At Mother Juggs Restaurant there is a large table that seats ten to twelve people. It is set by by the back wall but where those sitting there can see who comes and goes. It is today’s equivalent of the spit and whittle corner for the old guys in town. However, those are the richest men in the county. I call them Overall Millionaires.
A large part of them wear bib overalls, ball caps, and muddy boots. They have long hair, beards, and aren’t a bit shy about spouting off one everything from pulling calves to local politics. The other half are clean cut, and wear Jeans and ball caps, along with very expensive cowboy boots, equally as muddy as their counterparts boots. They seem to be a bit younger, not a full generation, but younger than the first group.
They come and go depending on the day of the week and the time of morning. Some make it for breakfast, some make it for lunch, but one by one they come in and sit a spell. They must keep the coffee pot going all day long. They always look at the Mr. and I with a bit of suspicion when we come in. But last time we were there for breakfast, one actually nodded good morning to me, so we are making in roads to acceptance.
I always choose a table near they Overall Millionaire’s table and blatantly listen to the conversation. All the men are ranchers, running cattle of one form or another, and grow crops on the fields that were fallow the year before. I hear about how the soybean crop is doing in comparison to the corn crop, and how much a pregnant heifer will go for at auction. They blatantly condemn the horse dealers who want to buy horses to send to the kill barns, and absolutely hate anyone who mistreats an animal of any kind. Interesting guys.
As I sit at my table eating cinnamon toast and eggs and bacon, or even better bisquits and gravy, I am drawn back to the days when I was a young mom and I would take my boys out to breakfast at the local greasy spoon restaurant. The old men in there would solve all the problems of the world over a cup of coffee and the blue plate breakfast special. They would tease my boys and gently flirt with me just to get a laugh out of the each other. It was a good time, an easier time back then, even though we didn’t know it. Now I have found it again in a small restaurant just off the main drag in a small town in Oklahoma. Welcome home.