Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
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Saturday, August 27, 2005

At the reunion

We had a reunion of sorts at the coffee shop this morning (which reopened after being closed 5 extremely long days). I hadn't seen her all of August. She had been to a reunion of the 103rd OVI* of the Civil War. I think she said it was the 139th and her husband is the descendant of a Civil War veteran. Shortly after the war the veterans began gathering on the shores of Lake Erie and eventually wives and children were included.

"The 103rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry was formed in August and September 1862 primarily from Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina Counties, in Ohio, under the command of Colonel John Casement. Major battles in which the 103rd served were Blue Springs TN, Siege of Knoxville TN, Dandridge TN, Resaca GA, Kenesaw Mountain GA, Siege of Atlanta GA and Spring Hill TN." 103rd reunion 2003 My paternal relatives were from Dandridge--wonder if they met up with these guys?

Anyway, as we talked I learned that while fixing breakfast for the participants, she had aspirated a piece of bacon, was hospitalized, developed pneumonia, and is being tested for a spot on her lungs they found, which could be bacon, or maybe not.

That's quite a response to "Where've you been?"

*The regiment published their own book which can be purchased:
"Reminiscences and Experiences"
103rd OVI Memorial Foundation
5501 E. Lake Rd.
Sheffield Lake, Ohio 44054

Monday, August 22, 2005

What a memory--it makes copies!

At breakfast in the hotel yesterday, I overheard two guys deep in conversation.

"The guy is phenomenal. He's got a photostatic memory."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Coffee on the Hotel Porch

The power went out this morning, so I reheated my coffee at a neighbor's home which was on a different electrical grid, and carried my coffee cup to the Hotel Lakeside porch. I overheard this little tidbit from the retired folks a few chairs away.

Describing her son to the couple at the same table, she said, "He's a liberal Democrat, peacenik vegetarian at Oberlin College. I love my son, but he's very self-righteous. He can't imagine how anyone can think differently than he does. I respect his beliefs, but he doesn't respect mine." The other couple were retired professors from a major university (everyone was talking loudly, so I'm not spreading gossip here). They sighed and commiserated. The wife said, "Imagine being Republicans in our town! We have lovely friends whose company we enjoy. They are so liberal and worried that their 48 year old son is showing tendencies of a conservative--like he had a disease or something. They can't fathom that anyone believes differently than they do." To ease her friend's fears she told her, "Even a little to the right of you seems conservative, so you probably needn't worry."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Dancing Grandmother

At the coffee shop this morning I noticed a woman I'd been calling the dancing grandmother (to myself). I'd seen her at Monday night's program at Lakeside. When the performer, Glenn Colton, announced a polka and invited people to come to the stage area and dance, she was out of her aisle seat across from me immediately, dragging along one of her granddaughters. Then later when he did an Elvis imitation (Take my hand), she was dancing a slow dance with a grandson. She was having a great time. This morning viewing her in the light I realized she had a limp, possibly polio? But nothing was going to stop this dancing grandma.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Christie in the coffee shop

At Coffee 'n Cream, the new coffee shop in Lakeside, Christie joined me this morning. We didn't know each other, but have a mutual friend, Vicki, in common. She's been coming to Lakeside for years. Christie is a farmer--she does the books and payroll for her husband who does the rolled-up sleeves type work with their two adult sons. She has a cat names Gracie (it's only by Grace that she has one) and loves to read.

This morning she brought along "Joy and Strength" by Mary Wilder Tileston, a compilation of inspiration thoughts first in print over 100 years ago. She also had a title in the Lamplighter Rare Collector's Series, "Ishmael" by E.D.E.N. Southworth. Mrs. Southworth was a prolific 19th century writer, and I think I recall seeing Ishmael among my grandmother's books. Ishmael is available at Project Gutenberg, but due to the denser prose of that era, I'd recommend the old fashioned, curl-up-in-a-chair method. Mrs. Southworth, abandoned by her husband and left with children to support, earned a living writing about brave, gutsy Thelma-and-Louise type women, and her titles end up in women's studies courses as well as Christian reading lists.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Singing at the coffee shop

Yesterday I was reading the paper at the coffee shop. John Denver was singing "Has anyone here seen my friend, John," at least I think that was the artist. The woman behind me working at her laptop began singing along, a bit off key. I turned around to see who it was, and it was the performer from the night before! After she sang a few more rounds, I realized she was singing harmony.

This morning the 50s-something guy at the next table was singing along with the music. Our eyes met. "Do you know who that is?" I asked. "Sure," he said, "the Eagles, 'Your lying eyes.' " "After my time," I replied.