Contributed by Judith Bergman
Conrad Holler came into Gathering Grounds for a cup of coffee and to check the place out. He didn’t talk to anyone, just sat and watched the kids working, observed the staff and drop in guests. Within a few days he introduced us to an ever evolving group we call: Conrad’s Coffee Club.
John Raetz was asked how he happened to come in for coffee. “It didn’t happen”, he said. Conrad came in to the coffee shop where they formerly met and said, “We have to go to this other place for coffee. Let’s Go!” “Now I come here because I lost my wife, I’m on my own and the kids and staff are my family.” He said he would miss teasing, joking and arguing with his new friends. Conrad said it was the kids, friends’ smiling faces, bad jokes and good coffee. “Some people test our grit with insults and opinions, and I like that,” he says. “Also I can stay up on drug problems, inside scoops, give my opinions and keep a lookout on the kids. “
Franz likes to be here because Conrad educated them about Gathering Grounds and he now considers the kids and Gathering Grounds his duty, his family and his home. He enjoys finding out the opinions of the kids and offering his own right back.
Jon K was a medical director for years and is familiar with the issues and problems our kids face and he loves to educate and be honest with them, he says.
Guy sees some kids who are introverted and hurting and he likes to talk to and tease them in support. He also owns Alaska Cab and offers transport in partnership with MY House.
Ray is the lunchtime electrical advice man, and he loves the “old farts” and kids. He enjoys a good argument, and has also spread the word to his construction trade friends that this is the place to hire good help for the summer.
We love the guys and gals in this group, they brighten our day and change young lives with their banter and love. They are what being part of a community is all about: Love and caring. If this sounds like the bunch for you, come on by. Best coffee in town, according to Conrad.