Leslie M. Rupracht: “Hess Trucks and the End of the Double Standard”



Hess Trucks and the End of the Double Standard

Dad’s inner child 
drove him to the Hess Gas Station 
weeks before Christmas. It was his yearly 
excursion to buy his son a toy truck—

the kelly-green-and-white kind that takes two C’s, 
double-A’s or 9-volt to set head- and taillights flashing, 
sirens wailing, and guarantee a young boy’s delight 
with Santa’s perfect selection. 

The son collected an array of models 
with varying numbers of axles for a few years 
before his older sister received her first.
“I thought it only fair,” 

explained Dad to his daughter 
on that milestone Christmas—she, 
old enough to know about Women’s Lib, 
Equal Rights, and seventy cents on the dollar, 

and he, thinking she’d want a Hess model truck 
over Breyer model horses or a bright orange 
Easy Bake Oven. Three decades later, 
in a long distance call, 

Dad tells her he just visited Hess, bought 
the special 40th anniversary edition truck 
for her brother—sibling equity 
now a notion forgotten. 

Only weeks before, 
he proudly announced buying collectible 
model cars for his four grandkids—
all sons of his son.


About the Author: Leslie M. Rupracht is an editor, poet, writer, and visual artist living in the Charlotte/Lake Norman region of North Carolina since 1997. Her words and artwork appear in various journals (most recently Gargoyle), anthologies, group exhibits, and a chapbook, Splintered Memories (Main Street Rag, 2012). Longtime senior associate editor of now-retired Iodine Poetry Journal, Rupracht also edited NC Poetry Society’s 2017 and 2018 Pinesong anthology. Swearing off a corporate work relapse, Rupracht co-founded and hosts Waterbean Poetry Night at the Mic in Huntersville, NC.


Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Old gas station and pumps outside tiny Kent in Central Oregon” (2018) The Library of Congress

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