FERNLEY - If you pull into Hanneman's Chevron Station at 290 Main St., you'll find that the word "service" is still a reality at this Fernley institution. Although Nevada is a self-serve state, the attendants at Hanneman's still pump fuel, wash windshields and give directions.
"We're a very small station. We help our customers," said Kris Hanneman.
Kris and Marlon Hanneman began operating the Chevron station when "Fernley was a town of bars and service stations. There were nine stations and nine bars in town including the two of each in Wadsworth," Kris said.
Even though Marlon worked at the station before purchasing the business, the Hannemans celebrated their 50th year as owners Saturday. Today, they hold the record as the longest remaining owners of a Fernley business.
Marlon began working at the station when the business was a bulk plant. When they married and bought the business, the couple lived in the building that now serves as the station office and customer waiting area.
"It has evolved into a towing service," Kris said, pointing out the photo of their first tow truck that was rescued from the dump and given a new motor by Marlon's father.
With remodeling of the station, the family moved to housing behind the business, then to a house alongside, where they continue living.
Kris's feminine touch shows in the propagation of roses alongside the building in a brick planter. Although she has helped run the business during her entire marriage, Kris also found time for a hobby and to become a talented professional photographer. Some of her framed photos are on display inside the waiting area. She has shown many of them at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering and has won awards with her Western shots.
When they can get away from their work, the couple enjoys retreating to their ranch at Gerlach.
"We spend about 10 percent of our time there and 90 percent here," Kris said.
Although she found time to have a hobby while raising a family and working in the station, she hopes they will be able to retire someday.
"Our son and daughters work a lot," Kris said. "That helps."