The summer of 2007 was a hot one in Texas. Day after day, the heat wave continued to plague the Lone Star State. The temperatures reached such heights that even the most ardent sports fans had to take a break from their routines to keep cool. Not even the great American race course of Texas’ own hometown was spared the heat, as the track was completely deserted on the hottest days. The grandstands, paddock, and even the infield were left empty as people took refuge in air-conditioned comfort. All this did not go unnoticed by the oil companies, who promptly launched a $5 billion advertising campaign, appealing to the average Texan’s innate love for a cool and crispy beverage in the most glorious of weather conditions. It worked. In a desperate bid to regain their customer base, gas stations around the state began installing ice makers, offering freezers, and stocking up on bottled water, all in the name of consumerism (GASMAG).
The Appeal Of A Gas Station In That Warm Texas Climate
The allure of a gas station in Texas can be summed up in two words: air conditioning. No matter if you are escaping the heat of a brutal summer, or craving the relief that only a cold can bring, the refreshing coolness of a gas station is hard to escape. That is why the Gulf Coast and Texas Railway Company had to expand their network of stations to keep up with the growing demand for their service. When the temperature outside begins to rise, it is time for an ice-tea break, and it is usually at a gas station that one makes their first stop on the way to the rest of their day. That is why gas stations are a vital part of the transportation network in any Texas town.
While there is nothing wrong with a cold drink, not even a Texan can deny that a large part of their state’s appeal is rooted in the fact that they can get it at any time they choose. For centuries, the ritual of drinking whiskey and soda in the summer has been a way of life in Texas. You can still find bars and nightclubs that keep up with the tradition, serving up frosty drinks and offering up to the minute dance music that gets the sweaty, happy crowd pumping and moving all day long. In the summer of 2007, you could feel the love for a cold drink emanating from every pore of the Lone Star State. For a drink that is as American as apple pie and can be bought at the smallest of independent gas stations, there is no comparison.
The Changing Face Of An American Icon
If there is one place that one can find a clear indication of the changing times during the summer of 2007, it is the Dallas area. Once the home of the proud Dallas Cowboys, it is now the place of the brave Texas Rangers. While the fans of the football team may still flock to cheer on their heroes, it is the place that the residents of Dallas call home where the atmosphere is most likely to be welcoming to all. The pride of the Dallas Cowboys is now infused into the city’s DNA to the point that even the most ardent fan cannot help but feel a bond with the team, just as much as the next Texan.
In the summer of 2007, it was the turn of the Dallas Stars to make a mark on the map, as they too began their own warm-weather traditions, establishing new highs for fans of the sport in the Lone Star State. The Stampeders, with their loyal following, were the perfect foil as Dallas looked to the future with optimism, having just enjoyed the best season in the history of the franchise. In the summer of 2010, both teams will return to the big time when the MLB season kicks off, making it two major sports championships in the space of a year. The days of the cowboys and the stampeders are gone, but their legacy endures in the hearts of the people of Dallas and the rest of Texas.
It is hard to believe that a whole year has passed since that sweltering summer of 2007. While it was a tough year for many, it gave birth to some memorable moments for those who lived it. The heat wave that lasted an entire year was certainly exceptional, and it gave rise to a new phrase that is now firmly etched in the American vernacular: “Gas Chamber Heat.” It also made fans of both the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers look for ways to keep cool during the offseason, as they could not practice or play in the brutal heat of the summer. For those who made the most of it, the heat was an invitation to become more health conscious and to adopt a new way of life, one that was inspired by the Texas climate. For example, instead of turning on the air conditioner and inviting in all that dust and pollen, the savvy homeowner opened up their windows and allowed the fresh air to stream in, making the most of nature’s healing properties and ensuring that their house remained as clean as a whistle.
After a year such as that, it is hard to look at the future of the gas station industry in a positive light. No one factor can be singled out for the industry’s decline, as it has been hit by a perfect storm of pent-up demand, tightened lending guidelines, and the increased costs associated with gas-guzzling vehicles, among other things. While the effects of the global financial crisis will be felt for years to come, the gas station industry will never be the same. That does not mean that the next big thing in gas stations won’t emerge – just that it will not have the same appeal as the humble beginnings of the American gas station.