Shenandoah County’s only full-service gas station and one of the few remaining in the country celebrates its golden anniversary this year.
The Strasbourg service center celebrated its 50th anniversary on 1 January.
Gary Holsinger and his brother Gene first opened the gas station in 1972, when Gary was 25 and Gene was 35. Gene had to leave the business for personal reasons, leaving Gary as the owner of the business since.
“Me and him were partners for about 25 years, and I’ve been here alone for 25 years,” Gary Holsinger said last week. “It’s hard to believe I’ve been here alone for so long.”
When the Holsinger brothers first decided to buy their own business, they split the cost of the building. Each paid around $3,500 to buy their business.
The service center has a maintenance service area for vehicles and full service and self-service stations for gasoline.
“We do details, change tires, oil changes, but not engines or transmissions,” Holsinger said. “We help no matter who stops often, depending on what we’re doing.”
Holsinger works every day for a total of more than 50 hours per week and sticks to a consistent schedule that he has been working for some time now.
“I have this routine every morning, I get out of bed and I mean…it’s just normal for me,” Holsinger said.
Holsinger says he doesn’t go on vacation, and even his family knows he doesn’t like taking time off. The last time he took time off from work was in 2015 when he went to see his grandson graduate from high school in Texas, which surprised his entire family, even his grandson who was glad to see him there.
“I flew out Friday morning and came back Sunday afternoon. When I arrived, my grandson looked at me and said, ‘I can’t believe this,'” Holsinger said.
With gas prices rising across the country, Holsinger says this is the highest price he has ever seen rise. Even with high gas prices, some drivers are still willing to pay more for full service at Holsinger’s gas station instead of self-serve gas stations, which surprised him.
Holsinger cares about his business and is a man who needs to stay busy. “I thought about quitting, but that’s it. I don’t know what I would do if I had to change that,” said Holsinger, who said he has no plans to retire anytime soon.