Another empty stool

Murph Adams will be laid to rest today and many of us will never be the same. In particular, the guys at the donut shop on the corner of William and Laurel streets near the Pittston By-Pass.
“That’s Murph’s stool,” Stanley Waleski said, pointing to the empty seat at the counter next to me as I stopped to say hi to him and Ed Paradis Sunday morning.
I was just there to grab a quick coffee to go, but when I spotted Stan and Ed I had to walk over and pass the time of day. Of course one of the topics to come up was Murph, whom few knew by his Christened name, Joseph Adams. A Pittston Township supervisor but more importantly, a sweet, sweet man, Murph died last week from injuries incurred in an all-terrain vehicle accident while hunting.
A personality as big as Murph’s is impossible to replace and the guys at the donut shop know this all too well.
The regulars there are a close-knit group.
“Yep,” Stan said, “that’s Murph’s stool, and this is Paul McGarry’s.” He tapped the vacant seat between him and Ed.
Paul, too, had a personality that could fill up a room.
As long as guys like Stan and Ed are around, Murph and Paul will never truly be gone. And talking about their departed friends typically brings more smiles and laughter than tears. But I left that day thinking of the song Empty Chairs and Empty Tables from Les Miserables and felt profoundly sad.

Ed Ackerman