Coffee with the BoysI went to the Sioux City McDonalds, located on Morningside Avenue. Morningside Avenue is considered to be the main drag in the Morningside area. On my way to the McDonalds I noticed a few buildings, they were, Morningside Presbyterian Church, a gas station (Sinclair), a fire station, and a Walgreens.
I pulled into the parking lot and there were quite a few cars there for 7:00 Saturday morning. I got out of my car and just about hit a little kid running into the fast-food restaurant with my door. I kind of laughed to myself after that happened. I walked into McDonalds, but before I could get in the door I noticed an old lady following me, so I stopped and held the door for her. She responded with a gracious “Thank you.” The scenery I saw was a wide-open place with a bunch of tables, and chairs. I walked around for a little bit and looked to see what the entire restaurant had to offer.
I walked to the back of it and saw a big play area that had slides, a ball pit with three little kids in it throwing balls at each other, a few different crawl spaces, and a few places to eat for the parents so they could supervise their kids. I proceeded to walk to the front of the eatery and saw the group of people I was going to observe, along with several other people eating their breakfast sandwiches. I finally made my way to the counter where the workers were mainly women in their mid 40’s to early 50’s. The manager was a man in his 40’s and he was just sitting back and basically watching the women work. When I finally got up to order my food, the counter was covered with crumbs from previous orders. The attitude of the woman that took my order was a little “bitchy.” The woman had an attitude that I believe was because of all the customers and being there for a while working.I got my food and went and sat down behind the men that I was there to observe.
The men looked to be in their early 70’s to their early 80’s. They were your typical elderly dressed in their button down shirts, which looked like they had been wearing for quite a few years. They all were sipping on their coffee and only a few of them were eating a breakfast sandwich, the rest of them were just talking. While the guys were talking, they all of a sudden stopped, and stared at the door.
I turned my head to see what they were looking at and I saw two kids with dyed pink hair. The aged men turned to each other and said, “What is happening to the kids today?” I overheard this and wondered to myself if they had made a comment about me when I walked in and first sat down.Sitting there for about a half hour listening to their small talk, I noticed a few of the guys get up to use the lavatory, and refill their coffee.
I took full advantage of this situation and used the restroom also and refilled the glass of Coke I was drinking, so I wouldn’t have to miss the stories and the chitchat.John Edmonds was the man that went on to tell a little story about a time in his life. John was wearing pair of jeans, a dark blue button down shirt, a pair of white Nike shoes, and he had a baldhead. He seemed to take the spotlight off of everyone else and became the center of attention while he was telling his tale.The story began with John living in a small, quiet town of Sioux Center Iowa.
He was 17 years old, and playing basketball for the high school team. John was considered to be the star of the team. He was leading his team in many categories, for example, points a game, assists, and mainly just being the leader on the court.
His teams’ season was going exceptionally well, they were in the championship game. This was the game that would qualify them for the state basketball tournament. I was out one afternoon with one of my good friends, just two days prior to the big basketball game.
Justin and I went to Justin’s and got out a couple of his dirt bikes, and went out riding for the day. We didn’t get back home until it was starting to get dark. We had to get home pretty early so we could get some rest for basketball practice the next morning at 10:00 a.m. I woke up the next morning at 8:00 a.
m. with my knee hurting me. I just figured that it was still asleep and I would just walk it off, but to no avail. I walked around on it for a little bit and it hurt like hell I recall.
I got undressed and hopped into the shower and noticed a big bruise on his knee. Noticing this I took his shower and got dressed and managed to waddle down the stairs to talk to my mother. My mom asked me what happened, but all I could tell her was that I didn’t know. My mom took me to the doctor to find out what all was wrong with me. The doctor did some tests and came to the diagnosis that he couldn’t tell what caused my knee to become bruised; the doctor was kind of an old time doctor. He asked me if I wanted a cortisone shot to relieve the pain a little bit, but I said, “No it’ll be alright.”The question is what happened to my knee? I didn’t wipe out on Justins’ bike, or do anything to make it hurt as far as I can remember, so what happened? The only thing that I thought it could have been was when I went to kick-start Justins’ dirt bike I might have hit it on the bike and that caused his knee to become inflamed and bruised.
I was sore the next day, so I stayed home and put a heating pad on the inflamed and bruised knee. My team was concerned because their star player was hurt and they knew they couldn’t win the game without me at my best. Basketball was a big sport in the community of Sioux Center, and the word about my knee got around pretty fast. The whole community had heard about my knee by the days end. The day of the game was here and I was still sore.
We arrived at the site of the game, which was at Central High School, which is now Sioux City Heelan. The tension was high and everyone was ready to play, especially me. I had the trainers wrap my knee in an ace wrap to give it more support, so I could do all that I did before, but it still hurt even with the wrap on.
