Bill's Southland Station Closes Doors - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lake City, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

Bill's Southland Station Closes Doors

April 18, 2005--Posted at 1:00 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY--One of the last full-service gas stations left in region 8 is forced out by a highway expansion project.

Lake City residents are still in shock after Bill's Southland Station decides to close it's doors in Lake City.

Owner Bill Anderson says, "I could write a book on a business like this it's hard to distinguish just one special occasion."

Anderson has been in business for twenty years, and although he has thought about retirement, he never thought it would come so unexpectedly.

He says he is reluctant to close his doors because of his loyal customers, and his daughter Debbie says it's no wonder they're all so disappointed to see him go.

"They know that he's an honest man and it's just the service that he gives," Debbie says.

It's a work ethic he has passed on to his grandson who says he shares his grandfather's passion for cars and people.

"He'll just do about anything for anybody that they want him to do for them," his grandson says.

Customer Marvin Tate says, "We solved a lot of problems around here in the winter time. In the summer time we do it out on the front bench."

Tate travels from Brookland nearly everyday to see Bill and his staff, and he says he plans to keep a souvenir ... One that will fit nicely on his front porch.

"I wanna take the boss's chair home with me. I want to see what it's like to sit in the boss's chair," Tate says.

It's a day that Bill never thought would come ... A bittersweet ending to years of service and friendship.

"When they started moving the tanks, he said, has it hit you yet that it's coming close to the end? I said it probably won't until I lock the doors for the last time," Anderson says.

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