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The Madera Tribune

Memories of working at 7-Eleven

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webmaster | 09/14/13

While working at the 7-Eleven store on Cleveland and Lake Street, from 1972 through 1975, where John Wiberg was the manager, I remember three things that happened there.

First, I waited on this lady, and she paid me for $10 of gasoline. As I was waiting on another customer, she walked to the candy department and cigarette department and she put a few cigarettes under her dress. When she went to get her gasoline, I told her, “Lady, would you please give me what you put under your dress,” and it was five packs of cigarettes. Boy, I almost told her to keep them because they were stinky.

Second. In 1974, an African American lady and two African American men walk in the store at 3 a.m. The lady walks to the coffee machine and the two men walk to the beer department. I look at the lady at the coffee department a few times, and also I look in the mirror for the two men by the beer department. I was keeping a good eye on them, because I knew what they were trying to do. So finally they left, and sure enough they went and robbed the other 7-Eleven store, where Starbucks is now on Howard Road.

About three weeks after they robbed that store, they came back to the store where I was working and they parked their car right in front of the store. I was waiting on some customer, and I noticed their license plate number, because we had it right there in the register, and I called the police department. They came and told us, “Everybody, put up your hands and everybody outside.” Boy you should have heard all the nasty words that woman was telling the officers. They placed all three under arrest.

Third, my last memory while working there at 7-Eleven was Aug. 16, 1975, 38 years ago, and it was a sad memory. I was getting gasoline to go home, and this friend of mine, Art Alvarez, who was an auxiliary policeman, came by and told me, “Eddie, I am going to James Monroe School where there’s been a shooting,” and this friend of mine, Steve Lindblom, just got killed in a shoot-out. I went with Art to the shoot-out and I came back with him and we went by Steve’s wife, Judy, who lived on Dunham Street by me. She asked us what happened out there, but we didn’t tell her that her husband got killed.

Eddie Chapa,


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