Micro Community Still Emphasizes Human Contact
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 23:27 by Jeff Henson, Contributing Writer
The South Charleston Public Library is a micro-community.
So are women's clubs, the Fraternal Order of Police, knitting circles, diners, veteran's groups and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Yes, Facebook connects a billion people - "users" - from around the world. You can "friend" someone.
But, you cannot shake his hand, hug her or high-five them - basic and essential human contact.
Inside any city, of any size, there are clusters of little communities within the larger.
For anyone who enters one, it gives you a sense of belonging. You walk into a coffee shop or favorite restaurant or meeting of retired engineers and you see faces you've come to know and appreciate.
And they're happy to see you.
They're quick with a firm handshake or double-pat on the back. Sharing space - and not a site - helps us feel physically connected to something greater than ourselves.
At the Daily Cup, Jerry Gorby might offer the best handshake in town. Firm, but not bone-crushing.
"How's your mother?" he regularly asks me.
Jerry took my mom, Sally, to a junior high school Christmas dance way back in the day.
I didn't know him before I started coming to The Cup.
After serving Jerry an espresso Ken Parks, co-owner of the coffee house with his wife, Denise, slips from behind the front counter and sits next to me on a bench near the table Jerry shares with Chris, Ken's friend.
They discuss "true testimonies of faith" and "contagious Christianity" and other theological matters.
Chris mentions a quote a young man at his church wrote, with encouragement, on the wall of the youth center: "What you mumble today will echo for eternity."