Thursday, June 25, 2020


My uncle Del, my father's brother, owned the Esso station in Anawalt, where I grew up.

His full name was Adelbert. Go figure. His three brothers were my dad, Virgil, Russel and Sidney. Not names on the top 100 lists these days

I used to work in Russel's H&S grocery store, next to the H&S dry goods store. Uncle Del's Esso (not Exxon, not then) was just across the road.

The office of the Esso station was always full of men of both races, sitting around a revolving fan in the summer and a pot belly stove in the winter, gossiping, telling jokes, laughing about being together.

I remember when the gas price went above a dollar. People whined and complained and threatened to go to Flake Martin's Gulf station instead.

Gasoline above a dollar was a shock!

Today, I went to get gas at the Stop and Shop Service Station. I had a credit of $1 a gallon on my Stop and Shop card and got to fill up, for the first time in a month, for $1.03 a gallon!

It made me think about Uncle Del.

The Bradley's did not reproduce a lot. Del's daughter was an only child, as I was. Sid had a boy and a girl. Russell had no children. There sister, who died when I was a child, had two boys.

I was the only only child on my mother's side. Aunt Georgie had two, Aunt Juanette had four and Uncle Graham had 8.

Two very different families, in every way.


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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.