Thursday, October 18, 2007

George Washington Shopped Here

He could very well have; there is some evidence, more or less accurate, that he slept nearby. Of course, George is supposed to have slept in so many places that it’s no wonder he’s called the father of our country.

Lovell’s Hardware opened some years before a certain thirteen colonies decided they’d had enough of this British stuff and decided their Independence they would Declare. When George traveled through Stratford, colony of Connecticut, and tried to work out the nuts and bolts of this new country, he might well have purchased them at Lovell’s, same as my family did over two hundred years later from the same family.

The store had a wooden floor with all the give-and-take you get when it’s not vinyl over a cement pad. It had a hardware store smell you don’t get these days when big box stores have ventilators; there was probably still an aroma from the General’s horse in there somewhere.

I recall the youngest clerk as being in his forties; he was the owner, or the owner’s son. I think that was Bud Lovell and he kept his glasses in his mouth: the end of one earpiece in his teeth, ready to be removed and put on his nose when needed.

Lovell’s survived the Revolutionary War; how many stores still in business can say that -- especially a locally-owned store? They kept the place going until the big ones hit and that was the end of a wonderful place whose people knew their stuff and shared it with you, helped you, chatted with you.


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