by Steve Lancaster 12/22/15
The cooks come in at 04:30 and start prep for breakfast and at 05:30 the servers and the manager come in to prep for opening at 06:00 when the first customers come in. The early customers are, for the most part, laborers and construction workers who need to be on the job site by 07:00. Some have just coffee and toast. Others eat a hearty breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage or bacon — some even have the John Wayne omelet of three eggs, cheese, hash browns, sausage, bacon, and enough jalapenos to take off the top of your head. It is an average day at the Rolling Pin…a landmark coffee shop/diner in Fayetteville for over 20 years.
The customers are an eclectic group; many are skilled workers, the old Democrat Party stalwarts, most of whom have been voting conservative since the 80s. There are lawyers, university professors, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist ministers, and assorted professionals mixed in with farmers who may or may not have finished high school. There are more Blacks today then there were 20 years ago, and more women. In the 1960s a restaurant like the Rolling Pin would be almost exclusively white male. Most of the women are professionals but a few drive trucks and have ready ability to compete in their chosen endeavors.
Back in the 70s, Arkansas absorbed a great many refugees from Vietnam, and after living in poor housing at Ft. Chaffee, moved elsewhere. Some stayed and sent their children to the University of Arkansas. Many of these Vietnamese are farmers and others are professionals. It is a little perplexing to hear a strong hill accent — turn and it’s coming from a native Arkansan of Vietnamese decent. There are also more Hispanics; the older are in the trades and the younger are professional and seldom work with their hands.
Arkansas law basically allows for open carry and at least 50% of the patrons are now openly armed; politeness and common courtesy is always the order of the day. During deer season the percentage might hit 80+%. Although there are a variety of opinions at the Rolling Pin, there are seldom harsh words. This gives lie to the misrepresentation that armed men and women are eventually going to resort to armed conflict. Twenty years ago there were always a few who had CCW. No one made a big fuss about carry and you could depend upon him or her to use discretion. Even with open carry, no one seems to be threatened. But woe to the socialist who wants to help himself from the cash register.
It is a different group than 20 years ago, yet strangely the same. People live their lives, marry, have children, divorce, and change jobs. Likely there are similar places in your town. The Rolling Pin is not the only one in Fayetteville. People gather at Lucy’s, Village Inn, and even some McDonalds. This is one of the best examples of the people peaceably assembling and one of the strengths of our culture. It is Americans doing what we do best. We meet together, talk about problems, solve them, and go on with our lives. We don’t need permission from Little Rock or DC to live our lives as we see fit.
Perhaps in your town there is a restaurant like the Rolling Pin. My guess there is. The readers on this site know exactly the place and have been going there for years. Treasure it. Embrace the atmosphere, friendship, and common life goals. If you haven’t been in for a while, do not worry…there is a pot of hot coffee and friends you may not have visited with for years. • (808 views)