It was 8 a.m. and the board was meeting in the back corner of Synco Drugs.
Everything was quiet except for the clatter of metal on metal. Then a loud cheer and laughter.
Board member William Davis was praised for the low score of the board and the ability to pay for coffee all around.
The Council is made up of “old people in retirement homes” and meets every day of the week, except for public holidays, in the geriatric corner of Synco Drugs.
The board meeting opens with each “old man” playing board.
Playing board is a Trojan tradition that began around 1947 at the Sandwich Shop in Gam Green “or maybe it was his pharmacy.
Davis explained that the “board” is a handmade “contraption” that was made by “Perry Young, Sis Young’s husband.”
“Or maybe it was made in Japan,” one board member joked.
“The board is made of a monkey board that tilts towards the center,” Davis said. “There are all these little holes that are the size of these little ball bearings. You drop the ball bearings through the tube made from a metal hanger and they fall, roll, and go into a numbered hole. The player with the lowest score wins and pays for the coffee… usually around eight or nine dollars. “According to the number of women who let their husbands out of the house,” “Hey, William? “
“There is something engraved in the picture,” said Mike Guillory. “Looks like – John Key loves HH”
“Homer Hamilton! Was the collective jibe.
“Isn’t that carved on a tree somewhere?” Big laugh. John Key even laughed at it.
Council members around the table on that freezing Alabama morning also included Ronnie Baker, William B. Key and Jack Norton.
Much of the rib was directed towards Larry Meeks, the Karate Kid whose “feet do not match”.
However, Meeks took it all in stride and even seemed to enjoy the verbal scramble.
The board agenda usually includes sports, politics, city activities, local gossip and military service – “We have a lot of heroes. Did you know Milton McKeller blew up two ships under him? Meeks asked.
“Who served on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt?” “
The group talks about local events and traffic on Highway 231 and how to avoid it. They talk about the good old days and how all men carried knives in their pockets. “And, always do.”
Council members proudly emptied their pockets of Case knives.
As if at the right time, a board member waved Charlene out of the pharmacy and said “Oh, Charlene-a”, then it was back to board business.
The discussion centered around some great general tips – “Buy low and sell high”, “Keep mom happy; if mum isn’t happy, nobody’s happy “,” Don’t worry about the little things “and” Don’t trust Larry Meeks “.
Someone knew someone who had found a cow and someone who had sold a bunch of cows. No one could remember what they had done the day before or what they were supposed to do the next day. And, it really didn’t seem to matter.
Council members shifted their conversation to the age traps and security of knowing that you cannot be discriminated against because of old age.
“Here we are wearing hearing aids and bifocals and we cannot lift our legs high enough to step off the sidewalk,” Key said.
“And our daily exercise falls and picks up,” Guillory said.
“Health is a problem,” said Norton, the council’s radio personality. “We all want good health. We want to stay on the green side of the grass.
And, it’s better to be seen than to be seen, Baker added with a laugh.
Laughter is the best medicine, and Council members open up and take a big dose of medicine in their meetings.
And although they are not getting any younger, they are enjoying each day and counting their blessings.
They are fortunate to have good and wise people to lead and guide them, and to have loving family and friends.
The collective wish of the members of the Council is the health and happiness of all they love and a world of peace and prosperity for all.