SEATTLE — Forget the Seattle freeze! A gas station in Wallingford is winning people over with its witty sense of humor.
With all the headlines about violence and hate that we’ve seen these last few weeks, it can be easy to overlook the acts of kindness that still happen every day, all over the world.
For the owners of the Chevron Station at the corner of North 45th and Woodlawn Place North, an old-fashioned reader board in front of the store is the way they try to spread some much-needed laughter.
“It’s almost like a deal we have with the community,” said store owner Jim Bernard. “That they can rely on us when they’re driving down 45th to see something breezy, something fun, something witty. And that seems to be more and more important as most of the things we encounter in this world are pretty heavy. We try to keep it light.”
That means swapping out the message on the store’s sign every single week, with catchy one-liners such “Ban Pre-Shredded Cheese, Make America Grate Again” or “My Reality Check Bounced”.
“People always look forward to it,” said store manager Cassandra Gaspard, who is the brains behind many of the witty sayings.
“I don’t know if it’s my personality, or maybe my mom, she contributes suggestions a lot,” said Cassandra. “If I’m on vacation or something, I’ll come back and people will be like when are you going to change the sign?”
The Wallingford Sign, as it’s come to be known, started about ten years ago, when Bernard converted what was once an auto repair shop into an ExtraMile convenience store. Up to that point, the sign had been used to advertise service promotions at the repair shop.
Now, Bernard says Chevron takes care of the promotion and ads, and Cassandra takes care of promoting laughter.
“I think that when you do even a small thing to make it personal, people love it,” said Bernard. “They want that, they want to know that there’s people behind a big corporation.”
So does Cassandra have a favorite saying she likes to put on the sign? Not exactly.
“It’s hard to even pick and choose what are my favorites, because whenever I’m putting the sign up, that’s my favorite at the moment,” she said.
Customers can’t seem to get enough of it.
“I love the sign, that’s why I always come to this store,” one customer told KING 5. “It’s my favorite.”
Though it’s based here in Seattle, photos of the creative and sometimes quirky messages have been photographed, shared on social media, and seen all over the world.
“This is our way of bringing smiles to the world,” said Cassandra. “It’s a good way to approach life.”
If you can’t check it out in person, not to worry you can also follow @WallingfordSign on Twitter!