Perly Burrill Gas Station, Lynnfield, Mass.

I let the gas in my car tank run down to almost nothing on purpose recently after a day trip to Salem, Mass.? Why would I do something so asinine, you ask?

Well, I wanted to spend some time filling the tank at Perly Burrill iin Lynnfield. As a kid, my dad would fuel up there on the way back from visiting my grandparents in Lynn -- or after eating at the Prince Pizzeria in Saugus. You know, the place with the Leaning Tower of Pizza structure outside.

Perly Burrill was unlike any other gas station on the planet. With the lowest prices, neon multi-colored lights and pennants, bright pigments saturating the little building,  whirligigs, and various other doodads almost creating a cartoon-like presence, Perly Burrill lit up otherwise peaceful Salem St. at night in such a welcoming but tacky way.

Approaching Perly Burrill in 2013, my jaw dropped open and my soul sank into oblivion when I saw this...

Why do all the fun things as a kid have to be taken away? I exited Perly Burrill with my heart broken and proceeded to a cookie cutter, "Anytown" USA gas station, and never looked back.

For the record, Perly Burrill is a fuel oil supplier, and we are glad they service North Shore residents. That doesn't take away the sadness, however, of not seeing my favorite gas station in the world with its Las Vegas-like lights that made filling up on gas a fun experience.

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