Most things that happen in distant states aren’t expected to affect the small towns like Yadkinville, North Carolina. However, when the gas line broke in Alabama, a frenzied panic for fuel hit the public with surprising force. Within the weekend, most local gas stations ran out. As adults worried over different ways of getting to work, students at Starmount High School started wondering how long it would take for the gas shortage to cause the school to close.
Unease was obvious among the students, especially the upperclassmen who drove themselves to school. Without gas, they would have to find alternative transportation to get themselves to school, work, practice, and any other extracurricular activities they were involved in. “The buses can’t pick up everyone,” Silas Holbrook, Starmount senior, pointed out.
One big problem is that several students must make at least one trip to the Yadkin Center for classes, which they take through the community college, causing students to burn through even more fuel. “I have to have gas in my tank, or I won’t make it to any of my courses,” Hayley Hayes confided. Hayes takes both Surry classes in the morning and attends regular high school classes afterwards. If she ran out of gas completely, she would be forced to miss out on receiving credits from both her courses at college and high school. “If it had lasted much longer I would have been out of luck,” Hayes admitted.
When asked the question, most students agreed that they would have been unable to attend school by the end of the week if deliveries had not been made to the local gas stations. “I don’t drive to school, but most of my friends do, and I know how worried they all were,” Zachary Hicks, Starmount sophomore, revealed after the scare had passed. Many of the students have jobs to go to after school and on the weekends, too. Some of the kids said that they had been unable to fill up their tanks though there was still gas available because they were at work or simply because the lines were too long.
“Some of the kids at school joked that it was the beginning of the apocalypse,” Hayes remembered, “and with all the dystopian movies out, it didn’t seem that far from impossible.”
However, by the time Thursday arrived, the problem had been solved with the delivery of more fuel. The students’ worries were forgotten as they pumped their cars full and headed off to their next activity.
Christy Rucker is a member of the SHS Journalism Club and a student of YCS Virtual Academy of Journalism.