Not a few comments have been made lately concerning the resilience of Waxahachie residents, especially in the aftermath of the downtown fire last month – and now that resilience is being met with further testing with an extended, bone chilling Arctic blast.
Waxahachie people who finally tired of being cooped up in the house, braved the elements Thursday to meet up with friends in local gathering spots – and that included the faithful of the Whataburger crew.
The iconic A-frame edifice was brimming with people Thursday afternoon conversing over coffee, and most managed to offer a comment about how they’re coping with cold weather and thoughts were already turned to the ideal evening meal at home – chili seemed to be the unanimous dinner of choice.
“I love cold weather – I hope it stays this way at least until next Tuesday,” said long-time Waxahachie resident Garlin Bell as he sipped on his coffee and refusing to remove his furry Russian ushanka from his head.
Retired Dallas policeman and longtime participant of what has affectionately been dubbed as the Whataburger Codger’s Club, Orval Stanton, admits he’s no fan of the frigid weather.
“I’m old – there’s ice on the roads, and a guy like me has got to watch his step,” Stanton said, saying that there are also a few perks that are brought about by cold weather. “It’s a great time to kick back with a big bowl of good old Wolf Brand Chili, maybe a little hot chocolate and, if I like, I can just crawl in bed with the covers up to my chin.”
Regular Whataburger patron John Davis had a more blasé attitude toward the frosty temperatures. Asked what he hated about cold weather, he exclaimed, with a touch of indignation in his voice, “I don’t hate anything – it’s the time of the year for cold weather!”
But he admitted that one of the aspects of the winter that he liked was the fact that it would be over.
His plans for the evening meal were equally blasé.
“I don’t know what I’ll have to eat when I get home – I just may take the wife and go out somewhere,” he said.
Charles “Chuck” Frame, who is also a regular patron of Whataburger, says he doesn’t like the fact he has to slow his driving down because of the ice on the roads. But he does relish the opportunity to stay inside and enjoy his favorite food.
“This weather makes me want to stay home a lot, and eat fried potatoes,” he said.
When an acquaintance noted that Frame seemed to always be in Whataburger, he retorted with a chuckle, “That’s right, this is home.”
Another member of the “codger” group, Joe Wright, explained that his morning started out with a bang.
“Just as I walked out my front door this morning, my feet slipped out from under me and I fell flat,” he painfully lamented. “And I want to tell you, it’s not easy getting up from something like that when you’re 78 years old.”
Wright was firm in his plans to travel south to escape the frigid Waxahachie temperatures. Asked how far south he planned to go, his reply was, “Around Forreston.”
Although Pam Moore, another Whataburger customer, has been a Waxahachie resident for the past 25 years, she still possesses a pronounced English brogue. In response to the comment that her accent sounded like she had been raised around Liverpool, she casually replied, “Oh no, that’s too far north, I was raised down toward Hastings.”
Another Waxahachie resident, Jerry Bell, the self-appointed president of the Whataburger Codger’s Club, jokingly quipped he always dreaded seeing cold weather coming since his wife won’t let him sleep inside the house. But he could see the positive side of the arctic temperatures.
“Now I know it probably hurts the pest control business around here, but one thing about it, you don’t see a lot of bugs crawling around Waxahachie in the freezing weather,” he said.
Ann Bell, who is noted for never wearing a coat regardless of the temperature, had decided that the 17-degree temperatures called for a thin, nylon jogging outfit.
“I’m not really crazy about this temperature – now when it gets to around 33 degrees, that’s what I call a good ‘no jacket’ weather, – I’m very, very hot natured – I guess I’m just a ‘hot momma’ and can’t help it,” she said with a laugh. “But one thing about it – if it gets too hot in the room, I can always go outside and cool off.”
She noted that chili would probably be on the menu at the Bell residence Thursday evening.
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