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The DX service station in Miller, SD was more than just a place to get gas and oil. It was a wonderful hangout for teenage boys. It was at a time when, if you pulled your car in for gas, you got service. A man or boy washed your windshield, checked your tires and oil, and even looked at your fan belt in hopes that you would be the Gates Belt Mystery Man who gave an attendant money if he found a worn belt.

The station was located across from the school. The candy counter was a twenty-foot sugar-filled dentist's nightmare, with shelves of gut-clutcher bars, gum and suckers. The Red Hots were a favorite and almost undetectable, unless the teacher looked in your mouth, and then the red tongue was a dead give away. The station was the first stop on the way to school, and Planter's peanuts in a bottle of orange pop may have been breakfast for more then one lad, while a Salted Nut Roll took care of dessert at lunch time.

Several of my friends worked at the station so I may have stopped morning, noon and night. These were the days before tubeless tires, so there was a steady stream of flat tires coming through the door. My friends would spend a lot of time at the water tank blowing up tubes and using soap to detect leaks before putting a vulcanized patch on them.

At night, when business slowed down, we would sit around the candy counter playing cards on the counter top or buying chances on the punchboard, the gambling device of the day. We also read the little dirty comic books depicting Dagwood and Blondie doing things their writer didn't have in mind for them. All in all it was almost as great a place as the pool hall.

The station's single toilet also served as a storeroom for empty cases of pop bottles and oil filters. One regular visitor was an old man who used the toilet every morning. The workers dreaded his stop because he usually smelled the place up so bad. One of the rascals decided to get even and ran bare wires to the toilet seat and plugged it in to a 110 volt receptacle. The old fellow was only in there a short time before the pop cases and bottles were flying all over. When he came out he said,  "You young boys liked to almost killed me, but I probably won't have to go again for a week".

I wish they still had "service" stations.
2001 Maurice D Karst
Friday Nite
St. Lawrence Hall
Max Hargens Band
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This page is dedicated to all the guys who made Frank Merxbauer's Miller DX station their hangout, including "my guy" who's been telling me DX stories for 40+ years! ...{{csr}}
[Photos courtesy of Artie Manning]
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C'mon...share your DX story with Morrie!
DX station - Miller, South Dakota 1953
Artie Manning in his DX uniform
His new 1953 Ford
DX station - Miller, South Dakota 1953
Gus Rosemore, John Steinleitner, Bill Manning, Bob Fischer, & Jack Enger
(Kids: John Ware's grandson, Launie (sp) & DX owner, Frank Merxbauer's son, Frankie)
John S.'s 1951 Ford
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