“Bill Pipe”

He was old when I knew him. He was my neighbor and owned Hayden’s Store, just down the street. He always wore a straw hat and smoked a pipe and I called him, “Bill Pipe’. He let us charge at his store and when I got old enough to reach the pump handle, he would let me pump gas for customers for a nickel.  His granddaughter was my best friend and she could throw a ball about as good as any boy. I really loved Bill Pipe, but my mother thought he was not a very kind man. My daddy got along with him just fine, and even made improvements and built shelves for his store. His wife was rather strange and was always “going down to the front’ at church to re-dedicate her life. Bill Pipe didn’t seem to be too interested in church at all. (that may have been the reason my mother felt the way she did about him). For the first few years of my life, my daddy didn’t seem to be too concerned about church either. He was a good man, but loved to drink whiskey. He did it every weekend until I was in my late twenties. (I always wondered if my daddy got his ‘bottle’ from Bill Pipe, but as a youngster I really would have never known) I think about Bill Hayden sometimes. I wonder if he ever thought about Jesus. Were I to have a chance today, I would ask him, donchaknow. And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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