Coffee with Uncle Wayne

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I hate to piggyback on my colleague Samantha Jones, but today I would like to get away from politics or sports and write about something far more important in life.

Of course, I'm talking about coffee.

In a sense, I've been a coffee drinker almost all my life -- and my introduction to coffee still has a major impact on my coffee-drinking habits today.

When I was a young boy, I had an uncle who was a disabled veteran and did not work. My Uncle Wayne spent most of his time at home, picking at an old guitar or listening to the radio. And Uncle Wayne drank coffee from the time he woke up in the morning until the time he went to bed at night.

I had a male cousin who was just a few months older than me, and we liked to go and hang out with our Uncle Wayne and "drink coffee."

Of course, our coffee consisted of three parts sugar, two parts milk and one part coffee. But by golly, it sure was good.

Fast forward 35 years and even though my Uncle Wayne is no longer with us, my love for coffee remains. I don't always drink a lot -- sometimes just one cup in the morning before work. But I absolutely must have that one cup before I feel completely awake and ready to tackle the day.

There are days, of course, when I do drink several cups. In fact, one of the things I look forward to at work is long coffee breaks with our talented photographer, David Bell. Several of us chipped in several months ago to buy a Keurig coffee maker for the office, and David showed up recently with a coffee grinder and some beans so that we can have fresh-ground coffee every day.

Of course, David likes to laugh about my coffee drinking routine. These days, I rarely put actual sugar in my coffee (except on Wednesdays, when I'm at our office in Eureka Springs and office manager Cindy Worley always has a pot of fresh coffee), but David gets a kick out of watching me put, oh, seven or eight packets of artificial sweetener in a big cup, along with a couple spoonfuls of powdered creamer.

I know that doesn't sound like a very manly cup of coffee, but it sure tastes good. And it reminds me of my Uncle Wayne.

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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers.