Meeting a beautiful ghost while road tripping
While riding from Metropolis towards Springfield, Illinois, I passed through the town of Vienna. It was a place I’d never heard of before. As I slowed my motorcycle and approached the stop sign at IL-146, to my right was the most beautiful ghost. A Standard Oil station.
Seeing the station, I immediately wished I could have experienced it in its heyday. Thoughts of sharing pleasantries while a coveralled gentleman washed my windshield and filled my tank danced through my imagination.
How could something so lovely fall into such a state of disrepair? The building belongs to someone. Why won’t they save this gorgeous baby? A case of monies best spent elsewhere, I’m sure. Simply trying to survive will always trump everything else.
Practicality aside, I wish that a preservation group would take this beautiful skeleton and return it to its original splendor. To the untrained eye, the building looks salvageable. So many of the lovely elements are just dying to be refurbished. But, who knows? Maybe my wishes and reality are very far apart here.
But it’s nice to dream.
Can you imagine driving over the hose and hearing the *ding-ding* of the bell? I suppose anyone younger than me might not get that reference.
There is probably a generation or two of locals who have this station weaved throughout their day to day memories. People who worked there, filled up there, and now watch it crumble there. Such memories can be bittersweet
Vienna, Illinois’ Gorgeous Ghost
Yesterday, I learned a new word.
Anemoia – n. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known.
Some articles about the Vienna Standard Oil Station: