Local icon simply runs out of gas after 45 years

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You may have noticed a few weeks ago that one of the landmark businesses in Picayune simply and quietly closed its doors. APG, Inc., the gas station at the end of Memorial Blvd., on Hwy 11, simply ran out of gas.

A.P. Guizerix, Jr., decided to focus on other interests.

After 45 years of business in Picayune, it seems that more needs to be said.

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A.P. Guizerix, Jr. has been much busier over the years than having been an oil man. Besides the station on Highway 11, he had a distributorship for gasoline and other automotive products, which served parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. For 20 years he was an officer of the Gulf Oil Distributors Association and the British Petroleum Jobbers Association. These associations changed the way gasoline was marketed in the 1970’s and 1980’s. For a time, he was a dealer in aviation fuel, selling to our local airport as well as airports in the surrounding area. He also sold fuel and lubricants for many years to the maritime industry. In 1986, he opened the Stennis Space Center service station, which offered fuel, tires, and auto repair to the SSC employees.

A.P.G., Incorporated has always been a family affair. In addition to working alongside his wife, Pat, A.P. brought in his children during the summer months. Skipper and David changed truck tires, washed vehicles, and cleaned out warehouses, all the while getting to know the businesses and people in the area. His daughters, Kathy (Faucett) and Tricia (Gipson), did the much “nicer” work in the office, starting as youngsters answering the phones and stuffing and stamping envelopes. His son, David, returned home to partner with his dad for 10 years, branching out into the waste oil business, among other things. AP and Pat, having been married 50 years, have successfully raised four children and are now happily grand parenting 10 grandchildren, who affectionately know them as Bobo and Nana.

In his time as a small business owner in Picayune, A.P. served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, which, in 1991, awarded him Picayune Citizen of the Year. He also served as President of the Rotary Club of Picayune, where he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He is currently the treasurer of Greater Picayune Area, Incorporated, and has been a board member since its inception.

A.P. and Pat have been members of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, seeing that congregation grow over the years from a tiny mission church to one of the largest parishes in the state. Since the 1970’s, they have been active members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, with A.P. serving on the Steering Committee of the Southern Regional Conference for a number of those years. He also was on the National Advisory Committee of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal. In the mid-1990’s, he was recognized as the Picayune Christian Businessman of the Year.

A.P. is a graduate of Tulane University and spent 23 years in the Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of Captain. He had the opportunity to serve our country in many different ways during his time in the Navy, including attending the Naval War College.

Although A.P.G., Incorporated has officially closed its doors, A.P. continues to look to the future of Picayune. He is presently constructing a shopping center on Memorial Boulevard, which will house several businesses. Once completed, this shopping center will bring in jobs and additional revenue to this area.

A.P. is one of those “homegrown” business people in town who often go unnoticed because they have simply been here for so long. The contribution of people like him over the decades in this area will never be fully realized. Our thanks go out to him and those like him, who have watched and helped guide Picayune and its growth over the past half century and before.