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Shamrock Cleaners

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On the first day of our journey, we made our way to Shamrock, Texas. Here, we found the site of Ruscha’s Mobile gas station. This gas station, however, is no longer a gas station, but now the Cut and Clean, professional hairstyling salon and dry cleaning laundry. The dry cleaner’s is what first caught my attention. There was a women inside this garage like space filled with hanging clothes and big steamers. I stepped inside and immediately felt the heat these steamers pumped into the small area. This wasn’t like a dry cleaner’s I was used to seeing, with the front counter being all of the operation you got to see, this was a full on cleaning operation. Down to those manual steamers she would press clothes in. The woman, Camilla, made the simple remark, “well, at least I don’t have to worry about gaining weight in the summer time.” There was no complaining about any part of her job. She seemed to enjoy where she was and what she was doing. She was very friendly and forthcoming in giving us information. Even showing us little things around the building she had just noticed that linked it to the buildings of old it used to be. I found her part of the building to be very interesting and full of little treasures at every turn. She was excited to tell us that, Monita, the woman who owned the hair salon in front, was actually the daughter of the man who owned the Mobile gas station. She had turned her father’s old gas station into a hair salon and we should go see what a good job she did with it. The open warmth and hospitality these two women showed was a welcome beginning to our journey and gave me the feeling of Route 66. A road that has developed its own unique culture that fosters the meeting of new people.

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