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Kirk tells about old gas stations in the Pratt area

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
One of Pratt’s early gas stations, situated diagonally on the northwest corner of West Sixth Street and South Main, was highlighted by Greensburg author-photographer Judi Kirk (right), the featured guest presenter for the September 4 Vernon Filley Art Museum First Friday Lunch and Learn program in Pratt. The building is now part of Doug Reh Chevrolet enterprises.

Greensburg author-photographer Judi Kirk was the guest presenter for Pratt’s Vernon Filley Art Museum First Friday Lunch and Learn September 4, taking those attending in person and those viewing through Zoom on a virtual tour of iconic gas stations in Kansas and neighboring states of  Oklahoma and Colorado. She used illustrations from her two self- published books, “Remnants” and “Glimpses” to provide visual exposure for viewers.

“The story and photography were the easy part,” Kirk said. “Figuring out how to get the editing and printing done was the challenge.”

Both books were published by Mennonite Press, “Remnants” in 2015 and “Glimpses” in 2018.

The dozens of gas stations featured in the books date from 1904 through 1930, chosen by Kirk for their architecture and also for eye-appeal.

Kirk said when she first started out touring and photographing gas stations of by-gone eras, she didn’t have any plans for sharing them with anyone but friends.

“It was just so much fun seeking out interesting old stations and then, suddenly, I had all these pictures that I wanted to share,” said Kirk, who holds a degree in interior design from Kansas State University, Manhattan.

Kirk discovered one of her favorite historic gas stations in Glen Elder in northwest Kansas, fashioned from after an historic castle European Castle in Luxemburg.

“It was built with limestone from sketches drawn in 1919,” Kirk said.

Pratt was featured in Kirk’s presentation by a photo of what was a former gas station situated diagonally on the northwest corner of West Sixth Street and South Main, which is now part of Doug Reh Chevrolet enterprises.

Also featured was what Kirk found out after-the-fact is her picture of the first ever Phillips 66 gas station, located in Wichita’s Old Town.

The video of the program is available for viewing on the Vernon Filley Art Museum Facebook site.

Filley Art Museum Co-Director Brittany Novatny said both of Kirk’s books are available for purchase at the museum’s gift shop.

Landscape painter Sue Goodwin will be featured presenter for the October 2 First Friday Lunch and Learn program and Lisa Perez-Miller will be featured for the November First Friday program.