Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida on September 15, 1973 · Page 3
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Panama City News-Herald from Panama City, Florida · Page 3

Panama City, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 15, 1973
Page 3
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NKW.S-HERALI), Panama City, Fla., Saturday, Septombcr 15,1973 I'aRo 3 Gasoline Dealers Hit By LOUIS C'/\SSKI.S UPl Senior vmnr AIKEN, S.C. (UPI) -"It's not fair," said Frmk Jolinson. "They've got us iitlio ^uys cauglit in a squeeze." When Frank Johnson calls himself a "little guy," he is speaking in economic, not physical terms. He's a tall, sun- bronzed, hard-muscled, 37-yearold Texan who operates an Exxon service station at the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Interstate Highway 20 near Aiken. Johnson is one of several thousand Exxon dealers across America who were hit from two sides at once last week. On Sept. 6, the Exxon Co. increased gasoline wliolesale prices it charges to retailers like Johnson, by 1 cent per gallon. The next day, the government's Cost of Living Council brought all U.S. gasoline retailers under a ceiling price rule, which permits them a mark-up of 7 cents a gallon above the wholesale price in effect last Aug. 1. Under the rule, no wholesale price increase since Aug. 1 can be passed along to consumers. Thus, Frank Johnson and thousands of other Exxon dealers have no choice but to absorb the wholesale price increase entirely out of their already slender profit margin. "Profit is the wrong word," Johnson said. "We now get a markup of 6 cents a gallon. I have to pay Exxon 1.6 cents of that as rent on this station, which they own but lease to me. That leaves 4.4 cents a gallon to cover all my overhead, utilities, insurance, salaries of employes, all that. I do well to break even, and I may even be losing money on every gallon of gasoline I pump." Another way of putting it, meaningful to a man like Johnson who has a wife and four children, is that the wholesale price increase, which the government forbids him to pass along, is "taking $560 a month out of my family's pocket." His sales average 56,000 gallons a month. Johnson says most of the public seems indifferent to the gasoline retailers' plight because "they believe stations such as mine are operated by the major oil companies whose products they sell." In actual fact, only a small percentage of U.S. "major brand" stations are company- owned and operated. The vast majority are leased to independent small businessmen like Frank Johnson, who buy gasoline C.O.D. from a oil company and resell it to motorists, hopefully at a profit. "I don't blame Exxon for wanting a wholesale price," Johnson said. "They need it, to cover the sharp in crude {wtroleum prices. What makes me mad is that the government allows a big, rich oil company to raise its wholesale price, but forbids a small retailer to pass along the higher cost of the product. I think they're using us retailers as pawns in a power struggle between a big corporation and federal bureaucrats. But we're not pawns. We're people, and we're in a bad bind." Although he voted for President Nixon, Johnson is disillusioned with the Republican administration's economic policies. "This whole Phase 4 is a big hoax," he said. "They've bungled the whole thing." He predicts other major oil companies will soon follow Church Honors SoftballTeam First United Methodist Church of Lynn Haven will recognize the church softball team at 11:00 worship. The team members and their wives will be honored for the fine fellowship and spirit that they displayed during the 1973 season, winning the "B' Division in the Panama City Recreation League. Everyone is invited to attend the services with Sunday School beginning at 9:45, the morning worship services at 11:00, and the evening worship service at 7:00 Sunday morning message is entitled "The 100 per cent Christian". The evening worship service message will be "The 100 per cent Sinner." The evening worship service will be climaxed with an altar prayer time. The church is located on Pennsylvania Avenue and Ninth Street. The Reverend Jim Carpenter is pastor and will bring Sunday's messages. Haddock Clan Sets Reunion The Haddock Reunion will be held Sunday at the Jack Haddock home on the Vernon and Wausau Highway. Dinner will be spread at noon on the grounds, a family spokesman announced. Singing before dinner will be provided by the Spirit Field Singers. All members of the family and their friends are invited to attend. bold print of flora/and geonietrijb design, Wherever yoUr whims take vpu./enjoy the lush si/oothness of 100%/Polyester double lit that will keep/yofu in immaculate :omfort. Youthfuj/ccjllar and gracious /tapered sleeves afre qistinctive styling touches. Black/Came//White •W&ck/Hed/White SDaJtin'&Sti^feSkap 224IUrriMBAve. Fhom 785-5421 nth SI. Shopping Cantai Phon* 785-1661 Hourr.9 A.M.