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Letter: What happens to those who can’t pump gas?

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Betty Lou Johnson


I’m seriously trying to understand the logic and thinking of people in society today. Those of us who are handicapped or disabled are often shown thoughtlessness from our fellow man.

It’s common knowledge we are allowed tags for our car mirrors and plates for our cars in order to park in certain spaces. It’s also clear that streets and curbs have been made wheelchair-accessible, which helps greatly. To add to this is the gratitude I know we all feel for buildings and restrooms that aid wheelchairs, etc.

My question then is: What are all of us to do now that those service stations that pumped our gas are closed? I cannot pump mine for the gas fumes make me sick, plus in the snow and ice I cannot maneuver myself. Yet there are many more who cannot exit their vehicles at all because they have wheelchair vans. How does a person in a wheelchair pump gas safely?

Logic? There is none. When gas stations close that helped us out, we are now left to wonder what to do. The owner of the Swifty stations is now deceased, and new owners say they will reopen with larger stations and perhaps even convenience stores.

Has nobody considered what those of us who cannot pump gas are feeling now? How about the fact that because of this lack of consideration to all of us who were loyal patrons, you, like all the service stations in Columbus, will lose business. Think about this instead of completely writing off a section of society that has continued to be grateful for assistance with our gas while we were loyal patrons.

Whether this could happen with your new stations or another station in Columbus, I suggest paying a person to be there to help pump gas for those who cannot. Or that these stations not be allowed to open unless this can be set forth somehow.

I never thought I’d write a letter like this, yet where do we turn, who will help, for we are productive, taxpaying people in the community, too. As a community, it is up to us to work together, help one another and not set up more barriers or roadblocks by any action that would lessen our neighbors’ ability to be the best and do the best they are able to. Creating hardships for any specific group cannot occur whether others feel their actions are out of convenience or to make a profit. Perhaps there are those who wanted to speak out and couldn’t and others who weren’t sure what to say.

In lieu of this, I’ve opted to step forth and be your voice, asking those in charge and all others who care to come together and help find a solution to our problem. My sister and brother have even volunteered to get my gas as I need it, but I shouldn’t have to depend on them when being independent is what I and many like me strive to be.

People of Columbus, we are all in this together, none less or better than their fellow man, and I’m asking, how would any of you feel in our situation (unable to get gas for your vehicles)? I ask for everyone’s help with this problem.

Is there a solution? What surprises and rewards happen in a heart when we each step out in faith to help where help is needed. Will someone help? Thank you.

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