I have somehow been appointed to be President of the Purdue Alumni Association of Southwest Michigan. “Congratulations,” my friends say when I tell them. I chuckle because it’s like any volunteer commitment. Somebody asks if you’d do it. You say yes and then immediately start questioning what you got yourself involved in. But it’s been fun. I’m meeting a lot of really cool people. That’s what life is all about.
So this week is the Alumni Leaders Conference, and a subset of leaders with time and ability to attend have gathered on the main campus of Purdue. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage because I actually never went to school on this campus. I got my Masters at Purdue on a satellite campus. It’s been fun to spend the last few days with people who are diehard Boilermakers who lived their lives on campus from the 50s all the way up to the present moment.
I’m coming to believe that I actually did go to school here. I’m starting to recollect fond memories of drinking at Harry’s Chocolate Shop, hanging out by the Bell Tower and walking across campus in the snow. At any rate, I’m here and I’m enjoying all of these people and their hospitality.
This morning I woke up in my dorm room and had time to get breakfast. So I googled good breakfast stops and found one called Sacred Grounds that looked interesting. Trent, the barista, briefed me on the history of the building. Originally it was a butcher shop, but it’s path afterwards is infinitely more interesting.
Sacred Grounds is owned by a local church. It was a topless bar when they bought it. It took a turn as a speakeasy. In one iteration of its history, it was a bar, and the bartender raised chickens out back. People kept stealing them, so he rigged up a shotgun and ended up shooting his neighbor. A prison camp for Confederate soldiers was in this neighborhood, so there’s a cemetery where a bunch of southern boys are buried. And the Ball family, founders of the mason jar, live in this town.
Anyway this place makes a great cup of coffee, and I love the energy of the place. It makes me smile. If you stop by here, order the vegetarian scramble. It was delicious. And don’t forget to look out at the mural on the building next door. Just yesterday, a group of traveling artists came by and painted it. But don’t worry. Trent will remind you to go look at it. And ask him about the place. It sounds much better when he tells it.
Y’all have a good day now.