Skip to main content

change you can believe in



when i heard the news, i didn't quite cry, at least on the outside. on the inside, however, i was very sad. an institution, one i had enjoyed my entire life, was closing. to be torn down. and on the spot a new cvs to be built (does bay city really need that? they already tore down the old in and out mini mart where i played video games as a kid to build a walgreen's). now shipley's, the greatest donut spot on the planet, had a date with the wrecking ball.

shipley's never changed. you drove up to the window and a lady stuck her head out to take your order. she never wrote anything down: bear claws. pigs in the blanket. chocolate filled. chocolate milk. donut holes. if you went inside you saw old timers sitting on the same red tables that had been there forever. the place had a lingering hint of cigarettes and coffee. if you walked into church with a box of donuts from shipley's you were accepted.

shipley's corporation, i learned today, was founded in 1936 by mr. shipley. his grandson, mr. shipley III, is now ceo. still, one shipley's is not the same as another. some friends and i were in arkansas once for some reason and popped into a shipley's for breakfst. i asked for a pig in the blanket. the woman did not know what that was. let me say that again: at a shipley's in arkansas they did not know what a pig in the blanket is. mom said recently a salesman dropped in at the store, having brought in donuts and pigs from a shipley's in houston. they went untouched. the bay city shipley's was an original. the gold standard.

so often when the old is replaced, renewed, little is left of what made the place great. the name may be the same, location similar, maybe even the same staff is there, but the product and the experience is different. i know people naturally resist change-- the uproar over the new facebook is a prime example. so i reluctantly drove in to bay city a couple of days ago, uncertain of the new shipley's. when we were down for Christmas we had to get donuts from a pretender. i thought my boys would cry. i became hopeful when mom and dad said they had moved all the old equipment to the new place. james even slept with pepaw to make sure to get up early enough to beat the traffic. anticipation was high.

and it was worth it. the donuts, and especially the pigs, were dy-no-mite, as j.j. would say. the boys went back yesterday, and the only reason they did not go today was because they spent last night with their cousins in sweeney. no doubt we'll drive through on our way out of town tomorrow morning. sometimes we make changes for change's sake. sometimes we make changes to fit our own needs, at the expense of others. sometimes another company rolls into town, makes us an offer we can't refuse, and we turn that into an even better product. there are times when change is very, very good.

now if you'll excuse me i believe there are a couple of two-day old donuts around here somewhere...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…