About 15 years ago I was a meter reader for Allegheny Power. The best part of the job was going to everyone’s houses and seeing cool stuff.
One day I pulled up at Mike and Norma’s house in Spring Gap, MD. I noticed an old Mobil Oil lollipop sign in the driveway. I talked to Mike and wondered if he would sell it? Of course it wasn’t for sale.
Mike asked me if I wanted to see something better than that? So we went up into his horse pasture and laying in the field was the most iconic gas station sign ever made, the mythical Pegasus horse! It was just laying there!
He informed me back in the mid 70s a guy had hired him to clean out an old gas station in Cumberland MD. He was allowed to take whatever he wanted so he found the Pegasus in a closet in the back of the station along with the lollipop sign and 2 pump signs.
From time to time I would stop and ask about the Pegasus but I was always told “not today, but stop again.” I felt like Mike who was in his late 70s didn’t care but I knew Norma loved that sign and if I was ever going to get it, she would be the one with the final say.
The Pegasus finally was moved out of the weather by Norma at some point. The American Pickers were in our area and you may remember the episode where Frank bought that old Dodge that he never could get rid of. While they were in town that got a little to close for comfort for Norma and she was convinced they would be knocking at their door. She dragged that Pegasus out of the field and put it in a camper all by herself and that’s why the Pegasus is missing paint on his nose.
I still kept stopping about once a year and kept getting shot down, but “stop back” I was always told.
On October 2nd 2023 I decided to stop again. Mike stared laughing as soon as I asked Norma for the thousandth time if it was for sale? I asked if I could at least make an offer? She stared at me and said she needed to think about it.
I asked if I could see it again? Mike and I walked up to the camper and took the Pegasus out and put it on the ground. I told Mike I wanted to make Norma an offer and he said good luck!
Back down to the house I went and I told Norma that I know the sign is very valuable and I’m not here to try and get it for a couple hundred bucks. I threw out a good number and she initially said that it sounded good to her.
We walked outside and I threw out a larger number to include the lollipop sign and then Noma said no, it’s not enough. I increased my offer 1k but no, then another 1k but still no.
By this time her grandson gets involved and I can feel the deal slipping away. Then Norma throws out a price and I tell her I’m not sure they are worth that? She said bring me the money and they are yours.
That evening my wife and I go back to the farm and I took a bunch of cash. I pulled out the envelope and informed Notma how much cash I had and she instantly informed me I was short.
iI quickly came to terms that it wasn’t going to happen. We hung around for a while and she showed me the 2 pump signs that they also had.
Norma told me she is just tired of seeing their things slowly being solid or given away. I realized what Norma was really upset about was being towards the end of her life. She then agreed to come down and split the difference from our two price points. She also threw in the 2 pump signs as long as I would get her a picture of the Pegasus mounted on the wall.
Baxk to the bank I went to get more money and an hour later I was headed home with a truck load of signs.
I spent about 10 hours cleaning, buffing and polishing getting rust stains and getting the Pegasus as shiny as possible.
I had to cut 1 mount off and weld a bad spot where rust had rotted it out. I used Mobil oil to cover the back side of the sign to seal off rust and prevent future corrosion.
Today my neighbor helped me get the Pegasus up on the wall. This afternoon I went to Walmart and printed out a picture, framed it and took it to Mike and Norma. I stayed and talked for about an hour and met a few of their kids and everyone seemed happy about the sign finding a good home.
I also put a note in a baggie on the back of the sign explaining the history of the sign for the next owner down the road.