all has led to a day when a 51 year old was so happy to get a stuffed animal in the mail. I feel like a kid again. Thanks Sinclair!
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