Page 42 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneI spent many a winter evening in Pop's store as there was not much else to do other than take home some of his comic books and read next to the radiator. Although we did not have much in common it was comforting to spend time in his store. I would have to say that Pops lived a very lonely and quiet life as I never even heard a radio playing. When we both stood in the store it always silent except for the street noise outside. It must have been a joy for him to have us teenagers as customers to break the monotony of his days. And then one day, Pops tranquility came to an end.As I entered the store, Pops came from the back as usual, but instead of his usual greeting to me he stared with a beaten and bruised face. He later told me that since it was summertime, he slept with the skylight open as usual. Some enterprising thugs must have figured out his routine. They tied ropes and slide down them while Pops was sleeping. They proceeded to beat and pound him until he told them where he hid his money. Very few old-timers made use of banks in those days. Eventually the thugs were caught but the money was gone. All that time spent in that store was gone and along with the money, Pop’s dream of returning to England had vanished. I later heard that Pops was sent off to a Home, but I often wondered how a person deals with the fact that his or her dreams have been crushed and how they are able to carry on.42

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