Thursday, July 30, 2009

The events continue...

Book events are always interesting and tonight's special event was no different. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press was invited to put up a display and sell books during a house and garden tour at the Governor's Mansion on Lake Mendota in Madison. I was available and tagged along to sign books and chat with visitors. Several people shared that they had enjoyed the book.

By far the best comment I heard all night came from a resident of Janesville. This gentleman noted the effect the book has had in Janesville and shared that multiple copies of Fill'er Up have been seen at city council and historic commission meetings there.

You might recall that the station above has been threatened often. The fabulous Standard Oil super service station was built in 1930 and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is said to be located in the way of progress and the future growth of the Janesville police department. But, residents and supporters believe the building matters, it can be successfully reused, and are looking for a way to save it. Time will tell but I hope they are successful.

It is encouraging to hear that Fill'er Up is more than an entertaining read. Of course, we think it's much more than just that. In addition to a wee bit o nostalgia, there is plenty of inspiration for those willing to invest the time and heart into old buildings like the super service station in Janesville. There are examples of award-winning historic rehabilitations like Sherman Perk in Milwaukee. There are vintage photographs and resources throughout that will guide individuals in the right direction. And, there are a few examples of stations that have been horribly altered and even demolished that may serve as a warning.

If we can help with a project in your community, please be in touch. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Fill'er Up should help you understand why these buildings matter and we hope that others will be willing to listen.

For a list of upcoming events, please take a look at this link. We hope to see you soon!

Friday, June 26, 2009

On the Road Again...

Jim and I are hitting the road again! It sounds a lot cooler to say we're on summer tour, but that's stretching it a bit. We still have our day jobs.
After wooing Door County a few weeks ago, we're getting ready to attend the fabulous car show at Iola, Wisconsin. The 2009 show will take place July 9 - 12th. Click here for more info. We'll be attending the first two days and selling books, swappping stories, and enjoying the many restored automobiles on display.
Next we're off to the Northwoods Petroleum Museum on July 19 and then Minocqua the next evening. In August we'll be in Ashland and Milwaukee so keep an eye out.
If you're having trouble keeping track of this, check out the Wisconsin Historical Society Press online for a listing of Fill 'er Up events.
We hope you're having a great summer. Drive safe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We are ready for our closeup, Mr. DeMille

We have learned that Fill'er Up has been selected as a finalist by ForeWord Magazine for their 2008 Book of Year. Fill'er Up is a finalist in the Travel Book Category. We did not set out to write a travel book, but we are proud that it is seen as a useful guide to Wisconsin Stations. The winners will be announced at BookExpo in NYC on May 29th. Keep your spark plug wires crossed for us (or whatever it is that you choose to cross).

We also have proud company. Two other Wisconsin Historical Press titles have also been chosen as finalists. Jerry Apps book, Old Farm is a finalist in the Enviromental Category and Bobbi Malone and Kori Oberle's fourth grade textbook, Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story, is a finalist in Juve Non-Fiction. We stand proud among our friends and colleagues.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fill'er Up: The Exhibit

We have done it again. The book, documentary, blog, and now the museum exhibit. Join Mark and I at the Wisconsin Historical Museum on Wednesday evening March 4th at 6:30pm as we open a new exhibit based on the book. The exhibit will feature wonderful full color prints of Mark Fay's gas station photos, exhibit panels celebrating some of our favorite stations, and an entertaining behind the scenes presentation telling some of our favorite stories.

Support of the book has been great, we appreciate the help and kind words of all of our fellow gas station buffs.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

It's always hard to believe how fast the holidays come and go. It seems like just yesterday we were encouraging friends and family to suprise loved ones with a copy of Fill'er Up under the tree (or Festivus pole). Now, it's time to take down the lights and put away the festive decorations.

Several happy readers have been in touch since tearing the wrapping paper off of their copy of the book. It was kind of them to spread their holiday cheer. We hope you'll share your thoughts too. Did your uncle enjoy the book? Would he have preferred a tie instead? Tell us what you think.

We wish you a wonderful year in 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where Have You Been?

You're probably wondering where Jim and I have been all this time... Well, we're sort of wondering the same thing. It's embarrassing so much time has passed, but so it goes.

The Wisconsin Book Festival was a great experience. Keith and Clayton Parman kindly allowed us to host a book launch party in their service bays. Well, one thing led to another and we suddenly had both service doors up and over 100 people hearing about the lessons we learned from the lowly gas station. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press pulled out all of the stops on the party and we had a great time.

Since then, we have been busy promoting the book and hearing more wonderful stories. If you missed all of these events, don't fret. A few wise media outlets have made their interviews available online for your listening pleasure. Enjoy...

Larry Meiller Show, Wisconsin Public Radio
Click on the link...SELECT DATE...9.29.08...11:00 on LISTEN

Lake Effect, Milwaukee Public Radio

By the way, we made it easier to comment. So, if you have been holding back, let us know what you have been thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Having a gas of a time at the Wisconsin Book Festival

If you live near Madison and like books, then you probably know that the Wisconsin Book Festival is going on right now. If you live near Madison, like books, and gas stations too? Well then, you’re really in luck!

The good folks at the Wisconsin Historical Society Press are hosting a fabulous book launch party at Parman’s Service Station on Saturday, October 18, 2008. The event starts at 10:00 am. Parman’s is located at 3502 Monroe Street in Madison. For more info, click here.

We’ll be set up in the service bays ready to share some stories and more importantly, coffee and donuts. If you are not familiar with the scene at Parman’s, you’ll enjoy this short clip from the companion Wisconsin Public Television documentary, Fill ‘er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations. Click on the seventh segment.

If you’re busy Saturday, you can find us Sunday at the Wisconsin Historical Museum at 30 N. Carroll Street at 4:00 pm. For more information, click here.

We’ll hope to see you this weekend.