My Favorite “Original” Wawa Has Closed, And I’m Not Okay About It
I was absolutely not prepared for how emotional this made me. Sentimental overshare incoming.
This... is my favorite Wawa in the whole world. It was located at 71 Lakeview Dr S, in Gibbsboro, New Jersey.
Out of all the original, cobblestoned Wawas around Voorhees/Gibbsboro that I've come to know so well, this was the one I remember having been there the longest.
I haven't been there in years, but this Wawa is forever etched into my memory.
I just so happened to be cruising through via Google Maps because I apparently have no life, when I discovered that my beloved Wawa was no longer there! I was shocked and dismayed.
So I sat there for a minute... and as I thought about all of the seemingly negligible memories I'd made at that corner throughout my upbringing... I started to cry.
Yes, I'm serious. It wasn't hysterical, uncontrollable sobbing, but it was enough to earn judgmental side-eyes from my cats. I partially blame it on the wine I was drinking.
The building still stands, but sometime between 2019 and June 2023, it had been replaced by a Welsh Farm. "What the (bleep) is a Welsh Farm?" I said out loud.
Original Wawas are a part of our fabric
This is something I don't think is talked about enough - how beloved those little, original Wawas are to us. They walked so the "Super" Wawas could run.
One by one, they're disappearing. And sure, it's an inevitability. But why does it feel like more than just losing a convenience store? It feels like losing a home. You can usually tell where they used to be.
The parking lots were small and cramped, but they hold so many coming-of-age memories.
Like the one time my dad and I test drove my first car - a black 2001 Ford Focus - and we stopped by this Wawa to grab a couple sandwiches. When I couldn't start the car to drive back home, he rolled his eyes at me and hopped in the driver's seat. It wouldn't start for him either, much to my delight.
We waited right here in this parking lot for his friend to come pick us up, eating our Wawa sandwiches in the car. We still laugh about that day.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and rely on the new Super Wawas and their gas stations as much as the next person, but there's something to said about the orignals. They were more intimate. They had more soul.
What's your favorite "original" Wawa? Is it still standing?
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