Who loves a good cup of coffee? Tales from the travels of Arvey Jones

Posted: August 1, 2017 in *Celebration*, a story, From us to you

You remember from our other stories that Arvey Jones as a young man fled his home in Good City with only the shirt on his back, nothing in his pockets except a comb, heading for New York, New York. If you don’t remember the story you can make one up as you go along. Here is Arvey’s recollections of a coffee pot, the one in the photo, that he has been carrying around in all of the travels and settling in over the course of the last 50 some years.

Coffee Pot view with handle.

It was a sunny Saturday, the kind of day that everyone enjoys except for those who like it blasting cold with snow swirling or raining. Yes, I do know there are folks who like such things and I am one of them who likes all things. Never has the weather made me mad, or to cry out loud, “This fucking weather is going to fuck up my plans.” No what ever the weather the weather may be if its good enough for Mother Nature then its good enough for me. I was walking down on the Bowery, the old Bowery not the superficial one that is the Bowery now. The real deal Bowery of flop houses, cheap bars, panhandlers, A.I.Residence, junk shops, cheap clothing stores, used restaurant equipment, and down and out folks all over the place. Gerry warned me, “Stay a night in one of those hotels and get bugs like you wouldn’t believe.”  There was a junk store or a “we got a bit of everything” type of a place that I loved to poke around in and see what I could find. The owner, a delightful older Jewish man took to me right away and we had many a good talks when ever I was around. Well I spied what was to become my coffee pot for many a years after that. If not traveling to my new destination then packed away in my old trunk, stored in someone’s home until I could come back and retrieve it. Coffee pot 5 cents, couldn’t go wrong. A drip coffee maker that Carl told me was a French Drip Coffee Pot and that it made some very good coffee. Some of the best. Here look I have the same type in my back room. Sit down awhile and I will make us a cup of coffee. Carl’s brother ran a business out of the West Village, a work ready place where assignments would come in and he found the people to fill it. He got me the job that I had at the time. He told me about Carl’s store and said I should stop by there as he had good things cheap. Not in it for the money but for something to do. When the going got tough for some folks they knew that if they had something to sell go and see Carl. He was fair and would throw in a couple of extra dollars just because. One thing he wouldn’t deal with was the junkies. I can spot them a mile away and don’t want any of their stolen property. They want to get sober, well I know folks who would help them. But if not stay away.

Coffee all made I have to admit it was some of the best coffee that I had ever drank. So began my love affair with my French Drip Coffee pot. You know I think that if I had one bag to bring on my journeys I would leave out a change of socks, underwear, or any thing else just so my coffee pot would fit. It was my security blanket, a reminder of my home, a token of closeness. This coffee pot has traveled to San Francisco and back to NYC. The pot traveled through all the states in the middle of America. In a suitcase to Sterling City, California and a small steamer trunk to Davenport Iowa. It was in my trunk when I moved to Woodstock New York and came here in the same trunk when I moved to Hartford in 1978.

Coffee Pot view with spout.

I will never forget the afternoon that I couldn’t find my coffee pot. Where, oh where, was it? I searched and searched. I even went out to the dumpster pulled out the bag of trash that I had put in and searched. I finally gave up and said, It must have vanished in thin air or I have a little elf in the house playing tricks on me. I looked at my cat Sammy, “Sammy did you see my coffee pot?” and he meowed back. Well later in the day I went into the refrigerator to get some juice and there I spied it. In a real lapsed I had put the coffee put behind the milk and the juice. “Alleluia,”  I yelled and they heard me the other side of town. Sammy cat came into the kitchen to see what was going on.  Well I went about making a nice cup of coffee so happy that I had found my coffee pot.

I gave up coffee and my French Drip Coffee pot around 20 years ago. At that time there was a scare about using aluminum cooking utensils. But I hung on to the coffee pot. It resurfaced again when I was packing to move. I had placed it in a large kettle stored with a box of candles, wooden matches, and small cooking pans. There in the emergency kettle was my dear old coffee pot. The items were suppose to be used if the lights went out and we needed to cook on a steno burner.  I thought to myself, “How foolish you would never be able to heat up enough boiling water to use in the pot.” So guess what ? I am going to turn it into a work of art. Yeah, Yeah, art.  Now I can’t promise that I will have a show, put the coffee pot in it and make coffee as I would not want to be accused of helping anyone’s diseases along the way. I am sure we all got something brewing in us and of course its not from one cup of coffee from a aluminum drip coffee pot, but you know how it is now-a-days. Everyone knows everything, some know something, there are jack of all trades running around, and a bunch of goof balls in change of the United States. I once knew a anarchist woman who thought a beautiful bouquet of flowers was disgusting because the vase had come from Walmart. Honey get out of the way, you are not going to make any change that way.

So enjoy my photos of the coffee pot and my little recollections. I know just the artist that may want it for one of his terrific installations. I will ask him or maybe leave it on his door step. On the door step would better but I’m not sure where he lives.

Many thanks to Arvey Jones for this first person account of his French Drip Coffee Pot.

 

 

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