Monday, December 14, 2009

Cafe Blackadder

I used to have a re-occurring dream that I would be by myself for the holidays.  I would be lost and alone until I would come to a christmas celebration at the Teehaus, and Peggy would take me in and make me feel warm and welcome.  After I had that dream, I vowed I would make it a yearly tradition to not join the commercial x-mess rat race and go to the Teehaus to buy many of my gifts for my family there.  It helped bring meaning to the season for me as I would support a locally owned business and I would be buying personalized presents for my family that had more meaning than the plastic made in China crap that was shoved down our throats, often at the expense of local labor and businesses.  Peggy passed away last year, and the Teehaus closed down.  I was worried that the inevitable passing of Peggy would come and go, and I wouldn't know it until I came upon an empty closed Teehaus.  Somehow, that didn't happen due to a little miracle.  Last year I had to take our dog to the vet.  She had a lump on her chest, and the only place I take our pets is to Alpine Pet Clinic in Warrensburg.  On the way home, I passed by the Teehaus.  I thought it would be closed, but instead, I found it overflowing with people.  They seemed to be celebrating.  I came in and found Peggy's daughter, Sandy, behind the bar.  She told me she was happy I could make it.  Bewildered, I asked her if this was some sort of private party.  She said, "No, haven't you heard?  Peggy passed away last Wednesday.  This is her wake."  Somehow I happened to be in town (something that happens only once or twice a year now) and I happened to go by the Teehaus at the exact time of the wake without knowing of Peggy's passing.  The odds of that occurring are tremendous.  But it did, and I shot a little bit of her moving wake....

What was really moving about it was seeing all the people who came and all the lives Peggy Means touched.  The place had been open since 1969, and was a coffeehouse even before that.  People of all walks of life and ages came to the wake, and I believe some of them went back to the early days of the Teehaus.  In the end it makes me realize that people truely do not pass on, but live in the lives of all the people they touched.  Peggy lived a full life.

I was saddened to hear that the Teehaus was shut down after Peggy's passing.  So, almost a year later, My wife and I were in Warrensburg to attend a Christmas party.  I drove by the Teehaus, curious to see what happened to the place.  I had a pleasant surprise to find it open as a cafe, under a new name in some respects, but actually, not really a new name.  It is now Cafe Blackadder.  Blackadder is Peggy Means' maiden name.  So, the spirit lives on....

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