Local lifestyle columnists

Continuing tales of the fast food coffee group

By From page B10 | May 03, 2014

The morning coffee group at McDonald’s on Sunset Avenue has a little different makeup each day.

There are maybe 25 folks who come, but only about a dozen regulars. I’m a newcomer. I’ve been coming for about eight months. They have been meeting for about 15 years.

The average age is maybe 75. I do want you to meet these good people. I am going to tell you about some life experiences they all have shared, then I’ll give you a thumbnail sketch about those I know best.

Here goes:

All have survived the school of hard knocks as confident individuals. All have recovered from something, such as bad habits, personal losses or illness. They respect and help each other. Each brings different skills or life experiences.

If someone has a problem, others have probably experienced something similar and are willing to help. The racial mix is about as diverse as can be, but race is never considered an issue. They are always glad to see each other.

I’m going to start with thumbnails of Larry Wayne Williams and Jim Mits. I can’t give you 150 years of life experience in a few sentences, but this is a start.

Larry retired from C&H Sugar Company. He sometimes joins the group a little late. He stops to pick up other group members who don’t have transportation. Usually it’s Pedro, a World War II veteran, or Richard. I have learned a lot from his descriptions of growing up in Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley – all relayed with good humor.

Larry is always candid and open. He is the resident car fixer and a car fan. If someone has a car problem, Larry probably knows the answer or knows where to find it. Others help, too. His hard knocks have given him humility and a wisdom on how to relate to life with good humor. I like him.

Jim Mits is a retired plumber. What he brings is a huge amount of travel experience – and vegetables. Jim’s dad was a gold miner in the Sierras – deep mining. That was a revelation to me because I had always believed that the only gold mining in the Sierras was placer mining.

Jim related how his father insisted on taking the family to different places on weekends and vacations – no matter what was happening with the weather. So Jim came by his desire to travel honestly. He tells the story of how, after retirement, he and his wife lived in a mobile home park in Yuma, Ariz., during the winter for about six months of the year.

The other six months they traveled with their fifth-wheel trailer, “Home.” They never traveled more than 150 miles a day. By noon, they were ready to settle in and take in the sights. Jim said the beauty of a fifth-wheel is that your truck becomes your transportation and people can ride in it while traveling. They did this for nine years.

Just as Elma is the “goodie lady,” Jim is the tomato man. He takes pride in growing enough tomatoes for the whole group, plus hot peppers for the staff at McDonald’s.

I’ll be sharing some of his tomatoes, cantaloupes and fresh onions this year. I’m looking forward to it.

Yes, l like Jim, too. I haven’t found anyone in the “group” who I don’t like.

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 13 comments

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  • BaseballmomMay 03, 2014 - 7:15 am

    And I doubt you will.... You always find something good, something to like, in every soul you meet. :-)

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  • Frank Sinatra & Ella Fitzgerald - Can't We Be FriendsMay 03, 2014 - 9:37 am


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  • Frank Sinatra & Natalie Cole - I get a kick out of youMay 03, 2014 - 9:41 am


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  • Better Than Anything - Natalie Cole and Diana KrallMay 03, 2014 - 9:47 am


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  • Do ya wanna be my Friend?.... Perhaps?May 03, 2014 - 9:57 am


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  • Nice Crisp Version....BETTER THAN ANYTHING = DIANA KRALL NATALIEMay 03, 2014 - 12:42 pm


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  • Pearl Bailey - Five Pound Box Of Money - Christmas SongsMay 03, 2014 - 12:51 pm


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  • Dinah Washington Teach Me TonightMay 03, 2014 - 12:55 pm


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  • 'Where or When' - Lena HorneMay 03, 2014 - 1:06 pm


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  • Della Reese - Blue and Orange Birds and Silver BellsMay 03, 2014 - 8:39 pm


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  • Della Reese: Near Death ExperienceMay 04, 2014 - 8:03 am


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  • Della Reese: Advice to Young African Americans / America's RacialMay 04, 2014 - 8:05 am


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  • http://www.lifenews.com/2009/05/25/int-1206/May 04, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Unfortunately I think she is wrong about Oprah being good... Lots and lots of black babies being aborted... spiritually this is not good for any woman, white or black to abort your baby, plus just the culture of promiscuity that being able to just get rid of it promotes, also that life is not sacred, is not worth anything... this attitude....... In General Google..... oprah turner buffett gates meeting.... See the items here... See Meeting of World's Richest Names Pro-Abortion Population Control ... .......The "billionaires club" meeting, according to the Times, included such notables as Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. They all have a history of promoting abortion and using their vast fortunes to benefit groups like Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. I think maybe at some point Oprah literally sold her soul... But you can get it back if you ask Jesus to help you Oprah. Oprah helped elect Mr. Obama, who is betraying Black people... when they destroyed Libya, one of the first things to happen was a genocide against the approx. 35% of the Libyan population who are black... Remember Obama took out Gaddafi for the Rothschild Bankers, Gaddafi had plans to help all of the people on the African Continent.... He had a balancing act... was trying to deal with the Rothschilds and help his people... but to no avail, just like Saddam Hussein found out The Illuminati will use you and then discard you. ( although who knows if Saddam was really killed ) Also like Tim Osman ( CIA asset )/AKA Osama Bin Laden... Is anybody seeing this?

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