Once Around the Square

2017 by Ed Chasteen

Years ago when HateBusters was a class project and my office was on campus, I would ride this route on my bicycle from my home: up the hill on Natchez to Southview; left on Southview to Leonard; north on Leonard to Mill; left on Mill to Water, past Kansas to Franklin; left on Franklin to Main; left on Main to Kansas; left on Kansas, past the Clay County Courthouse. Once around the square! To see that all is as it should be in our town. To feel the presence of Norman Rockwell and Grover’s Corner. Then up Kansas to campus.

Then when HateBusters became a 501 c-3 non-profit and I took my computer home, I did not want to bring folks down the stairs and through the laundry room to my study. Highway 152 brings visitors from Kansas City directly to campus, becoming Kansas Street along the way. So an office on Kansas Street I sought. Just a half-block shy of the Courthouse and on the same side of the street at 12 W. Kansas is a space that has been home in my time to three local cafes: Fork & Spoon, then K-Street Bistro and now Ginger Sue’s. The first one I frequented often when my office was on campus, The second served me now and then until it closed. Then some ten years ago came this place “where friends come to eat”. I came! And love at first sight came with me.

The high table just inside the door at Ginger Sue’s seats four, though I prefer that only one other person at a time join me for breakfast. Anytime from 6:30 until 8:30 in the morning I like to invite one other person to join me. One to one and in person. A time too short. But well spent. The quickest and deepest route to lasting friendship. Where comfort food served on the plate, though marvelous, is not the main attraction.

This table in this place every weekday morning, Monday through Friday, is my HateBusters office. My mobile office moves by bicycle for Saturday breakfast to one of a dozen cafes in one of a dozen small towns some 15-25 miles from our town called Liberty. The Greater Liberty Inner Sanctum is the collective name we have given these good places.

Then on Sunday morning my office moves just up Kansas Street to the big red brick building on the same side of the street as Ginger Sue’s and known to many who go there as 2BC and to all as Second Baptist Church. Here I serve as Ambassador To Other Communities of Faith and regularly take our folks to visit other faiths and bring other faiths to visit our folks, understanding always that our purpose in our coming and going is never to change or to join but to make friends.

By the locomotion of your choice, I invite you to my office any morning of the week: M-F at Ginger Sue’s; Saturday at another inner sanctum*; Sunday at 2BC.

* to know which inner sanctum any Saturday, email me at hatebuster@aol.com

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