If its Good Enough for Vietnam Vets, ....Well.....

by Donna L. Watts
(Anacostia, Wash., DC)

As a teen, I'd spend weekends w/ my Aunt & Uncle-- just to do sweet nothings filled w/teenage stuff w/cousins. One of the many many wonderful (or hilarious) memories I'd take into my 40's was the huge gigantic yellow & black can of Eight O'Clock coffee stapled on their kitchen counter. Though I wasn't into coffee yet, that aroma sure got me curious.

Funny - growing up East of The Anacostia River in DC- though middle working class fam & hood - my HS provided easy access to substances w/ curious smells. But The smell of coffee woo'ed me more than any of those 'stuffs' that were easily found by sniffing them out in HomeRoom Class.

My uncle was a mild mannered Vietnam vet who worked for Metro= Clock into work around 5am-- so we started smelling coffee @ 4. Even those nights my cousins and I partied 'til the break of dawn to sleep walk toward our pillows, that wonderful aroma would gently wake me up by 4am.

I carried that memory into adulthood. I finally tried a cup of my Aunts daily brew. ... DANG! That sludge cld get up & walk! BUT w/ my added cream & real sugar (cause I was young and poo-pooed at sugar-related consequences or illnesses) it went down bold, smooth, and carressed my buds, throat, chest and spirit w/ a strong comforting stroke.... kind of like sitting in Grandma Watts' lap.

Now what makes this first cup- my best cup of coffee is that this particular Sat, Uncle was Cutting the huge yard of grass way back by the woods, he wasn't 1/4 done. We heard the mower stop, glanced out the patio door to see him b-line it to the house.

Calmly/quietly, he:

-Took off his muddy shoes,
-Cleaned the coffee pot (which he never does cause my aunt made the coffee),
-Looked in the large can of Eight O'Clock - cursed,
-Looked in the pantry - cursed,
-Still no "clean" words, he left the house in his slippers and drove off.
-Return shortly, with two Industrial sized cans of 8'OClock and ONLY ONE---ONE I tell you!! donut!
-Brewed his coffee, placed his mug to catch the first spill,
-Sat down, lit a cigarette & calmly sipped his coffee (which I've never in my life seen him do mid-afternoon).

Mind you - we were afraid to share this pot w/him - but it smelled just so dogon good. So I stealthly(is that a word?) joined him- having my 2nd cup of coffee that day and in life.
Minutes passed in silence.
Finally, My uncle took a long drag from his smokyTreat and mumbled, "God Damn Snake out there." I thought it was so funny, I spewed coffee on everyone & spilled my wonderful cup all over me.

I was the only one laughing.

Recently, I conducted an amateur survey of working people having to clock in before dawn to find their preferred coffee of choice:

1. Veterans - ChockFullofNuts & Eight O'Clock
2. Public Transit Workers (then, approx 67% were vets) - 8 O'Clock, Seattles Best, McDonalds & 7'11
3. My Generation (40+) Any Ethiopian Blend, Any Middle East blend bought over from an ummmm Middle Easterner & 7'11

And more are saying because of the economy, they had to cut Starbucks delighted to find less expensive -better tasting and more importantly, Jolt-the-system coffees really do exist in the world.

Comments for If its Good Enough for Vietnam Vets, ....Well.....

Average Rating starstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 24, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstar
Really funny
by: Heather

I think that your story is really funny. It must have been a memorable day for everyone.

And I agree with you that Starbucks coffee is way too overrated.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Best Cup Of Coffee.