Friday, June 21, 2019

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

I've only read one book of Fannie Flagg's before. And I liked this story. Very interesting to find a history that was buried. I like how Fannie has written a story around the history.

Sookie who has a mother that was head strong in her own life but a lot of worriment on her daughter from making it harder on her not to go in assisted living, to be taken care all the time to the dramatics of "Until they carry me out feet first". Sookie took care of everyone including pets. Her percular habits of getting the little birds to eat without Blue Jays interfering to finding out news about her own life. Was a very busy life indeed. One could only imagine how someone would think they are not good enough..
But at the end we ( I know I felt the same with my own mother) the impossible woman, Sookie's mother Lenore had driven her crazy and caused much heartbreak and yet despite it all Sookie missed her everyday for the rest of her life. And after her findings of her birth mother/family she did understand that Lenore gave her a good life even with all her craziness. Sookie was blessed with her own family, husband and children.

I thought it clever to intertwine history with the other side of Sookie's life, her biological life. In 1920 15,000 gas stations in the entire country. In 1933 the number had jumped to 170,000. Seeing that the automobile was the future.

At one part I found it more interesting with Sookie's biological family than her own with her adopted mother Lenore.
How a family from Poland opened a 24 hour gas station. It was so clean that you could eat off floor. Clean bathroom to bring people in. Eventually they were called The Gas Station Family. And to put more pride on them they passed inspection. And had Certified Bathrooms.
The whole family of The Jurdabralinski"s worked this gas station. In those days it's the only way to be successful. Was not a glamorous job.
The filling station became the center of the war-driven effort in Pulaski, Wisconsin. During the war The sisters going the war effort by flying planes and towing these planes to the GI's. Which became WASP- Women Air Force Service Pilots!
But it was disbanded because these jobs needed to go to the GI's. Our government denied that women did help and could be more than just USO show helpers. Even their records were classified.

As Sookie learned about her birth family she came to feel better about herself and proud. Sookie's birth mother and two aunts had helped open doors for the women who came after them.

I give The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion 4 
because I felt that calling it the last reunion was not correct. The Last Reunion wasn't really at the gas station. It was when all who was left of the WASP's came together at the ceremony was the last reunion. Although the Last Reunion at the gas station again with Sookie, to show her where the family worked. For that it was confusing. 
Looking forward to another Fannie Flagg book