Friday, December 28, 2012

under the red star

on Denison Avenue, east of Pearl, west of Barbara
 a sign before the mid 60s would have been circular and the star more prominent
From December 1940 until the century ended Texaco sponsored Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera (New York) radio broadcasts. That ended shortly after they were acquired by Chevron, they still sponsor Nascar. Opera sponsorship began as a public relations move to clean the image. The chairman of Texaco, Torkild 'Captain' Rieber, was an active Nazi. He and Texaco sold oil to Franco and Hitler, and engaged in espionage. When France surrendered to the Germans, Rieber threw a party. Previously he was celebrated in the press making the cover of Time (4 May 1936). In the summer of 1940, some of his Nazi activities made the press. In late August he was replaced at a shareholder board meeting.

Texaco bought Red Star Oil Company in 1911, hence the logo. After World War II, many people that left communist eastern Europe were startled to see the red star. Eventually, they found out it was just advertising by an oil company (they never knew that no they were not communists but fascists).  At one time Texaco had gas stations in every state of the Union. They have pulled out of many. Here the sign remains.

    ...It's her last chance
    Her timing's all wrong
    Her last chance
    She can't idle this long
    Her last chance
    Turn her over and go
    Pullin' out of the last chance Texaco
    The last chance
     —Rickie Lee Jones

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