Sunday, February 17, 2008


If this is coffee,

please bring me some tea;

if this is tea,

please bring me some coffee.

Abraham Lincoln



Imagine our surprise driving through Wabash yesterday,
to see this car with all the bumper stickers.

Although we never go here for anything,
we haven't seen our friend Paul in way too long,
so we decided to suck it up and go on in,
for coffee and a couple of donuts.

Don't get me wrong, although I haven't
had a good one in a very long time,
donut that is, if I did, I'd certainly
enjoy it. Sadly, no offense to the couple
who've run this establishment for many years,
these don't even compare to pre-packaged.

No comment on the coffee.

This is Paul, 80.

Some background:
When we opened our coffeehouse, Paul
was among our 1st customers and the very first
to bring us material not normally seen out
in the open in this town.
I'm talking reading material, such as the Nation,
the Humanist and much more.
We soon became good friends and have stayed so
even after closing.

Paul is always mentioning his friends at the donut shop.
About the only place to commiserate with men
his age and out in the open.

Paul grew up in this town, and back in the
day, his father had a business that made
buttons out of the shells in the Wabash river.

I converted audio tapes of oral histories
for the local library, and there were a few
older people who remembered his father
as being one of the nicest business owners
and treated his workers fairly.

Skipping around, Paul went to S Ca to become
a teacher, and this was back in the McCarthy era.
He was a substitute and everyone liked his
teaching and skills. One school asked him to
apply for a permanent position, but he didn't get it.
He substituted at another school and was told
to apply for a full time position there as well.
He didn't get it.

He ended up looking in the paper,
and saw a job opening in Guam, he applied
and ended up moving and teaching there.

It wasn't until years later, when a nephew
had gone to Canada to avoid the draft
did he find out why he never got those jobs.

Through the trial for his nephew, the government
brought out information on Paul, that he was
going & listening to communist speakers.
In actuality, he was listening to people speak
against the things the government was doing
at the time, and their treatment of people.
They had a file on Paul and had times and
dates of who he heard etc, etc.

I found this out when I was taking him to
Ft Wayne last year to see "Inconvenient Truth."
I had never met anyone who had this experience
and knowing Paul, no see how stupid our
government has and does act, and the
awful waste of time and tax money
to do what they do.

I've never known Paul to not get upset
about anything going on around us, still.
He reads everything, buys the books,
donates money and gets downright livid.

Of all the folks we have met, Paul
holds a special place for me
in the "special people I've met" dept.

Thanks to Earl @ Peace Train for all the
great songs he passed my way!

a million a day - limeliters
no longer available


3 comments:

fairlane said...

I have a neighbor who's Dogma barks all night, every night.

Dogma's should not be allowed to live in apartments. They need a lot of space where they can roam without bothering people.

Squirrel said...

Love the old lighter. Hi to Paul! I will search out homemade donuts in Nyack-- this morning I ate something called a Morning Bun--It looked like a fluffy muffin but tasted sort of like a coissant it had just a dusting of cinnamon and sugar on it--the crusty top was great too--It's our new favorite @ The Spoon.

Coffee Messiah said...

fairlane: Dogmas everywhere! ; (

squirrel: Sounds like the RS is a place we wouldn't mind having in these parts. Not sure what's up with the Hoosiers.....maybe that's why Kurt V moved to NY?