I pulled into the Pure service station in downtown Decatur this week because they offer full service and my front tire was low for the second time in a week. Perhaps it was fortuitous that I also needed gas because I finally had a great excuse to drop in to ask whether I could photograph the service station. I was greeted enthusiastically by Craig Leonard, the assistant manager (middle) who eagerly filled up my tank, pumped air into my tires and told me, “Sure sweetie, photograph anything you want but I get to be in the picture”. As I was composing the photograph, Craig summoned one of the owners, Joel Ross (on left), and Leo Hernandez (on right), a master technician, to join him for the photograph.
Although Pure has changed hands in the last year, the station has been serving customers in this location for 57 years. They are still using the original gas pumps and lifts in the garage. It is a challenge to keep the gas pumps in working order because the old gears wear out and it is difficult to find replacements. Nevertheless, the crew at Pure is dedicated to preserving the historic structure and its parts as well as providing personalized and friendly service. Craig remarked, “If you make your customers happy you have them for life.” I was happy, I got the photo, four new tires and great service.