Lewis William Kiker 3

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Lewis William Kiker 3 - a a said I was running around too much. He...
a a said I was running around too much. He wanted me fired. "The firemen met with the city council. Almost all of them said they would quit if I were fired. The council wanted me to stay on and let ttie others quit I wouldn't do that and all of us except two or three quit. "The next day the council began began hiring replacements ant putting on volunteers, so there was no crisis," Kiker said. Tha was the end of Kiker's fire fighting pursuits and the beginning beginning of his service station automobile agency, repair shop and auto pants business ca reers. When Kiker started out he fixed flats—35 cents for cars, 50 cents for trucks—operated his car wash and dispensed gaso line at 15 cents per gallon and oil at 10 cents per quart. . .He recalled that a car tire then was hairder to change ant patch the tube with Monkey Grip than is the ordinary trucl tire today. One day in the summer o 1926 a Packard touring ca; driven by a distinguished look ing man wearing goggles, linen duster and gauntlet gloves rolled onto Kiker's driveway The car 'had a canvas boot ex tending from the top of the back seat to the top of the fron seat. The driver told Kiker -to serv ice his car while he went down town a few minutes. Kiker faac to fill his 5-gallon pump tank twice to service the Packard tank. When the driver returned hi paid his bill, thanked Kike: courteously and drove away. "'. did not know it then, but it wa: not long until I found out that '. had serviced Cornelius Vander bill's car," Kiker said. Kiker's Erst filling station di< not have a power lift. To lubri cate an automobile, he drove the front wheels up on the street curb, crawled underneath and lay on his back on the pavement apply the lubricant. Rent on the building was J3J per month. There were no res rooms. Most cusomers were never vary far away from home, Kiker recalls. Kiker had not been in busi ness many months when the late Capt. Winfield Holbrook told him if he would handle Quaker State motor oil he would give him his business Kiker wrote the company and ordered 5 gallons of oil. The firm wrote back thai they did not sell oil in 5-gallon quantities. They would sell him a 40-galIon drum of oil and i, he would take five 40-galIon barrels they would give ham the regional distributorship. Threw Letter Away "I didn't think I would ever sell that much oil and I threw the letter in the wastebasket. In a few weeks the man who go the distributorship came by anc sold me 5 gallons of oil. In a few months I was selling a barrel of Quaker State every few weeks. In about four years the distributorship sold for 150,000. That would have beat selling oil out of a measuring can." Kaker saM ruefully. After a few years Kiker leased a 25 x 100 foot building designed to bis specifications tor a service station and parts business at $250 per month. 'I had a few months left on my lease when the banks went under and business hit rock bottom," bottom," Kiker said in recalling the Depression. In 1937 Kiker became the Packard dealer for this a>rea. In 1938 he purchased las present building at 5th and Austin streets. There he established one, of the most thriving service station station •businesses in this area while leasing parts of the build- tog to firms dn motoring-related businesses. He sold Packaidis until the company quit making them in 1956. Kiker still has a stock of Packard parts which he sells tc customers over the United States. Keeps Packard Parts He plans to keep his Packard parts and "coast along with them." The parts, sought by antique oar buffs, become more valuable with time, Kiker noted. noted. Hard work apparently has agreed with Kiker. His appearance appearance and general physical fitness fitness would be a credit to man several years younger. His sense of humor and spirit ol goodwill make todm pleasant to deal with. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kiker have been active in their church in Plainview. He has sung in the choir for years ark served on several church com mittees. Mrs. Kiker has been active in women's groups and has served in other capacities. "The Lord has been mighty good to me and Mary," Kiker said in recent reminescenses •'And of course we could not I \ FOR YOUR BERL HOWINGTON'S NEAREST TO LARGE EAST l»fh St. 10 njn. • • BEST THE JIMMY Featuring Km

Clipped from Lubbock Avalanche-Journal16 Oct 1972, MonPage 4

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)16 Oct 1972, MonPage 4
dkliddell Member Photo
  • Lewis William Kiker 3

    dkliddell – 30 Nov 2012

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