The Gazette – 25 Apr 1991
All across America the “old timers” gather in the local cafes to begin their days. Admittance to these groups is by word-of-mouth and RETIREMENT is the common characteristic.
On a recent visit I discovered that Bernice is no different. At The Kitchen last Friday morning I observed a real pleasant sight. Around a table in this little cafe were some faces I recognized, some I thought I should know, and some were unfamiliar to me. All these men had several things in common. They were dressed in khaki pants, coordinated with old work shirts. They all had baseball-type caps on their heads and eyeglasses on their faces. The talk was politics, weather, and fishing. As in any group there were talkers (T. W. Elliott) and listeners (Hugh McGee). But there were smiles on all the faces. No one was bored! I thought that this scene would not be repeated in a large city. In the first place, everyone there doesn’t know everyone else and they haven’t grown up together in all likelihood. There’s something about sharing experiences in a common location that makes people closer. You can relate and you have a kindred spirit. That doesn’t mean you agree about everything. It only means you are comfortable in sharing your thoughts with others. Who’s to say those thoughts aren’t as good a philosophy as the legislators’ in Baton Rouge or Washington D.C. I mean, this is grass-roots American. This is the way it really is!
Molly Liggin Rankin
P.S. I learned later that this Kitchen Gang is not to be confused with the Barber Shop Gang over at Billy MacIntoshes’. This gang made up of Doyle Fergerson, Wick Laurence and the like convenes at about 2:30 P.M. for the “purpose” of guarding the shop while Billy, the barber, makes his school bus run.