Solving the world’s problems over breakfast

Published 3:05 pm Monday, June 5, 2023

No matter how old you are, it is still good to spend time with “The Boys.” Each morning at Shep’s at 7:00 a.m. we gather to enjoy fellowship with one another.  Larry Jones heads the group and sits at the head of the table. Larry gets there first and at times he uses social media to tell us where to go.

Shady Brantley always is the second and tells us how lucky Cheryl, his wife, is. We tell him she is lucky to have Shady as her husband. Carl Jones is next and sometimes he beats Earl McKissick and Bill Outland to the restaurant. Carl knows everybody and everybody knows Carl. He is the sports guru at the table and knows everything about the Pam Pack. Earl McKissick is the youngest at the table by five days. I have known Earl since my Williamston days. Sometimes he waits on us at the tender age of 74, and he is still working every day.

Jack Mitchell is the next person in, and he loves to pick on Bill Outland along with Carl. Together they tell stories about Bill’s conquests and Jack has known Bill since childhood and that fuels the fire.  Jerry Alligood is the next one in. Jerry has been sick for the last couple of months and does not like to be told what to do.  He is a staunch Republican. I like his straightforward approach to life’s situations.

Ronald Alligood was raised on the Slatestone Road next to Jerry.  Ronald is a retired highway patrolman and was on the Board of Commissioners in Granville County for eighteen years. So, when he speaks, everyone listens.  An old friend of mine, Sheriff Willie Rogers, was good friends with Ronald.

Every Friday his brother, Charlie Alligood, stops in with Bobby Roberson.  Charlie was one of the best offensive tackles to play for the Pam Pack.  Together we share stories about Coach Wagner.  Bobby Roberson is my cousin and he tells us about what’s going on in the city.  He will not share information that is private or divulge any information from city council meetings.

Harold Byrd and Jimmy Fortescue occasionally will meet with us. Harold and I attend the same church, and he is an avid ECU fan.  Jimmy used to be a frequent customer when he owned Washington Jewelry. Since his retirement he does not come as often and I miss Jimmy.

These are men that I share my early mornings with and they are pillars of the community.  These are men that I want in my foxhole if trouble brews.  We spend two hours together each morning and solve most of the world’s problems.  At least we think we do.  And we think women gossip.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC, The Original Washington.

–Harold Jr.