SALENA ZITO: A Lincoln Highway Icon Dies.

Two weeks ago, Jack Dunkle was sitting with his best friend Bob Barnes at his auto parts store along U.S. 30. Barnes was telling a story to his friend of over 40 years. Dunkle looked pale, but he waved Barnes off when asked if he needed anything.

“A little bit later, as Jack started to leave, he turned and paused for a moment at the threshold of the shop door, looked over his shoulder, and said to me, ‘I do need something, but it is not anything anyone, including you, can give me, and that is time,’” recalled Barnes, 70, who chokes up over the memory.

It was the last time he saw Dunkle alive. The 76-year-old died last week. Those who didn’t read the obituary in the Bedford Gazette found out soon enough when they made the bend along the old Lincoln Highway and saw that the iconic Gulf service station — the last original decorative terracotta Gulf gas station in the country — was closed.

“NO GASOLINE” signs were hand-scrawled and taped on to the two ancient pumps where his wife Susan would come out with a broad smile and pump your gas, check your tires, and wipe your windshield down when you pulled into the station; taped up across the big bay window was another sign left by Barnes that read: “Jack, you were simply GREAT will miss you FOREVER, Bob Barnes.”

It’s Salena Zito so read the whole thing.