The Mideast War

The Mideast war in 1973 was a major inconvenience for me personally and the American suburbs in general. The countries that produced oil had the audacity to stop selling it, stalling our gas guzzling automobiles in the driveway. Gasoline became scarce and was rationed. Worst of all, it happened in the winter. Drivers were allowed to buy gas on odd/even days based on license plate numbers. The amounts allocated were minuscule, usually only a couple of bucks per car. Gas stations would open with a line of cars waiting for their pesky allotment of petrol, and the station would then close when it ran dry.

I was expected to take the car and wait in line every morning that we qualified for our ration of gasoline. The gas stations opened at 6 a.m. Mother would roust me before dawn and lead me out the door, handing me a tin plate with a hot breakfast to eat. It was dark, cold and sometimes snowing as I sat in the gas line with only a tin of scrambled eggs and hash warming my lap. On occasion, I would smoke a joint just to pass the time, which was not the most effective way to wake up and prepare for high school. Of course, there was only AM radio and the news that was unfailingly bad. The gas station finally opened at six and the long line of cars would creep forward, each pausing briefly for its two dollar ration.


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