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Monday, May 25, 2009

Dick Storey's Whizzer

Dick and Gladys Storey had a real estate business, started in the early 1950's, on Route 9, just west of the Bass River Bridge in New Gretna. I'm sure that some of you Blog readers remember them. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the Storeys. If anyone out there in the Blog-O-Sphere has any, I sure would appreciate hearing from you, as I would like to add them to our Family Photos Archives.

Dick and Gladys Storey out front of their Real Estate office in the mid 1950's. (Photo courtesy of William Maxwell.)

The Storeys inherited the property from Gladys' parents, Albert and Addie Hilaman, who ran a gas station at that location in the 1930's and into the late 1940's. It had a small one room store and ice cream parlor, sort of a fore runner of the modern convenience store, a WaWa from a different era.

Addie Hilaman and her grandson, Billie Maxwell, out front of the Hilaman Sunoco Station. The car in the photo belonged to a Sunoco salesman who took the photo. (Photo courtesy of William Maxwell.)

The 1930 Bass River Township Census lists Albert and Addie Hilaman living there. Albert's occupation is listed as "machinist - Owns shop". Albert Hilaman was an expert mechanic with a particularly good reputation for working on marine engines. When he passed away, in 1948, there was no mechanic for the shop and the many small family gas stations in New Gretna made it difficult to make a living just selling gas. The gas station was eventually closed sometime in the early 1950's and replaced by the Storey's Real Estate business.

Some of Albert's interest in mechanics must have rubbed off on his son-in-law, Dick Storey, as evidence by the following 1947 advertisement placed in the Tuckerton Beacon. Seems that the family was not only ahead of the convenience store curve but, also, of the gas efficiency curve. Dick Storey was a pioneer in the go green transportation movement with his Whizzer dealership.

October 23, 1947 Tuckerton Beacon Advertisement.

I don't believe that the Whizzer ever took off, as I couldn't find anyone that could remember seeing or hearing about one in the New Gretna area. Maybe it was having the wrong slogan. Somehow, "Take a whiz with your Whizzer" just didn't seem to catch on. Pity! I sure could use that gas mileage today.

The Storey Real Estate business building is now a private home. (June 11, 2005 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

Pete S

PS- When Jackie and I moved to New Gretna in the early 1970's, the old Storey Real Estate building was the New Gretna Paint Shop operated by William and June Pieper. Mr. Pieper did much of the wall paper in our home, and I bought my vegetable plants from him, each Spring, when I planted my garden.