-S:30P.M. Exxon's lead in raising whole- . .sale prices. "Then dealers in all brands will l)e caught in the same squeeze," he said. "I suspect you'll see a lot of dealers across the country saying to hell with it. We might as well shut down and go fishing. There's no sense working 10 hours a day, six days a week, to lose money." Nobody Loves Sad Lovebug With the possible exception of ecologists and Women's Libbers, nobody has a kind word for Florida's lovebugs. The story of the unloveable lovebugs is reported in the September issue of Audubon, magazine of the environmentally oriented National Audubon Society, which takes a faintly superior air pointing out the whole thing wouldn't have happend if it wasn't for what the human race has done to the natural environment. The problem with lovebugs is that they mak love in mid-air, coupled back to back, in great swarms that move across Florida like small "black blizzards" during theii mating seasons in May and September, The littk back and gold insets smear windshields and clog radiators, get stuck in fresh paint and half-eaten hotdogs.and generally prove themselves anAnumber one nuisance. They don't sting or bite, or eat valuable crops. In fact, they don't do much of anything except fly around making love. The female of the species is larger than the male and leads the way on the aimless honeymoon flights. The unliberated male is just towed along like a caboose. Audubon's reporter, Dick Kirkpatrick, started looking into the matter after he ran into one of the black blizzards on an automobile trip to Florida last May. There was a spattering sound, little black and gold spots became so thick on his windshield that his view was obstructed and he hit the washer-wiper button. Instantly, he reports, the dots merged into an opaque, oily smear. He pulled off the road, cleaned up the mess and started out again, only to hit another blizzard ten minutes later. Blind Man Detects Fire FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (UPI)—Joe Caroluzzi insisted to arriving firemen that he smelled smoke. The firemen couldn't see any fire or smoke and they couldn't smell it. But Joe insisted. He had called them after he arrived home from his job at a photo shop and started to feed his dog. Caroluzzi searched his own house without finding any fire. It was 5 a.m. and dark but he insisted that the skeptical firemen look around the neighborhood. "We could have been shot poking around," said one of the fireinen. Two houses down the street, firemen flashed a light into a bedroom where Mrs. Linda Falls, 30, was asleep. "What do you want," the startled Mrs. Falls demanded. After a fireman explained, she turned on the bedroom light and shouted: "There sure is a fire and here it is." She had fallen asleep with a lighted cigarette which had set fire to the malre-ss on which she lay. "She most surely would have been killed or .very badly burned If CHroluz/.l hadn't had such a good sense of smell," a fireman commented. Caroluzzi lias been blind for the past 20 years.. MON. - SAT. 10 A.M. - 10 P.M. SUN. 1 P.M. - 6 P.M. SAVE TODAY! 38 88 BOYS' OR GIRLS' 20" HI-RISE BIKES 'Crackerjack' or 'Jr. Miss' hi-rise bikes with banana saddle; 'Malibu' handlebars and coaster brake. Shop for value today! SAVE NOW! 41" GIRLS' 'LIBERTY BELLE' 20'' HI-RISE BIKE Bright, true red, white and blue! Removable basket with handles, banana saddle and coaster brake. SAVE 6.00 51 88 BOYS' 'FIRECRACKER' 20" 3SPEE0 HI-RISE BIKE A bang-up value in red, white and blue. Billboard tires; 3- speed stick shift; front and rear caliper hand brakes; jauntily striped banana saddle. SAVE AT LEAST 8.00 SAVE 6.00 51 88 MEN'S OR WOMEN'S 10SPEED 26" LIGHTWEIGHT BIKES Racing style for men; touring style for ladies 10-speed derailleur; rat trap pedals with re flectors; front, rear caliper hand brakes. 3-speed 26" Racing Bike women's racer with MAES. Type racing handle bars. Front and rear calipher hand bral<es; racing saddle 51 88 Men's or women's styles 3-SPEED 26" TOURING BIKES MADEINTHEU.S.A. See the U.S.A. with a lightweight touring bike made in the U.S.A.-and made with native know-how! 3 -speed twist shift; front and rear caliper hand brakes-plus easy- riding touring handlebars and extra comfortable touring saddle. the more for your moneysworth store PANAMA PLAZA W. 15TH ST. PANAMA CITY, FLA.

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