Tuesday, February 06, 2007

21st Century General Store

When my Granddaddy was alive, he lived in a little town called Salvisa, Kentucky. It was positioned about half way between Lawrenceburg and Harrodsburg, Kentucky. If you are a native Kentuckian, you might have heard of those places. If not, let's just say it was somewhere in the vicinity of Lexington.

I miss my Granddaddy. He was the gene source for my writing abilities and he could strike up a conversation with anybody. When he'd visit, we'd always do the crossword puzzle together and take a walk around the block before supper talking about life and laughing. He also never minced words. I heard my parents tell the story one time that when a pastor he knew decided to run for Senate in Kentucky, my Granddaddy said, "If you run for public office, let your beliefs define you, but lay your Bible down and don't use God's pulpit to promote yourself...that's to promote the gospel." He wasn't afraid to tell anyone whatever he thought.

Each day, he'd walk down to the local general store and hang out with the owner and the people that came in and out of the store. There was a table with checkers and he'd play a game with anyone who was willing and pontificate about the world's comings and goings. And, I'm certain, tell a few people how he felt about whatever they were discussing. I never spent much time in general stores in small towns, but I think they'd be a fun place to pop open a Coke and shoot the breeze for a few hours.

Last Saturday morning, I headed to Starbucks to meet one of my college girls for coffee. As I warmed up with my cup of java and a yummy cinnamon doughnut, I watched as the people just poured in. I saw a group come in very aerodynamically dressed, most likely just completing a brisk morning run. I saw an older couple all bundled up and settled in a corner of the shop. And, I saw a younger couple come in with books and Bibles for a time of study.

It dawned on me what an interesting gathering place Starbucks has become. We've not had them in Louisville for very long, but now, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. I was amazed at how people gravitate there with groups to hang out. And, sometimes even worlds collide as I rarely go to a Starbucks when I don't see someone I know or someone I haven't seen in a while. In a world of technology and faceless communication, it's nice to know we still retain a little human contact at Starbucks.

...I wonder how my Granddaddy would have loved hanging out at a Starbucks...

1 comment:

Amy said...

This reminds me of Custer, and the old guys with the cigarettes and ham & cheese loaf sandwiches on white bread in the rocking chairs out front, dirty from spending the day in the fields. It reminds me of why I want to live in a small town, and stirs patriotic feelings. Thanks.

PS, did you say "swing a dead cat?"