Overnight in a coffee shop

May 16th, 2016 by John Morris

At the age of 30, coffee was struck from my diet due to a troubling reaction to it.  Up to then, I really liked the stuff.  But it had to go.

I switched to decaffeinated coffee for a while, but it’s just bad.  A new dedication to tea brought a suitable choice.  Today I drink a great amount of hot teas.  Green tea accounts for about 90%.  I especially like using loose tea leaves in tea containers.  There is a vast world of fragrant teas for all palates.  I don’t miss the coffee anymore.

There remains one, old coffee story for me to share.

My radio detachment finished our mission in the Mekong Delta and were convoying to our home base of Cu Chi.  Bad timing caused us to be stuck in Saigon at sundown.  Our Lieutenant made arrangements for overnight lodgings.  The place he found was a large single room with ten bunks located above a coffee shop.  The setting was spartan, but we had just finished three months living in sandbagged hutches.  It wasn’t so bad.  Our first thoughts were to go on the town for cultural reasons.  Lt. Tallant nixed our ideas and said leaving the store would carry punishment.

In the morning, our senses were shocked awake by the strongest coffee aroma  imaginable.  We looked at each other; threw on clothes and dashed downstairs for the only thing our tastes craved: coffee, coffee, coffee.  The first round of cups could not arrive fast enough.  It took me two pulls on dark, bitter goodness to hit the sweet spot.  It was like nothing I had experienced.

Today my little borough has several coffee spots with more coming. Citizens can sip hot, tasty beverages and allow a lazy day to drift by. Someday we may even have a good tea house.

Coffee drinkers shouldn’t have all the fun.



The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.