Abandoned Gas - EZ Stop - Coon Rapids, MN

In honor of this coming weekend's 3 day Denver to Minneapolis to Denver hell drive, I present a story about a past gas station in my hometown.

Because nothing is easy about 30+ hours of driving in 3 days, here is:
The notorious EZ Stop! 

This is my last photo of EZ Stop as an open and functioning gas station. It was taken on September 21, 2011, while I was in town to research a future issue of Wasted Quarter dedicated to my hometown.

That idea has been completely scrapped, and this was the last time I would see EZ Stop open for business.

In addition to being a simple gas station, EZ Stop seemed to be awfully proud of their "Banking", giving it prominent billing on their storefront marquee. I don't know if I'd be so anxious to do my everyday banking at an indy discount gas station, but apparently some people didn't have a problem with that...

Before EZ Stop, this land was occupied by Ostlund's North Star gas. (Photo found on facebook, original poster unknow…

Top Whatever Countdown - 1981 Fleer

I keep the majority of my collection (excluding complete sets) in 9-pocket pages, housed in 3 ring binders. These are broken down by year and then brand. I like to keep a good representation of each set in these albums. A combination of stars, rookies, favorite players and pictures that I particularly like.

My albums well represented the junk wax era, that dawned in 1987, through the current day. However years previous were lacking in coverage. Filling these gaps would be my main collecting focus of 2011.

Early that Spring, I was already bored by Topps and missing the offerings of a competing second (or more) brand. Upper Deck had it's license go unrenewed in 2009, and the other brands ceased to exist year earlier. So I threw down a few bucks at an unopened box of 1981 Fleer and 1981 Donruss (Both companies debut efforts), with the intent on breaking them for the 1981 album I wanted to put together.

Over the next week, I will be relocating almost my entire card collection, nearly …