Cuppa joe

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Dolly Viscardi

MEEKER | Blame it on the first “cuppa joe” I was handed by an old cowboy so many years ago. It was nothing like the kind you are handed these days. No fancy flavorings, no frothy, creamy swirls topping the inky liquid. It was a simple mug of the steaming, black, cowboy coffee I soon craved throughout the day.

I was a tea drinker the year we arrived in the White River Valley. Worse yet, I preferred herbal teas, the kind that were not yet in most local kitchens. I grew used to the taste, but became addicted to the conversations.

I soon found out that there were many different coffee klatches all over town. The two convenient stores catered to the ranchers, farmers and working men from all over the valley. The bakery and cafe near main street attracted another men’s group. The women mainly gathered in neighboring homes or their church basements or fellowship spaces

Gallons of fresh brewed coffee each morning was the obvious attraction but the main magnet was the conversation. The down side to this kind of gabfest was that it seemed to validate gossip under the guise of caring about friends and neighbor.

During the pandemic, many of the morning coffee get-togethers have disappeared from view. I don’t miss that one bad side–the care and feeding of the gossip grapevine. Seemingly casual comments led to speculation and oversharing of too much erroneous information.

A mug with the apology message, “I’m sorry for what I said before I had my coffee,” sums up the need for most people’s morning cuppa. Although the message on backside of it places the blame squarely on someone else instead with the added comment “But you really should have known better.”

No apologies needed for me. I know exactly where the blame should be placed. That first cuppa joe.

Special to the Herald Times