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San Antonio Update

National Trust for Historic Preservation's
“This Place Matters”
2009

Humble Gas Station Wins National Contest

San Antonio Humble Gas Station
The Last Humble Station
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2009
When San Antonio native Mark Louis Rybczyk included a forlorn little building in his excellent San Antonio Uncovered, we doubt if he knew what he was starting. After reading about the building, we interviewed Mr. Rybczyk who graciously allowed us to use his text.

On our next visit to
San Antonio we looked the building up (Address: 1091 S. Laredo) and found it hiding in plain sight beneath a gargantuan billboard.

After publishing
photos of the place we received several requests for directions from photographers and even an inquiry from the U. S. Department of the Interior.

Early (1:10 a.m.) on November 3rd, 2009, San Antonio native Sarah Reveley wrote to inform us that the station was a finalist in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” contest. A second email arrived shortly thereafter informing us that the station had won.

The cracked and fissured utilitarian building was up against some stiff competition. Other entries included an intersection in Birmingham made famous in music (Tuxedo Junction), a hiking path in Hawaii, an Alaskan monument, a cemetery in Georgia and eight other places that mattered to someone.

When the dust settled, the station had secured 26% of the vote, edging out the Georgia Cemetery and a 1939 Coast Guard boathouse in Door County, Wisconsin. (Second and Third Place, respectively.)
San Antonio -  Humble Gas Station,  Humble Oil Logo
The Last Humble Station - Humble Oil Logo
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2009
Our thanks to Mr. Rybczyk for writing about the building, Sarah Reveley for notifying us of its winning and (San Antonio native) Terry Jeanson who photographed the building specifically for this update.

If any residents love their town more than the people of San Antonio love their town, we’re unaware.


- Editor, November 4, 2009
See
The Last Humble Station by Mark Louis Rybczyk

Humble Gas Station Related Stories:

Texas Sketchbook by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" Column)
Humble, a Texas oil company created in 1911 which in the 1970s became Exxon... published thousands of copies of the “Texas Sketchbook” and distributed them for free to anyone who wanted one, including school kids...

Brown's Humble Station, San Antonio Texas, 1938
Vintage photos courtesy Mel Brown
Vintage photos courtesy Mel Brown
35 Years of Humble Service by Mel Brown
At age five, I went to live with my grandparents in San Antonio. My grandfather, C. K. Brown was nearing the end of a 35 year long career with The Humble Oil & Refining Co. as a truck driver and was then marking time daily by running errands for the regional depot. For most of the previous three decades he had delivered Humble petroleum products throughout South Texas and all over San Antonio first by mule team, below, then motor transport. But for that first year before entering grade school, I became his pint sized partner running around S A with him to the various Humble stations in a '49 Chevy pickup truck.... more - Mel Brown
"San Antonio Uncovered" by Mark Louis Rybczyk,
Republic of Texas Press, 2000

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