I am pleased to say that last Saturday morning I was told I am “now officially part of the group.” The group I’m talking about meets every morning at Hardee’s in Lincolnton. They begin arriving anytime between 7 and 9 a.m. to eat breakfast, drink coffee and socialize. One of them laughingly told me “this is our therapy group.”
If you eat breakfast there I’m sure you’ve seen the group of senior citizens I’m talking about. They are all holding court around at least three tables near the windows on the drive-thru side of the building.
Several weeks ago I ran a column about Ray Hoffman, who is one of these golden-agers. As I talked with him I was introduced to the men and women at the other tables. One of the women he introduced me to has written eight books. Another lady plays drums in a band.
Sometimes a discussion can become a little risqué, as it was last Saturday. When I responded to that particular question, you could have heard a pin drop, and then they laughed, clapped and told me I was now officially one of them. I feel honored to have been accepted by this funny, happy-go-lucky group socializing at Hardee’s. My husband and I eat breakfast there some Saturday mornings and I have met more and more of them each time we go. Now we have a seat with them if we’re fortunate enough to arrive before they leave.
I find myself looking forward to seeing this congregation of some of Lincolnton’s finest seniors and I learn something new after each day I’m with them. These folks know just about everything there is to know about Lincolnton. It’s interesting to listen to one of them begin talking about a topic and a word mentioned during any sentence has a tendency to become another topic and we’re off to a discussion about something else entirely. You have to be on your toes to keep up with them. There is never a period of silence as each one shares what they know about what is being discussed. Not being originally from this area, I’ve learned a lot about Lincolnton by listening to them. Each of them is a wealth of information.
Many young people these days think senior citizens are “old fogies,” always talking about “when I was a kid,” and thought to be “behind the times,” and not interesting to talk to along with other descriptive words. This is not what I find when I join them. Each of them contributes something very interesting to every discussion. Through them I even learned how Buffalo Shoals got its name, but that’s a column for another day!
The next time you go to Hardee’s and see them sitting at their designated tables, stop by and speak to them. I’m sure you’ll learn something new just by talking with them.
Paulette Ballard collects funny, interesting and inspirational stories from people in and around Lincolnton. If you have a story for her, e-mail her at email@example.com. In the subject line type “For your column.”