A cup of coffee and a donut.

I can't help it. It happens every year about this time. Late September. Something happens. Maybe it's that first cool breeze, or the first few leaves that fall, but it happens. It happened this morning while I was walking dear Putsy in our neighborhood. It probably helps that our walking route includes a little stretch through the Trinity University campus here in San Antonio. And suddenly my mind and my heart briefly go back to a place and a time about thirty (or forty?) years ago.

I am back at Hendrix College. It is my junior or senior year. It's early in the morning. I am walking across that beautiful Conway, Arkansas, campus. I am walking alone, probably trying to figure out whether I am going to pass Dr. Fitch's Abnormal Psych class...

And then a smiling young woman appears at my side. It's Louie Mann. Always happy, chipper, perky as hell. She is wearing her uniform: A flannel shirt tucked into Levi's, her hair tied back in a bandana, and the Vasque boots ("You gotta love those Vibram soles!") - or maybe Birkenstocks with rag wool socks. "'Mornin', Bobo. Wouldn't a cup of coffee and a donut be good this mornin'?" And off we go, stopping to say 'Good morning' to Coach Grove, to Hulen Hall, where we will find coffee and donuts.

Some memories are not as clear, clouded by years (or whatever), but this memory of a morning with Louie is vivid. It is a recollection that makes me smile. There are lots of those, especially this time of year. It was forty (!) years ago that I stepped onto that college campus as a freshman. And sometimes I still crave a cup of coffee and a donut in the morning.


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