Posted by: Jim E | August 16, 2016

Got Time For Coffee?…Come On In And Sit A Spell…Houses…And Ballparks…

It was just a while ago, I read words like these: “Come on in and sit a spell”…it was a way of telling people to make yourselves comfortable, stay a while and talk, “catch up” with each other…that conversation would be a more “Southern” expression, I suppose…but my Mom had one about the same and coming from the heart of a Minnesota Mom…when a friend or relative came to the door, she would always say, “Got time for a cup of coffee?”…now that was about the same as the former greeting, just different words…

I remember when a neighbor came by and Mom would invite her in…the coffee pot was Coffee vacuum coffee potalways on…she always had a vacuum coffee pot…water in the bottom pot…and on top was a open container that kind of looked like a funnel…a long spout that went down into the water…there was a rubber stopper that fit into the lower pot…it would seal the top to the bottom…so no air could get into the lower pot…in the open top, in went the ground coffee…there was stopper inside so the grounds wouldn’t fall in the lower pot…then on the stove it would go…because it was sealed the water would never boil (atmospheric pressure and all that, check your science book)…and she and my Grandpa always said the best coffee is never boiled…they were right…the water would get very hot and though not boiling, because of the uneven atmospheric pressure, the water would rise into the upper chamber and you would wait until the water churned around and mixed with the coffee, then turned off the flame…let it sit for a few minutes and when it cooled a bit, the pressure would equalize and the coffee, now brewed, would be sucked back down into the lower pot…now you could take the top off and you have a perfect cup of coffee to share…I still love just writing about it…and I loved to watch it happen…

Judie and I used a vacuum coffee pot for years…(they used to be all glass, even the stopper was glass…only the rubber seal was not glass)…we still have one…my Grandpa worked for McGarvey Coffee Company for many years…he was, in the last years, a McGarvey Flame Room Coffeeroaster…and he knew his coffee…some of you Minnesotans may still buy McGarvey “Flame Room” coffee…it was famous, and this goes back many years, but at the old Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis…it had a restaurant called “The Flame Room”…famous for its entertainment, food and of course “Flame Room” coffee…it is good…if it is still being made and sold…up to ten years ago it was…we have been gone that long so who knows…things change, and disappear over the years…like our vacuum pot…in a cupboard somewhere…we now have a Keurig coffee maker, things change…

Oh, things do change…I am getting close to three quarters of a century old…now that seems older than 75, but on the other hand, both sound pretty old…but I really don’tMinneapolis Millers, Nicollet Park care…in fact it gives me a certain joy to have all that history behind me…I have so many memories that most around me don’t have…hey, most don’t even know about Flame Room Coffee…or how a vacuum coffee pot works…they aren’t able to remember about the “old” Radisson hotel or the old Nicollet Baseball Park, on Nicollet Avenue in south Minnapolis…I remember going there by streetcar many times…with my Dad a few times but by myself many times…baseball in those days was America’s Pastime…Minneapolis’ team was called the Millers…you know wheat, flour mills…home of Pillsbury Flour, Gold Medal Flour…St. Paul’s team was the Saints…the Millers were a triple A team of the Giants…the Saints, the Dodgers…quite a competitive twin cities…I was there one day when Willie Mays played the outfield, he was amazing, “shoestring catch” and all…I think it was on July 4th that they had a double header…one played a Nicollet field and the other in St. Paul…all reached easily by streetcar…what a wonderful time to live…didn’t have the fear we have today of letting our kids go like that…

But things change as I said…both the culture (it’s in the pits) and hotels, coffee makers, ballparks and houses where I lived…it is something that not only is the old Nicollet park gone, its replacement is gone too, Met Stadium was built to house the Minnesota Twins…but it is gone too…in fact the replacement of that park, the Metrodome is now history too…in its place is the new Twins ball park near the Target Center…and in the Metrodome site is now the new Viking stadium…things change…

And all the homes that I grew up in are gone…the first one I remember is 515 Meadow house 515 Meadow LaneLane, in Golden Valley, Minnesota…it was the house we rented after Dad returned from WWII in the Navy…my first memories were there…we went there a few years ago and got this picture and when we went back some time later it was an empty lot…I had lots of good memories there…I remember my Mom doing laundry on the back porch, listening and singing to WCCO…playing in the swamp behind the house…it was a tiny house…but the only one I knew…I really didn’t know it was tiny…well, hey…I was tiny…the next house I lived in was what we called “the basement house”…it was a basement that was to become a full house but never happened…it was next door to my Grandparents, my Mom’s folks…small lot, small basement, but it was all I knew…the only time it became an issue was when I realized the kids I went to school with had Elmquist shed, BB hoop, cottonwood trees in snowhuge houses, some with swimming pools in their backyard, one with a pool in the basement…but you know, it was home…no running water, well, we had a pipe underground from Grandparents, so we had cold water, heated water on the stove…no bathroom…though we used my Grandparents often but we had an outhouse…the sink in the kitchen ran into a pail under the sink…and emptied it behind the shed, with the img019basketball hoop, what time we used to have with neighbor kids playing basketball even in the dead of winter…shoveled off the court and played until we couldn’t feel our hands anymore…that basement house has been gone for decades by now…replaced by high rise business towers…we lived there until I left when Judie and I got married…you may feel sorry for me…but you know I had great growing up years…I loved all the memories I had from those years…built rafts in the swamp behind our house…played all the games kids played…skied, sledding, adventures of all kinds…

Even my Grandparent house is gone…in fact the whole neighborhood…my Mom was Reggin house burning 1979 1there when they burned down my Grandparents house…it was the house where she was raised…in fact Judie, I and the kids lived there for about 9 months and she and Dad lived there until she sold it..she watched it burn, got a picture, not very clear…she said she was crying so hard that she shook the camera…all this could be very sad I guess…but my life is made up of all these things…things no one else has in their memories…but on the other hand, everyone has a story…not just like my story, but a lot like it…things change, as I said…but I have rich memories and though life is hard, life is so good…

And if you really look hard at the picture of the basement house…and see my Mom reaching for the door, and if you really listen closely…she is asking you, “Got time for a cup of coffee?”…and you would say to that wonderful woman…why sure, why don’t we “Come on in and sit a spell”…and she would put the coffee pot on…Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful…I would sit and watch it brew…

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Great stuff yet again Jim!!

    Why don’t you make a book of all these ramblings?

    —pete

    >

    • Pete…thanks for the comment…Oh, I have been asked that question before…but never thought it was for me…meaning, there is a lot to the book thing…never really looked into it but others have…lots of cost, etc…and then to get someone to publish???…it’s a hard road…not really interested in that much time and effort it would take…and then we do have other responsibilities that will not allow all that time…

      We just got Jeremy out of the hospital last week, he had a stroke and was in for 3 days of observation and doctoring, etc…doing well but still a little scary…so time for Judie and I is limited…but if anyone wanted to read more they could go to my site at wordpress and read on…there is a few years of writing there…not “organized” but it’s there none the less…doing this when I can is enough for me…thanks again…Jim E


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: