Driving through the countryside on the way to the little cemetery where we buried my uncle we passed by this old store.
Even though it's tucked in the middle of nowhere with just a grain bin and a couple of houses for neighbors, at one time, it was a very busy place. When I was a kid, daddy would sometimes take me there when he stopped in to see his farmer friends and fill up his gas tank. Regular or ethyl? Those stops usually resulted in me savoring a strawberry Crush and a Hostess cherry pie while he played cards with his buddies. If those old walls could speak they would crackle with the voices of farmers chewing the fat and solving the world's problems over lunches of ring bologna, crackers and ice cold Pepsis drawn from the chest cooler that hummed in the corner. They would spill the secrets of country wives picking up sugar and gossip and the bark of the neighborhood dog who reigned over the long gone porch. If I close my eyes and listen hard enough, I can hear the ding of the gas pump bell and the slam of the rusty screen door. And I can taste the stickiness of that cherry pie on my fingers and the tingle of that liquid strawberry as it slides down my throat.
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3 weeks ago