And in the center of the restaurant was the “round table”. At that table, on any given day you would find local lawyers, Judges, District Attorneys and Public Defenders. They would start coming in around six in the morning and the table would stay full until six that night. When one person got up for Court, another person would take their seat.
I remember Angel’s Dad loved the round table. You could always find him standing by the table, imparting his own wisdom upon the Judges, as to how he thought they should rule on a certain case in the news. Angel’s Mom, on the other hand, didn’t care for the round table, complaining that “those lawyers sit at that table all day long, drinking 60 cent coffee with free refills!”
It was at the round table where I met fellow Wilson Countian, and current Memphis Mayor, A.C. Wharton. At the time, A.C. was the Public Defender for Shelby County and most every morning he would stop at the round table to have his coffee and help solve the world’s problems with whoever else was lucky enough to be sitting at the round table that morning. Every once in a while Ms.Ruby, A.C’s wife, (also an attorney) would stop in, not so much for the coffee, but to find A.C. and get him back to work!
So when we moved back to Lebanon several years ago, I thought it was about time to find my own morning breakfast table. And from what I’ve experienced, the tradition of locals getting together to share a breakfast meal at various hometown restaurants, is alive and well here in Wilson County.
Now, I can’t tell you the specifics of what is discussed at these early morning “meetings”, but I can tell you that nothing is off limits. As Mac McCluskey tells it “the first priority for membership is having a thick skin because there are no secrets here.” From local politics, to football, to a little hometown gossip, if you happen to join in, you will surely hear a name or two that you know. And I can assure you, that the name of the game is …problem solving. Great minds come together on these early mornings, debates are lively and at the end of the breakfast, big ideas are often born.
Now, if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to partake in one of these early morning breakfast jaunts – let me assure you – everyone is welcome. Just remember, they start early, nothing is off limits and the new guy picks up the check.