In early October, news began to spread that Patagonia was down one basic amenity, as Charlie Montoy’s gas station emptied its tanks of unleaded and diesel. The tanks at PIGS, the Politically Incorrect Gas Station, at 300 Naugle Avenue, will not be filled again, at least not by Charlie. In short, the station is being offered for sale, with or without equipment.
According to Montoy, the station passed part of a recent State inspection of the underground tanks, which are approximately 30 years old. Montoy was then asked to conduct further tests. In the process, a brass fitting broke. One thing led to another. The result was unexpected repairs and tank replacement that would cost much more than he was ready to take on.
“Bruce and Bonnie Pine, who owned the station before me, replaced the tanks with new double-wall fiberglass tanks,” Montoy said. “I’ve kept up with inspections since I bought the station in 2000. But state law requires replacement every 30 years, which comes up in March of 2023.”
Now the options are to remove the tanks or fill them with slurry. Montoy plans to pull out the tanks and pumps in January. He plans to remove the propane tanks by the end of the year. “It’ll need work, but the property can then be turned into anything anyone would like.”
Montoy was born and raised in Patagonia, as was his mother and other relatives before him. He worked at the station as a teenager, then set off to university and a career. Years later, he came home for a change and picked up work at the station. “Bruce Pine offered to sell, so I bought it,” he said.
Over the years, many locals have hung out at the station, keeping Montoy company and trading in conversation that was decidedly not politically correct, hence the name.
“Everybody and anybody was welcome to the BS sessions,” Montoy said. “Some have moved on and some are still around. Folks like Bill and Suzy Bergier, Bob Murrietta, Lee Gordon, Dick Bauerbach and so many more. Somebody once suggested I should rent out the seats, that I could make some money.”
Patagonian Rhonda Brew spent her fair share of time warming a seat at PIGS. She said she’ll really miss the place.
“All the world’s problems were solved by 7a.m. It was pretty sweet,” she said. “Charlie is a really supportive guy. A few years ago, he collected money to reroof my trailer and a crew came over to do the job. My son worked for him during high school and, after he went off to college, Charlie would send him things to help out – new jeans, a pair of shoes.”
How does Montoy feel about closing the station? He says he’s okay with the change. “I figure God is watching out for me and wants me to do something different now.”
He welcomes inquiries from anyone who might be interested in purchasing the property. He can be reached at (520) 604-1659.