By David Yamaguchi
The North American Post
THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT landmarks that many readers grew up with continue to disappear. One such place was Seventh Avenue Service, on Seventh Avenue South at South Jackson Street. Of late, largely serving as a parking lot, it was an active service station in its day, where Nisei and Sansei employees sold gas, checked oil and repaired cars. Older-brotherly advice was dispensed for free.
“Your coolant hoses are getting ready to burst! You better change them out,” I remember owner Pat Abe admonishing me one day in the early 1980s. At the time, I was driving the old 1969 family Chevrolet station wagon which Dad had driven my siblings and me to school in.
In addition to pumping gas, the Seventh Avenue men were superb mechanics, yet didn’t charge an arm and a leg. I learned this when Nisei Ted Imanaka re-wired the car for me.
“It’s not wired according to factory specs, but it is safe,” I remember Pat telling me as he handed me back the keys.
The historical service station will be replaced by an apartment building with street-level retail shops, much like Uncle Bob’s Place on the southeast corner of the same block.