In the summer of 2002, my uncle Charles C. Allen told me this about my grandfather John C. Allen Jr.:
[Daddy] had to get reestablished after the war. But he had a friend named Buster Reynolds. And Buster Reynolds was reputed to have made his money in the numbers, and so when the numbers were getting real hot and heavy, when it was reputed that the Mafia was trying to take the numbers over, Buster got out. And he built this service station, and he had a Texaco franchise, and he had Daddy to build the station. And Texaco liked the work so much that Daddy built two more stations for Texaco. And both of the stations that were built in the black community are still up. They’re not gas stations anymore, but the buildings are still up. And the one that was built Overtown is gone. But even the station that was in the white community, Texaco had him to build that one, too.
Today I found this:
The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 1 February 1948.
My uncle passed away in January; I wish dearly that I’d been able to share this with him.
The former service station at 28th and Chestnut, Newport News, 2002.