“Ayo Jason, let me get a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll.”, I uttered these words to the deli's cook every morning before I headed to school.
Regardless, if my mom sent me to school with lunch or not I always found a reason to go to the corner store. Whether it be to buy a pack of green apple sour powers, meet up with my friends or purchase convenience store goods for my family; the corner store was one of my favorite places in my neighborhood.
Jason and Virgil were the two brothers that owned my neighborhood corner store. They had known me since I moved to my neighborhood in the third grade and witnessed me grow into a college graduate. Since I was a regular, we developed a level of closeness that was familial.
The corner store symbolized the cornerstone of our community by serving as a pillar of support to our neighborhood. At face value, the corner store provided support, in that, locals depended on it for household essentials and used its front steps as a convening space or a meet-up location.
But in a social and emotional sense, it provided another space for young children, like myself, to feel a sense of belonging. Its presence strengthened my understanding of community and provided an opportunity for perpetual growth as I learned to engage with the world around me.
They say, "It takes a village to raise a child.", and each day I am reminded of the significance of this proverb.