FLOYD INGRAM: I miss my drinking buddies

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

Now before you go calling my wife and saying Floyd is on the sauce, let me point out I am talking about the crew I normally drink coffee with each morning.

We haven’t gotten together since the coronavirus panic started.

I have had the luck to enjoy this kind of company and friendship in every town I have ever lived in.

There was the Starkville Cafe in the 80’s Don’s Drive In West Point in the 90s, Carolyn’s in Midlothian Texas and Moore’s in Houston, Miss.

I can call the names of the regulars that I sat with at each of those locations. I watched their kids grow up, their businesses go up and down and I’ve even been to a few of their funerals.

Such is life. Such is the life of living in a small town where everyone knows you and your business.

The guys

It’s always a table of guys, but women are welcome.

The conversation usually rolls around sports, the latest political antics in Washington, Jackson and Clarksdale and the latest gossip in town.

Like I said, this is traditionally a table full of men, but they have long tongues and tell stories that would make a sailor blush.

They make me laugh and that is one of the reasons I get up to break bread and share a cup of coffee with them each morning.

You know these guys; there’s the farmer, the hunter, the attorney, two salesmen -- one retail, one wholesale -- the ag equipment salesman, the sign man, the grass farmer, the politician and the preacher.

They don’t all show up every day, but they are regular and they always smile when they pull up their chair.

They smile even bigger when they have juicy news to tell.

And as with every coffee table I’ve sat at for the past 30 years, they have become my friends.

How it works

As of today I have been working in Clarksdale for one year and one day.

The early going with my coffee crowd -- as always -- was sort of touchy.

You have to find out who is Republican, who is a Democrat and who hates them all.

You learn where they go to church, which college teams they pull for, about their families and what is really important to them.

They help me keep my finger on the pulse of this community and I have learned the tastes and inner workings of this Delta town called Clarksdale from them.

They look me in the eye and tell me when I have messed up in the newspaper. They complement me on something they like that is in this week's edition. And often one will rail against what I have written while another at the table champions my cause.

That’s how real men act. That’s what is expected from a friend.

I don’t want to get to mushy here, because this bunch of hairy butts will just tease me about it -- but I miss them.

They were a constant in my life and a way to start a day when you never know how it is going to end up.

I think the social distancing of this present predicament has hurt us all the most.

I hope the doors around here open soon. I miss my drinking buddies. I’m sure you do, too

Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. Drop by his office at 128 East Second and enjoy a free cup of coffee with him morning, noon or night.

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