Free For All.

Paul L. Bucklaw
7 min readMar 8, 2022

She took over my grandmother’s house, the one that was supposed to be left to her in a will that disappeared.

My parents were separated. My father worked at the fish market and one good thing that came out of all this was that when he visited on weekends we would have lots of seafood.

My mother was good at making thin air into something edible.

She was basically rehabbing the house alone, I am not sure why because father had all those skills, I did not.

We lived in a small town, one that was near Scranton, Pa (not sure why anyone would claim Scranton as their own.

It was known for bars, churches, banks and Rite-Aid pharmacies.

So my mother would hire people and they would begin their work and then start the job and not show up. They would go to the bar before church and then become Baptists in church and then go to the bar after church and pray that God would help them get over how they acted in church. Who knows the troubles they had seen?

Wars, depression, working in coal mines, just making both ends meet and keeping a roof over your head.

And everything was a crisis. And each time my sister came to visit it seemed we were out of toilet paper and the local news or Sear’s Catalog would have to do.

Sears was our Wal-Mart. It had everything including the worst 1970’s clothes one could imagine.

Part of me even despised the smell of the store; it smelled like poverty.

And my mother would go with paint on her hands to the Saint Joseph Novena on Wednesday nights and feel embarrassed and she would let me paint the door before she painted over it.

Watching her from another room and playing with my wiffle bat that became a gun, a helicopter or anything I could imagine in a freezing cold room with multiple jackets on and enjoying the conversations we had was the norm.

Ever since that time I still enjoy watching others work and perspire. That is probably why they made me a supervisor so many times.

The cavalry never showed up to help her. It was her Calvary.

She would go to bars and hunt the workers that had left their tools and beg them to finish their…

Paul L. Bucklaw

Who am I ? That is the eternal question. Writer ? Hero ? Motivator ? Environmentalist ? If you know let me know. Visit