Coffee Club Reuniting Brings Sense Of Normal

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Coffee drinking friends have made it a point to meet early in the morning at Boring Rexall Drugs for more than 50 years. But during the Stay-at-Home order, they had to relinquish this social connection. Now that restrictions are relaxed, the coffee club began meeting again on Monday, June 1.
“Some of the club members came in on Monday morning, but not all of them,” said Dana Koll, owner/pharmacist at Boring Drugs. “It had been a long time since their last gathering and they started reintroducing themselves.”
Randy Eaton, who has been a regular in the Boring coffee group for many years, was at the reopening on June 1, and gave a little history of coffee drinking on Main Street over the years.
“Bob Boring, who owned Boring Drugs before the present owner, Dana Koll, always welcomed everyone and provided free coffee,” said Eaton. “Businessmen on Main Street and retired men started coming in early in the morning for the coffee, Monday through Friday, and soon started an informal social coffee group.  Tom Hill and I started in the club about the same time, when we were younger, and I began working at a bank. When Bill Hughes and Larry Walthall retired, they began coming. After Dana Koll bought the drug store, she said that she would continue the coffee club.”
Eaton said that years ago, all the businesses in Warsaw were located on Main Street, and there were three different social coffee groups. The other two were located in a hotel café, near the present City Hall facilities, and in a coffee shop located next to the old Ford garage. He related that although Boring’s offered free coffee, the group meeting at the café flipped a coin to see who would pay for coffee each day. The Boring Drugs group eventually persuaded Bob Boring to let them pay for coffee, and the group now buys raw coffee and gives it to the ladies working at the store. 
“We meet every Monday through Friday, from 8 to about 9 AM,” said Eaton. “If one of us can’t get to a meeting for whatever reason, we feel guilty for not being there. Some of us go to McDonald’s on Saturday mornings for our coffee meetings, when Boring’s is closed.”
Eaton said that when he was young, men wanted to meet with other businessmen to talk about whatever subject came up. Sometimes they had conversations about histories of Warsaw. Larry Walthall and Bill Hughes are senior historians. They could and can answer almost any question about Benton County, like who lived on what corner, and the name of old buildings. Eaton said that at one time, there four grocery stores, and three drug stores on Main Street. There was no Walmart at the time, or extensions to the City, and everything happened on Main Street. Often, a doctor owned a drug store or was located at one, and if people were sick or injured, they would go see Dr. Salley or Dr. Logan in town. He said that Boring’s had a soda fountain and made milk shakes, and people who remember miss that.
Eaton said the group has its literary moments. Some members will bring in books and critique them. The group is their own version of ladies clubs that get together for teas, lunch and other gatherings. 
“Dana, Pam and Teresa are all so good to us,” said Eaton. “We give them a little trouble, but watch our language around them. If a lady were to come in early in the morning and see us, she might be intimidated, but she shouldn’t. We are there for camaraderie, and for fun. There are always about six there and could be up to 10. We try to avoid politics, but sometimes a couple of members will get political and it makes things interesting. If we talk about a subject or incident where one of us has been involved, a little razzing may be involved. We are all mostly retired now. Younger men don’t seem to come join us.”
Retired college professor, Rick Bib, meets with the Boring Drug coffee group every day. When he was teaching, he would attend during his summers off.  He said one of the other old coffee groups on Main Street had about 15 to 20 members, and one coffee shop had two meetings each day of the week, in the morning and afternoon. 
Mike Murray was at the reopening of the Boring Drugs coffee group on June 1. He said that he moved to Warsaw in 1979 and was invited to join the group in 1980 by Bob Boring. He recalled that he would go in at 8 AM and then on to work in his insurance business at 9 AM. He remembers other members of the group at that time including John Boise, Larry Burdick, Dr. Kenneth Shephardson, Tom Hill, JoDale Hedrick and Larry Walthall. Those who got together on June 1, 2020, were Mike Murray, Randy Eaton, Rick Bibb, Bill Hughes and Bob Folmer.
“When 9/11 occurred, I walked into Boring Drugs when the first building had been hit,” said Murray. “Then, we turned on the TV in the store and the group watched a second plane hit a building. I always remember the setting where I saw that happen.”
Murray talked about the fun times with the group, including being Monday Morning Quarterbacks after weekend football games. He even mentioned a NCAA Basketball pool!
 Friendship, networking, socializing, and good coffee – What a way to start the day!