North Central: Cecil B. Moore’s One-Man Car Wash

Gregory Smalley working on a customer's truck.
Gregory Smalley working on a customer's truck.
Smalley took advantage of the warm weather while working on a customer’s truck.

On a brisk Sunday evening, an advertisement reading: “Hand Car Wash $5.00,” stood at the intersection of 19th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Gregory Smalley, the service’s founder and only employee, decided to take advantage of the uncommonly warm February weather to open up his outdoor business for the afternoon.

“When the weather is permitting, I’ll be out here,” said Smalley.

The long-time North Central Philadelphia resident actually began this small business as serious means of income. After being on disability leave and eventually losing his job at a McDonald’s Restaurant in Ambler, Smalley had to find a new way to support himself.

“That just wasn’t cutting it. I was jobless and unemployed. I had to create a job for myself so I was able to provide for myself and my family.”

Jeff Raymond, a patron of the car wash, said he looks for Smalley as the weather gets warmer.

“I come to him cause he does a real good job. He’s a good man and works hard,” said Raymond.

As the spring draws near, Smalley’s hopes for a successful car washing season grow higher. Smalley plans on continuing this year round service to the surrounding community while still searching for other employment.


  1. I’ve known Gregory since I was 4yrs old. His youngest sister and I are best friends/sisters. This is heart breaking. R.I.P. brother. God as another angel to watch over us.

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