The game started and I was playing, but I wasn’t as effective as I normally would have been. I only had 8 points, but that wasn’t what I normally had every game. I averaged around 20 points a game normally.
The game ended, I had done every thing I could to try to win, but it wasn’t enough. Since I was one step slow, I couldn’t quite keep up with the other players; therefore, I got into foul trouble early. I had to sit out the last 3 minutes of the second quarter because I had 3 fouls. We lost the game by 10 points, I was heart broken. My dream of playing in the state basketball tournament was gone.After John got done telling this story, I went up to the group of elderly men and told them I had been observing them and was listening to this story. I asked them if they cared if I asked them a few questions about themselves. They politely responded with a “sure”.
The first thing I asked John was, “How did you feel when you were playing.”John said, “I felt about 75%.”I asked the men a few more questions. I asked a man by the name of Peter North, “How long have you guys met here at McDonalds?””I would have to say we have met here about three years. We meet here Monday, Thursday, and Saturday every week,” Peter replied.”What do you talk about usually when you come here?” I asked.Peter responded, “We usually talk about current events, and stories about our lives growing up.
“”How did all of you meet?” I questioned.John responded, “Well we all met one day when we were at a donut shop, and were all sitting in the vicinity of each other and we just started talking.”I soon asked them, “Why did you guys change locations from the donut shop to McDonalds?”A man by the name of George Baird replied, “The donut shop closed down about two years ago, so we just decided to come here because there isn’t a good donut shop to go to in this area.” I said my goodbyes to the men and proceeded to go home. The conversation with the men had changed my perspective towards the elderly.
The men I had talked to were pretty cool. They didn’t have the spark or the hatred towards the youth I saw in other elderly men. They showed nothing but respect towards me and treated me as an equal.I found an article in the Boone Today, it supported my statements by saying that the elderly get together for coffee in many different places including McDonalds. The men and women that meet do basically the same things that they do in Sioux City.
The woman who wrote the article put each group of people into a few groups. Elderly in Boone don’t necessarily talk about one certain topic, they talk about many different topics. The article stated: “Some people enjoyed the solitude of coffee by themselves, but mostly it was groups.
Some groups meet daily, while others meet weekly. Not every member of any group is there for all gatherings (Boone Today).I looked up on the Internet a few things about retirement. Meals on wheels for the elderly looked like a good thing for the age people. It is stated in the page on the internet that, they provide one hot, home-delivered mean, five days a week, to those who, due to illness, advanced age, or disability are unable to provide proper meals for themselves. The food will be delivered by our Drivers and Helpers to the Clients in each area, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays (which are announced in advance) and during inclement weather. The menu choices available: regular diet, special diet appropriate for mild diabetics, or soft diet (“Meals”).
I also looked up alternatives for living. I feel that with these men getting together and visiting with each other they are getting out of the house and they look forward to meeting with each other, because they have nothing else to look forward to.Home care is an excellent and cost-effective alternative to hospital care or other institutional care. The home care industry is dedicated to providing high quality care and support services in the home. Home care services are available on basis of daily visits, monthly visits, or hourly care, up to 24 hours a day. Some of the people who may benefit from home care services are those who need assistance to live independently at home due to age or disability, or those who have short-term health needs (“Living”).
I know that a few of the men I talked to like to travel and I looked up something about the traveling of the senior citizens. There are some groups that have a senior citizen traveling packages for people over 50 years of age. The web site stated: “As you would be aware, the nightly cost of travel accommodations is very expensive. Joining this service has the potential to save members hundreds if not thousands of dollars in travel accommodation costs. This is a free service to assist Senior Citizens in reducing the cost of travel accommodation around the world (“Stopovers”).
The observation I made is that not all elderly people are angry about growing old, they are just regular people who like a good conversation, like the younger generations do. Personally, I enjoyed talking and listening to the elderly men. They were guys who were just like me when they were younger.
Young, fun-loving individuals that got into their share of trouble in their days. The experience I had when doing the research for this paper is one that I won’t forget. One thing I would like to tell everyone is to go out someday and sit down and talk to an elderly person, they have some good stories to tell, and maybe they will teach you something that you might not have known before the conversation with them.
BibliographyWorks Cited Edmonds, John. Personal interview, 2 Oct. 2000.
Lonergan, Joyce. “Coffee anyone?. Boone Today 3 Oct. 2000Meals on Wheels. <http://www.angelfire.com/md/cmow/mammo.html>.
June. 1996.North, Peter.
Personal interview, 2 Oct. 2000.Senior Alternatives for Living- The Nationwide Directory. http://www.senioralternatives.com/registry/sia/homehealth2.html>. May.
1995Senior Citizens Stopovers Planet Earth. <http://www.chariot.
net.ad/~ahhet/lrmam.html>. Jan. 1993.