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Friends gather at Despatch Junction site

East Rochester, N.Y. People gathered all day Tuesday at the site where the Despatch Junction stood just a few days ago.

The store, full of collectibles like baseball cards and toy trains, burned to the ground Monday night.

Each toy and collectible item sticking out of the debris has a story to tell and those stories are what people will miss most about the friendships they have made at Despatch Junction.

Douglas Ridley knew the owner of Despatch Junction for 30 years, and would visit often to help out where he could.

I knew this stuff well enough to be able to pick out little things. I saw over in this pile of rubble an old railroad lantern, probably almost a hundred years old, that I actually sold him and its now just in pieces, Ridley said.

Regulars at the Despatch Junction know how special the place was, and Ridley can only speculate about the emotions his friend is feeling.

Im sure hes feeling that hes letting down a lot of people, because they will no longer have a place to come and receive guidance and buy stuff, Ridley said.

Stan Slade, the owner of Despatch Junction, visited the site briefly Tuesday morning, but has declined to comment publicly.

13WHAM has learned that Slade had insurance, but that could never bring back what sits in the piles of ash and smoke.

A steady stream of loyal customers has come by to take in the scene and remember what Despatch Junction meant to them.

Despatch Junction was a lot more than just a store to go buy things. It became, for some people like myself, a home away from home, Lomenzo said.

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Washington Times