The fabric of a small town in strengthened by how people stay connected with one another. Long before the Internet and cable, people actually talked face-to-face.
Billy owns and operates a small service station on the corner of Main Street and the highway which passes through town. Years ago, he took over the operation from his father. Assisting him a few hours each day is Duane, a retired highway patrol trooper.
Billy and Duane run a station without too many frills. They stick pretty much to selling gas, changing worn-out batteries, rotating and balancing tires, and light service and maintenance of cars and trucks.
Anyone who just happens to drop in can usually find a seat on the generous and wide window ledge inside as well as a comfortable bench outside.
The “Conoco” station has been here for many years so everyone knows about Billy and his business. People depend on him for many of their automotive needs, but the special folks drop in for an even more important reason.
Many people think the original CNN (Cable News Network) was founded in 1980 by media mogul Ted Turner. Billy likes to think otherwise.
A small sign on the bulletin board identifies this station as a site for CNN. For the “hottest brand going” in local news, one needs to stop by CNN (Conoco News Network), which is years older than the other CNN.
Locals stop in to catch up on the latest news and more. Sometimes a visitor just might hear a bit of innocent gossip or the sharing of a story or two (but watch out for the really “tall” tales).
On the busiest of days, Billy and Duane always have a free minute to share and gather news. The day always goes faster with conversation while a car or truck goes up on the hoist every half hour.
Joe stops by this morning. He is a colorful cowboy-type who worked on the big dam construction project back in the 1930s. His stories are legendary. But be warned, he just might take one on a hunt for pocket gophers.
Another regular happens to be Pete, a retired teacher. Later in the morning, he stops by on his way to the post office. In a small town, everything is within a short distance.
In the early afternoon, Flint rides up on his fine-looking quarter horse. The duo has been out for a ride, and both need a quick water break. Even at CNN, news can be delivered by “Pony Express.”