An Old Tradition Keeps Perkin’

By Pat Warner
Photographs by Jean Crowley and Bob Dunham

The Saturday Morning Coffees just might be the oldest continuing resident activity, according to resident Shyrlee Price.

The Saturday Morning Coffees provide an opportunity to catch up with friends

Serving up coffee, Danish and stimulating conversation, the group has assembled in several JKV locations over the years. In the early days, each month a different resident volunteer picked up donuts from a local donut shop. Everyone paid for what they ate or took home and JKV provided fresh brewed coffee. Conversation starters were the decorated mugs brought by each resident, each with its own special story.

Today, the group meets in the back of the Oak Tree Grill. While the location may have changed many times over the years, one thing remains the same. Men and women still tend to gather separately. Topics like sports, travel, hunting and fishing, local eateries, hobbies and crafts, fashions and, of course, the children and grandkids can be discussed. Much laughter can be heard in the air; it is a great way to start the weekend and meet new friends.

Jake Beard, a centenarian recalled, “I came to JKV in February 1993 when the Saturday Coffees were well established. They were held in the Center’s All-Purpose Room.” Shyrlee Price, the March hostess, described how it works today. “Residents gather at the back of the Grill around 8 a.m. although some early birds order their gratis coffee and Danish at the food counter at 7:45 a.m., before taking their seat in the sectioned off area in the back of the room. About 8:30 a.m. the host calls the group to order, initiates the birthday and anniversary songs and then asks the residents if they care to share additional tidbits or announcements. Something funny winds up the Saturday Morning Coffee, although people are welcome to stay longer and converse.”

Each week, volunteers still welcome residents and many look forward to warm hugs. Shyrlee reminds residents, “Check the Village Weekly, Knox-TV, and the Yellow Smiley Face Posters for the time and place of Saturday Coffees and “ya’ll come!”