tight shadows show the sun to be directly overhead - the most welcome
time to find an oasis.
Photo courtesy Erik Whetstone, April 2005
Gas Station is Gone
Dear Editor, I recently returned from a September trip to the Ft Davis
area. I was really looking forward to taking photos of the Oasis Gas
Station as a friend had taken some really cool pictures of it a couple
of years ago. I drove out to the site and was disappointed to find
it had either been torn down or destroyed. All that was left was a
couple of small adobe pieces on the ground. I inquired with a few
Ft Davis locals as to what had happened and they were not aware that
the structure was gone. One person had driven by it as recently as
back in the spring and said that even though it was crumbling it had
still been standing.
I just found your great website while researching about the Oasis
and wanted to let your readers know it was gone and inquire as to
whether anyone knew what had happened to it. Thanks, - Beth Booher
Midday at the
Oasis Gas Station in Jeff Davis County has become one of our favorite
Texas locations. First sent in by Charlotte Thurman of Midland, we've
received many letters about the Oasis over the years.
Having never pumped a pint, let alone a gallon of gasoline, this station-that-never-was
has become our symbol for a particular period in Texas history. It's
the just-another-station you never paid attention to on your summer
trips; the station you prayed for when your gas guage needle was buried
in the E, and the one where you felt guilty about using their restroom
- after you had just filled your tank at the station 20 miles back.
fact that it was a prop for the movie Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, doesn't
change a thing. It's the quintessential 1950s roadtrip gas station.
And being a movie prop - there's no shortage of imagined scenarios
of what never happened here. Had a revolver once been taped under
the toilet tank lid? Had the teenage hitchiker escaped out the bathroom
window? Did Jack Nicholson get a ride with a trucker here or was it
Thelma or Louise that lost her money in the Dr. Pepper machine?
Dancer, Texas Pop. 81
to the staff here at TE for it was Charlotte's photo that prompted
Erik Whetstone to write to us. Erik has since become our Ghost Town
Editor/Photographer and four years and several hundred images later,
Erik wrote to remind us: "I don’t know if you remember my original
email or not, but when I first found Texas Escapes, I had commented
on how much I wanted to shoot the Oasis."
"I thought you’d like to see how it was holding up."
faux "ghost sign" for Dr. Pepper - shows the painter's skill.
courtesy Erik Whetstone, April 2005
it seems to be holding up fine and its remote location has spared
it the vandalism and grafitti that other abandoned businesses have
Here's to the Oasis - a tangible (albeit faux) relic of our collective