What ever happened to … ?

What I’m about to write could be said about almost any restaurant anywhere; I happened to be in a Pensacola restaurant when the idea for this column took hold.

As I looked around the room, I noticed a couple of men with caps on. In the restaurant. At the table. As they were eating.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve seen this and not just in Pensacola. It’s most everywhere, I think – Atmore too.

And I wondered, “What ever happened to taking your cap or hat off when you came in from outside?” And, most certainly, “What ever happened to taking your cap or hat off at the table?” You see it a lot in younger men, but increasingly in older men too, such as the ones I saw recently.

And with that thought, this column took shape.

What ever happened to using turn signals when you drive? Seems just a common courtesy. It is, after all, a safety factor. When I’m driving, I know what I’m going to do. I just don’t know what you’re going to do. But I’d like to know.

What ever happened to keeping the noise in your car in your car? Do you think everybody likes your music? Or wants to hear it? Or is it just an attention thing for you? I think it’s just for attention. Like you’ve got a really cool sound system and everybody needs to know about it. Think again. We don’t need to know – or even want to know.

What ever happened to acknowledging when someone lets you in line in traffic? When someone stops and lets you in, the least you can do is give a little wave or a nod. A simple thanks.

There are other “what evers.” I’m sure you could easily compile a list.

Seems most of it comes down to courtesy – just common courtesy. Which I fear is not so common anymore.

The Barnes Boys
There are clubs and organizations that meet for a long time, often decades, but some that fall by the wayside due to lack of interest or lack of attendance.

The Barnes Boys is not one of those that falls by the wayside. They haven’t been meeting that long – only 24 years – but their roots run way back.

These guys (and ladies) start talking up their annual meeting months in advance. In fact, I got an email this past weekend (I’m glad to be included in the loop) from Ted French reminding everyone that this year’s gathering will be Saturday, April 14. I don’t think Ted would mind if I share some of his comments here.

“Our great tree of life for our organization has continued to grow for many years. But regretfully this tree has lost many of its leaves. Those of us that are still here celebrating this tree of life are the fortunate ones that have lived and survived the storms of life.

“I doubt that there is another organization from the 1940s and 50s that is still gathering together to celebrate life with each other at our ages in the United States.

Just be thankful that Walter Welch decided that we should all get together 24 years ago, each year, and celebrate a great football – Coach Barnes – and a football team called the Atmore Blue Devils. Coach Barnes, The Barnes Boys, and the Cheerleaders were the beginning of our organization. We also had the greatest fan basis possible with our classmates and families. Wow, from the 1940s and 50s to 2018!”

I’ve already put the date on my calendar. I’ll plan to be at David’s Catfish that Saturday around lunch time. I’ll get the guys together for a picture, probably out front. Rounding them up is not usually an easy task. There’s so much visiting and back slapping going on, it’s sometimes hard to get their attention. But we’ll get the picture and we’ll run it in “atmore” magazine.

We’ll be happy another year for the ones who are there. And we’ll miss the ones who aren’t.