Growing up in the middle of boonies, the nearest store to our house was a little “Mom and Pop” gas station called King’s One Stop. It was about a mile and a half from my house and I used to walk or ride my bike up there on almost a daily basis.
Of course this was back in the day when you could let your child go past your front yard without worrying that you would never see them again. This was also back in the day when you could send your children to buy cigarettes for you.
About 7 miles from our house was another little gas station called Stone’s. One afternoon when I was 10 or 11, we were out of aluminum foil and my mom needed me to go get some.
Instead of telling me to go to King’s though, she told me to go to Stone’s. Well, I thought it was strange that she would send me 7 miles away when there was a store only 1 and 1/2 miles down the road.
But being a kid, I had never paid any attention to whether or not they had foil at King’s. Since my mother told me to go to another store, I assumed that King’s just didn’t carry aluminum foil.
So I hopped on my bike and started on what seemed like a never-ending journey, riding my bike 1 and 1/2 miles down the road I lived on and past King’s, then another 5 and 1/2 miles down a busy highway.
I finally got to Stone’s and bought the foil and headed home. I managed to get half way home when a neighbor drove past, turned around and then pulled over in front of me.
She put my bike in the back of her car and made me get in, telling me that my mother was frantic wondering where I was. She took me home and when I saw the worried look on my mom’s face I felt awful, but I didn’t understand why she was so worried.
She sent me 7 miles down the road to buy something, surely she knew it would take me a while to get back. Of course the first thing out my mom’s mouth was, “Where have you been?”
I just looked at her and said, “Stone’s, see here is your foil.” “What did you go to Stone’s for? I told you to go to King’s”, she said. “No, momma, you said Stones.”
She then got a strange look on her face and said, “Oh my God, I did say Stone’s, didn’t I?” Now, whenever we talk about that incident she just says, “That would have to be one of the few times you ever listened to me.”