|Junior takes Boomer with him wherever he goes.|
One of the coffee drinking regulars is 85 years old. He is not the oldest guy I drink coffee with. That distinction belongs to "Jack". Jack was wounded by shrapnel at The Ardennes on December 18, 1944. Jack is 94.
But this is the 85 year old's story. His name, of course, is Junior.
Junior raised his family on bluegills, called 'bream' down south, and cottontail rabbits. Junior always has been and always will be a "Beagle" man.
His current beagle, Boomer, is slowing down and at 15 years of age Junior knows that old Boomer does not have a lot of miles left on the odometer.
He surprised us when he announced that he intends to name his next beagle "Aurora".
Aurora! What kind of name is that for a beagle?
Beagles demand short, masculine names. Names like "Sam" and "Boomer", "Homer" and "Woody".
"What kind of name is Aurora!" we asked him. "That ain't no name for a beagle!"
From the other side of the table came a grunt, "When did you start watching Disney movies?" the fellow coffee drinker demanded.
Now you gotta keep in mind that Junior's voice has been strained by 72 years of hollering over the pounding of metal stamping presses, at kids and at bone-headed beagles. It is hoarse and strained and whispery all at the same time.
"Ya ain't sayin' it right." Junior said.
About that time Boomer, who was sitting in the back of Junior's three-wheeled bike, parked just outside the door, started bellowing.
"Tell me," Junior said, "what does that dog sound like. Make a sound just like him."
What the heck. I did my best beagle yodel.
"Yup. That's the next one's name. Exactly like that." Junior said.
He punked us all. Damned octogenarians.