Letter to the Editor: A good turn is a boost to the spirit

Conlow thanks Romano’s for being a kind neighbor.

I’ve been gassing up at Romano’s on Chester Avenue for a long time, since the days when “five a’ regular” got you what “twenty ’a regular” gets you today. Through all the years, I’ve found the young people working the pumps unfailingly friendly, helpful and courteous. It’s my habit when I stop there to get out, remove the gas cap and shoot the breeze with whoever is working the pump, then replace the cap.

Pump-side conversations can range from weather to sports to cranberry cultivation to voter turnout at the firehouse across the street. Once, I regaled the attendant with a blow-by-blow account of how I killed a mouse (a tale of a mercy killing combining cartoon slapstick with slasher-movie violence).

Not long ago, I discovered my gas cap was missing. I probably yammered myself to distraction at Romano’s and forgot to replace it. Since my car, like me, is of a certain age, I anticipated a hassle finding a replacement.

I pulled into Romano’s about a week later, ordered the usual and explained to the attendant that my gas cap was lost.

“Maybe this is it,” he said, reaching for a cap resting on top of the pump.

Sure enough, it fit. The attendants had saved it, no doubt waiting for me to reclaim it.

A good turn, no matter how small, is a boost to the spirit, a jolt of positivity in a world that so often seems relentlessly negative. So, thanks Romano’s for the jump. I would be remiss if I did not express my gratitude to the folks at Moorestown Hardware, Mill Street Tire and Flying Feather Farm, among others, who also have been consistently patient and helpful through the years. Thank you all. I can’t wait to tell you about the time I killed a mouse with my bare hands.

Paul Conlow