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‘Serving the community’

And the vehicles that function in it: The Criswell legacy


Criswell’s full service gasoline station is one of the last Mohicans in that industry.

The late Jimmy Criswell took over in 1994 from Bill and Brent Bacon and kept the station going until he suddenly died in Alaska June 13, 2021.

His two sons Brandon and Aaron and grandson Nick have carried on the Criswell good name and legacy and have continued the job their Dad and Granddad did for nearly 30 years.

That tradition is helping people and the community.

Brandon, who has been at the station off and on for 15 years, said, “We are just trying to fill his shoes, but we could never do it. We’re doing what he would have done and how he would have handled it.”

In addition to pumping thousands of gallons of gasoline every week, the Criswells fix flats, brakes, do some tune-ups and basic car maintenance like oil changes.

The busy Purcell business, located right in the heart of downtown Purcell at 129 S. Green Avenue, opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

They all three work regular week days but they trim back down to only one on Saturdays unless it gets crazy.

“If it gets busy someone will jump in and help out,” Nick said.

The busiest days?

Aaron reported Mondays for sure and some Fridays.

The most gratifying aspect of their jobs was like the three Amigos, “helping the community with their cars.

“Grandpa gave me an opportunity and I’ve got to meet a lot of good people in the last 3 1/2 years I’ve worked here,” Nick said.

Aside from pumping fuel the most common task for the trio is doing tire mounting.

“We mount a lot of new tires,” Brandon said. “And the interaction with customers. We do that every day.”

“We even have people come in just to see us,” Aaron said. “That’s probably the most fun part.”

There is a regular foursome of coffee drinkers that comes in every morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“It wouldn’t be the same without them,” Brandon said.

“They especially come in on game days like Saturdays. That really gets ‘em in here,” Nick said. “And sometimes five or six come in.”

The most challenging part of the job?

“Changing out oversized tires,” Aaron said. “And trying to help 10 people at once trying to get everyone taken care of in an orderly fashion.”

When the Bacon’s had the station it was a Texaco and that name was initially kept by Jimmy Criswell.

“But Texaco wanted him to jump through too many hoops and hurdles,” Brandon said. “We were grand fathered in for a while but Dad finally said ‘nah’ and that was that.

Aaron also paid tribute to another key player in the overall picture.

“We couldn’t do it without mom standing right beside us,” Aaron said of their mother and grandmother, Larrie Criswell.

(Editor’s note: While the interview of the three young men went on they filled two cars with fuel, fixed one oversized tire with a flat, took care of a U-Haul customer and visited with a walk-in who had no automobile business on his plate. He just wanted to chew the fat.)


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