Thursday, November 6, 2008
PATTEN’S AMOCO (UTOCO)
Oh, there are so many good old memories of Payson. It seems just like yesterday that some of all these stores I've written about were around. One placeIlike to remember is the ServiceStation that stood on the corner where Crest is now. Idon't know who built it but Don and DuanePatten ran it for a few years.
They opened it on April 6 of 1957. It was a UTOCO Station. They had the grand opening in a big snow storm but that didn't see to slow people from coming in. Everyone knew the Patten boys. They were twins and a great pair of guys.
The day of the grand opening, they handed out thermometers, scrapers, and calendars. Not only that, they served hot chocolate, drinks, and doughnuts. Roe Wilde, who owned Roe’s Bakery, made the doughnuts and the station kept running out because they had so many customers come in. He would keep running more doughnuts down to them and kept them well supplied.
They worked well together. Don loved doing the office work and keeping the books and as Janice said, Duane was true to form, enjoyed doing the mechanic work. Duane was one of the best mechanics in town. The garage section of the station was always full of cars being repaired.
Duane and Janice lived by us and were good neighbors. We had kids about the same age they played together. Duane was always helping everyone with their cars.
Everyone loved to congregate at the station and shoot the breeze. My dad was a big fan of theirs and went there all the time. If there was a funeral in town, theywould wash the families cars for free as a show of love and concern for those who mourned.
Dick Lant run a car lot in Spanish Fork and when he would go to auctions, he would bring the cars back and the Patten boys would detail them for him. They would steam clean the engines, shampoos and clean the interiors and make sure everything was clean and shined and working properly..
Dee Stevenson, who worked for them while attending college, told me they were the best people he has ever worked for. They had different fellows work there, Don Tanner, Larry Jackson, Dee, Earl Beardall, Scott Christensen and several others who worked there during the years they operated..
Don left Payson and moved to Spanish Fork but he was still involved with the operation on the station. I'm not sure when it changed names but it later went to AMOCO (American Oil Company)
Don's wife Kathryn said they all nearly starved to death because they didn't make very much money (I guess not if they only made 1 cent per gallon).
In 1966, Don and Kathryn moved to California and I believe Duane went to work for Duke Page and later Nebo School District. I know Duane was also a Payson Police Officer at one time.
We were in the Fire Department with both of them for many years. Duane was in the department over 50 years before he retired from it. Janice and I worked together in church callings. They are great people.
Duane died and about 6 months later to the day and to the hour, Don also passed away. Their death’s left a great void in the lives of those that they had called “Friend.”
I'm not sure how many time the station changed hands over the course but I do remember Tom Daley and later Alma Willey run the station for awhile. And now it is a busy corner with Crest being there but isn't it fun to remember back when....