Gay Parita shows Gary’s Gay Parita in Paris Springs, Missouri. This old Sinclair station has a plethora of history. Built by Fred and Gay Mason in the 1930s, this station has long been a mainstay on Route 66. Primarily a Sinclair station, like so many others, it added a garage, allowing it to become a full-service station offering repairs and mechanical services. The garage, an unusual stone structure, instantly became iconic.
A fire swept through the station in the 1950s, leaving nothing worth salvaging. Normally such a fire would be the end of the business, but not the Gay Parita! In 2004 Gary Turner built a replica of the station to bring it back to life. Like magic, the legend was reborn, and the Mother Road had one of its icons back. Turner spent the rest of his days restoring and rebuilding the station, leaving behind a mostly completed work. Fate again conspired to take the icon away, and after Turner passed in 2015, the station began fading into yesterday.
Until Turner’s daughter stepped in, that is. Barbara Turner and her husband moved from South Carolina to take over and restore the station for the second time. Proving that hard work and determination always makes the difference, today the Gay Parita is full of life and receiving visitors.
Next to the station is the stone garage where Fred worked miracles on cars and trucks. Sometimes he worked late into the night making repairs to get travelers back on the road. If you listen carefully, you can hear the radio playing in the background and the click-clack of his tools as he makes the final adjustments.