Night moves @ the South Holland Truckomat | WBEZ
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Night moves @ the South Holland Truckomat

(photo by Lee Bey) 

The Truckomat along the Bishop Ford expressway in suburban South Holland is a solid, functional building--during the day. At night, however, the place has far greater allure. Under a zip of cool blue neon, trucks from any point in the US are getting fueled, or washed. A bright spot on the long, lonely highway; a modern oasis for nomads-for-hire.

(photo by Lee Bey)

Built in 1977, the Truckomat was part of a national chain built by the old Standard Oil Company (which late became Amoco, BP Amoco and now BP), beginning in the 1960s. I like the "omat" suffix--a flashback to the last century when it was used to convey an automated, machine-driven efficiency, such as the automat and the laundromat. Standard Oil sold the Truckomat chain in the 1980s. The current ownership has 13 locations in seven states.

(photo by Lee Bey)

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