"Well, the issue of allowing Berry's Restaurant (the location where the Cheap Coffee Club grew up) to serve alcohol in adjacent Bresson City Park has again reared its frothy head," noted the historian. "It seems some folks think it would be okay for diners to have a glass of wine or a beer with their outdoor meal."
"'Alcohol is Satan's henchman,'" stated the merchant. "Or at least that is what the old time country preacher in the church of my youth used to say, once he got rolling on the topic"
"A fellow told me the other day that years ago, the east section of Berry's was formerly called Thompson's Candy Kitchen with a soda fountain and candy counter. The second section was Cook's cigar store with barbers and a tobacco counter," noted McBeane. "I don't remember it. It was definitely before my time."
"When I had dinner at our uptown anchor a couple weeks ago, it was a lovely scotch and soda which welcomed my ham supper," added the philosopher.
"But I never thought I would see the day when my thoughts of a nice rice pudding would be distracted by double-meaning, adolescent bathroom humor on an advertising banner attached to the light pole just outside the front door of our beautiful landmark."
"We must consider the fact that the dining location under discussion is a dedicated city park, set as a memorial to a civic leader," declared the historian.
"Don't forget alcohol is the first word in a special program in this county dealing with alcohol, drugs and mental health."
"I wonder what the police think about the notion," asked Doberman. "Would our men in blue be expected to police additional alcohol-related problems?"
"Enough already," cried the merchant. "This all sounds like a double-barreled Cheap Coffee Club numbers 2 and 4."
"As you may recall a number two states that the matter is in the hands of our elected city council. Handling decisions such as this fits into their job description.
"Number 4 says a council member will decide to approve legislation which represents action which voters in their district want.
"It is important that the people let their council representative know how they feel about this matter. Remember, we have two kinds of representatives to city council; At-large council members and ward council members. If you don't know who your rep is, call city hall and the nice folks there will help. And it might help to talk with the mayor too."
The cynic was ready. "Then if you aren't pleased by the decision, just wait until the next election and vote against candidates who didn't make the decision you thought was best. And that also goes for state and national elections."
"I want to remind you to venture uptown next weekend to see all of our wonderful Stars and Stripes flying proudly," pronounced the historian. "For years, veteran Bud Newton ramrodded the installation of flags along Main Street, starting early in the morning with help from other veterans."
"Then, Uptown Stan Obrenovich, also a vet, engineered a successful plan to get new flags for the uptown. I think Memorial Day this year is the first big holiday when they will be displayed. What a sight it should be!"
We have been asking for thoughts and prayers for those who serve their country. At this special time we should also add those same feelings on behalf of those who served over the years.
Richard Armbrust of Norwalk is the unofficial scribe of the Cheap Coffee Club, a group of retirees who meet each morning for coffee and conversation at a local restaurant. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.