Asphalt and Retail

from Frank Morelli

Frank Morelli

I grew up in Laurel Springs, New Jersey but I always say “Philadelphia” when people ask where I’m from. It says so on my birth certificate and I’ll never budge on that. Plus, Laurel Springs is one of those suburban, cookie-cutter towns with a patchwork of four-lane highways bordered by strip malls, chain restaurants, and the intermittent, open pasture of a Little League field. I wasn’t always ashamed of it. I used to think it was the only place on Earth I’d ever live, back when my brother and I would hide from the summer sun under the shade of a massive oak in the front yard, and we’d roll our Matchbox cars up and down the winding super-network of roads provided by its gnarled root system.

But then came the road crews, and the engineering crews squinting behind their quirky tripods, and the tree service crews, and before you…

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