It pays to be observant, to ask questions and to search for answers.
One fine summer day I was filling up at an Adirondack gas station. As the fuel made its way into my pickup’s near empty tank I gazed about. Beside me was a guy filling up several Jerry cans. That set me to formulating the questions I would ask: “You got a big lawn to mow? Getting ready to cut a supply of firewood for the winter? You must have a long driveway to plow after each snowstorm. Is a big jump in gas price coming?”
After posing each of my questions, I soon learned I had found a kindred soul. “Nope! Good guesses, but none of them are right. By the way, I’ve noticed all the aviation decals on your canoe and truck. I’m a pilot too. What does the number ‘354’ mean?”
At that I explained that I wasn’t a pilot, just an aviation nut and photographer, one who’s flown in 354 different types of aircraft – so far.
Ever flown in an Aeronca Sedan? I have one on floats, just down the road. The gas is for the plane. It’s been STC’d for mogas.”
Thanks to both of us being observant and the resultant conversation, my type tally was upped to 355 less than an hour later.
A year later I was in the parking lot of the South Branch Garage, near Williamstown. I noticed a Mercedes with an open trunk. It was crammed with Jerry cans. Once again, possible explanations came to mind. My imagination came up with the following: “He’s brought the car in because its mileage is so poor he can’t make it from one gas station to the next.” Maybe, “He’s going to drive to B.C. – non-stop.” It’s also quite possible he knows that fuel in B.C. is selling at more than $1.65 per liter.”
As he was about to drive off, I didn’t even have time to suggest any of those possibilities. I just asked, “Why all the gas jugs?”
His answer was, “At our cottage we have two Sea-Doos. Our sons are in their early twenties. They spend hours on those machines – and they think money for gas grows on trees.”
(Like 99% of the readers of DWW, my use of the terms ‘STC’ and ‘mogas’ have you stumped. Ask any private pilot, or Google or Quora to get the answer.)