(I wrote all of this on August 9th, but never fine-tuned it til now)
I had about ¼ tank of gas when I left town on my way home from work. I was flying along the highway, gruuuvin’ to a Morning Dew blaring outta my stereo. I saw Taghum Shell approaching in the distance. It was the same as every other day…even the music.
Rollin' along n' gruuuuuvin'!
I keep the same tape in my van for at least a month at a time...usually much longer though. I love that I have a tape deck in my van. I went through a couple thousand Grateful Dead live show tapes from back in the day. I still have a few hundred that I refuse to get rid of. I love playing every one of them…even the dusty, shitty sounding old-school ones. From dusty soundboard to crunchy cracklin' soundboard, or even a good audience recording, they’re nostalgia in the literal definition of of the term!
Recently I gave Natalie a ride home from work. She picked off my tape deck right pronto and started making fun of me. “Who still has tapes?” (Daniella has since done the same.) I was quick to start making fun of her for Ipods, phones, n' shit. We made fun of each other and it was excellent...but I still stood my ground with tapes. Tapes kick ass!
Lately I have had the second tape of the New Year’s ’76 show at The Cow Palace in San Jose, California goin’. Every-so-often I think about changing it, but I don't. It’s just so freakin’ awesome! The transition from Good Lovin’ into Samson & Delilah is crazy. Scarlet Begonias is…well…Scarlet Begonias. The Help on the Way jam has something special about it; and of course, Not Fade Away > Morning Dew to close the show before encores = Daaaaamn!! Changin' it would just be stupid...no need to do that!
While I was blaring it, and gruuuuvin’ right along, whenever I glanced in my rearview mirror I would catch the odd glance of my doggie in her seat in the back. (By the way…Rearview Mirror is a great Pearl Jam song...just sayin'!)
Fennario always has such a big smile on her face when we’re cruisin' down the highway. That makes me thoroughly happy, as it wasn’t always the case when she was a little pup. She used to be absolutely terrified of vehicles to the point where she’d run and hide in the house if I even walked near my van parked outside. Inside the van she would slobber and foam at the mouth from anxiety or something. Now she’s totally stylin’ and I love it ‘cause I don’t like leaving her at home. I want her everywhere I am. I looove my doggie so much.
So, as I was sailing along the highway, gruuuvin’ full blast, I saw Taghum Shell approaching quickly. I didn’t need gas right away, but I was feeling ultra lazy, so, knowing they are full service, I said, “Fuck it!” and did a last second quick swerve off the road. I pulled up to the tanks like I was in a race car chargin' into the pit-stop scenario. I definitely rolled up to the pumps with some heat, that's for sure.
I’ve always felt kinda strange about a full service gas station where you don’t do shit. They just come and ask you what you want and take care of everything as you sit there doin’ nothin’ like a lazy-ass. Even when my body is completely broken down, I still feel like I can pump my own gas. It sure ain’t that hard of a thing to do after all. Sitting there though, as buddy was gasin’ me up, my lazy-ass did take time to appreciate the service.
Scott, Cam and Shawn Robertson…
(Photo by Matt Bolt for Kootenay Business Magazine)
The brothers who own Taghum Shell are awesome guys. For years I had no freakin’ idea that Scott and Shawn were two different people – twins! I remember finding that out and thinkin’ it was awesome, and of course laughed at my idiot-self once again.
For a long time they had talked about expanding their store and stylin’ out the whole place. After many, many years, they finally were able to get at it in 2016. I lived in Nelson during most of the renovation.
Every Friday I check out what movies’r playing at the theatre in Castlegar. I’ve been going to the movies since I saw the original Star Wars at the drive-in with my parents when I was a three year old kid.
(I miss the drive-in as a way to see movies…seeing classics like, Smokey and the Bandit, the original Superman, Cannonball Run, and many more!)
As I like to drive to Castlegar consistently on weekends to catch a matinee movie I got to see the progression of the remodel take place. I rarely ever see newspapers or anything, so I had no idea it was happening until I drove by for the first time after it had started. I remember yelling out loud, “Nice one boyyys!” As simple as that!
I lived up the lake for years, and after a 10 month stretch right in Nelson, I ended up moving on the other side of town again. Now I pass the Taghum Shell twice a day, 6 days a week. I always enjoy seeing it, because I know how long they had wanted to do that, and I’ve been happy for them to finally manifest it all. I love seeing people pull their dreams together. It's such a great thing.
Even back in the day, the boys always had the full service touch. It has always been easy to tell that they’re genuinely good guys. All you have to do is talk to them and you find it out right away.
(The way it was...)
As far as being a customer goes, they make you feel very welcomed and appreciated. It’s not a false front pitch to get your buck either. It’s as if they come from a lost time. Nowadays, in the service station industry, there is virtually no service whatsoever. It has all but disappeared. Everything is self serve "get it yourself, you pricks" gas stations everywhere you go. Not the brothers though. They still deliver the special touch from a seemingly forgotten era.
I’ve been going there for over 15 years, and I can say their level of service is not limited to them either. Their staff always shows that same standard too! That is simply because of who Cam, Scott & Sean are as people though. It brings to mind that old overused saying,
“Great leaders lead by example!”
All this rolled through my mind while I was sitting there getting gassed up today. It was more than confirmed when their employee walked up to my window after he was done gassing me up and asked if I needed my oil or windshield fluid checked.
"Freakin' right boys! Taghum Shell doin’ it right!
Their finished product is great. The building is gorgeous...the nicest gas station I have been in. There is a snack-y area that is on the side of the main store that has a variety of goods to grab and go, or chill out to sit and stare out the window if you desire.
The building is spacious, and stocked nicely. There's travel food, all the gas station-y things for your vehicle, fireworks, ATM, and a tad bit of party-time beverages.
Outside, they went from a simple two stall/two pump gas station set-up to a four stall/six pump system. Even with tripling their pump capacity they're still super busy. It's great. It shows how necessary their expansion was and that their longtime vision for their expansion was the right thing to do.
Scott, Shawn and Cam…I’m glad to support you guys all these years, and I'm really happy for you that you were finally able to pull off the massive site rebuild you have been dreaming about for so many years. The place looks freakin’ great! Nice one boys!!
I cruised outta there, back lost in my tunes with these thoughts rollin’ through my mind and a happy doggie in my back seat. Gruuuvin' down the road a little bit further thanks to the fellas.
5644 Highway 3A West
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.