Eagle was not Mr. Hooper's store. Unlike many other local merchants—at bars and delis, coffeehouses and cafes—it never felt as though the Zawisnys were here to make friends. But they were, nonetheless, always here: up and running at 6 a.m., even in blizzards. A couple of winters ago, Richard Zawisny, John's brother, came to my rescue when I was in a hurry to test a recipe requiring whole allspice. The store had none in stock, but after some inquiry on my part, Richie disappeared into the back of the store, emerged with a half-full, commercial-size jar of the stuff and handed it to me. It felt like a gesture of acceptance—and maybe more, a benediction.