End of a Roadside Oasis
Servicetown was one of the few remaining truck stops in Virginia. With safe havens dwindling in number for truckers, it was an oasis along the monotonous road.
After 40 years of business, Servicetown shuts its doors for the first and last time, the land being sold to build a large chain store.
A trucker walks into Servicetown at dusk the last day the 40 year truck stop was open. The stop is a favorite for locals and drivers, including a chrome shop, restaurant, fuel and trucker store.
Carol Walker, left, Sylva McCracken and Perry Grayson, right, sit at the tables in the back of the restaurant to smoke, drink coffee and eat breakfast. "After all the traffic, this is like an oasis, a chance to get out," said Grayson, a truck driver for 35 years from Florida.
Willie Johnson plays a computer game. The truck stop has arcade and computer games, food and showers for truckers and customers.
Jackie Godley has been working as a waitress at Servicetown for 34 years, since she was a teenager. "My whole life's been right here," said Godley about the restaurant and station closing. "Now I gotta try something new."
Custodian Michael Taylor attempts to cheer up waitresses Beverly Lee (left) and Theresa Pecor as they remember Servicetown. Many friends and memories were made over the years for employees and customers.
Moyne Marcoe, working the fuel desk at Servicetown off and on since 1978, talks with customer Merritt McCasland as he buys fuel. "I've known some of them since they were little boys coming in with their fathers," said Marcoe of her customers. "Now they're bringing in some of their own little boys."
Gus Sullivan worked jobs ranging from the fuel desk to dishwasher from the time Servicetown opened until 1998, now coming almost every day as a customer. "I have never been in the service, but sitting here I've been in every war" said Sullivan of eating with truckers. "Being in a trucker stop, you don't have to say anything. You just sit here and listen and you'll hear every story in the world."
Lank Jarnigan, a driver from Tennessee, folds up padding and prepares his truck to leave. Instead of parking their trucks for the night to spend their required 10 hours off of the road, truckers had to make it to a safe haven.
The truckers for their rest live on the road out of the backs of their cabs, decorated with items to remind them of home.
Beverly Lee gives a kiss to the baby of one of her co-workers. The employees of Servicetown, whether working there for months or years, became a small family.
Waitress Theresa Pecor, left, her son-in-law Russell Hamlet, part-time waitress Esther McDermott, and local visitor Lorene Newberry wait and share stories as waitress Beverly Lee hugs former manager Bobbi Warring. Current and past employees and local residents came to Servicetown in the final hours for a cup of coffee and to say their goodbyes.
Eric Rohm puts his arm around retired driver Jason Sullivan, right, in a final goodbye. Sullivan comes for coffee and conversation once or twice every day. He was there the first day Servicetown opened and the day Servicetown closed.