Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Weekend of shopping edition

I spent the weekend doing something I actually don’t do too often – SHOPPING! During a trip to Central Market, I snagged two awesome necklaces from Antiquita Glassworks and got to talk to owner/leader artist Harry Smith III, who was super-cool and friendly. If you guys haven’t yet checked out his stuff, which is made from glass primarily recycled from downtown businesses – please do!

We also hit up the Grandma’s Holiday Craft Show in Red Lion, which was amazing. I can’t believe I’d never been before; we found some fun gifts and an awesome beret for my daughter.

What’s inside

1. Why 9s in gas prices?
2. Follow-up on Gardener’s Service Station
3. Remember a hangout called Lil’s?

1. Today’s first question was asked casually by a coworker some time ago, and another friend recently wondered the same thing, so I thought I’d put it out there. The question is, why do our gas prices all end in 9/10ths of a cent?

Well, a large part of it is what’s called “perceived cost.” You think of something that’s $3.589 as “cheaper” than $3.59, especially when the $3.58 part is in big numbers and the 9 is in a smaller one. Read more on that here.

Also, from Google answers, I found this:

The prevalence of nine-tenths of a cent gasoline pricing seems to owe its existence to several factors.

–a penny used to be worth something
–Uncle Sam wanted a piece of the gasoline action
–People want to *think* they’re getting a bargain, even if they know better
–Old habits die hard, and after a while, just get built into the system.

In addition to the above, there is nothing I know of in the law preventing gasoline (or just about anything for sale) from having a fraction of a cent as part of its price. Just the opposite, early federal law actually encouraged such fractional pricing of gasoline.

In these days of $3-and-change gasoline, it seems a bit ludicrous to be dealing in fractions of a cent. But when the gasoline stations first appeared to fuel the rapidly growing numbers of automobiles in the US, a gallon of gas could be had for under 10 cents per gallon. At that price, even a fraction of a penny could mean a pretty substantial difference in costs from one place to the next.

To quote Paul Harvey, well, now you know the REST of the story!

2. Back in the Aug. 29 edition of Ask Joan, one of my former neighbors, Margaret Hayes, asked about Gardener’s Service Station on Sherman Street. Mrs. Hayes was most interested in the dates the station was opened but was curious about other memories as well.

In reply, I received a letter from Sally Bailey Pomraning, who wrote, “I grew up in that area and remembered going there many times as a child. I don’t have any dates. But remember going with my Dad to get kerosene and soda and penny candy. It set on the Southwest corner of Sherman and the Navel Ordnance Road, which is now the bypass. Also I remember Gardeners lived in a house right next to the garage facing Sherman Street. I think they moved the house onto 11th Ave when they sold the garage – to a family called Rutter, don’t believe they are related to the Rutters that have mini markets now. I don’t know the years that Gardeners owned it but I was born in 41 and I was a little girl. I sure took a lot of soda bottles back for the refunds and got penny candy. Sure would love to see that calender that Margaret Hayes has. Good Memories.”

Sally, thanks for sharing those memories! Does anyone else have details on Gardener’s to share?

3. Does anybody remember a hang out on the corner of Sherman St. & Market St.? It was called Lil’s. It was next door to a Drug Store that is now a tattoo parlor. A lady by the name of Helen ran the place. Do you remember?
– Jack Bupp

Jack was the origin of the Dogtown question that drew forth so many memories here and here, so I’m curious to see what everyone can provide Jack in terms of memories of Lil’s!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, so it might take me a while, but I hope to be able to answer as many as possible!

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