Saturday, September 27, 2008

Buzzards's Roost

BUZZARD'S ROOST: A phrase describing a cultural phenomenon. It consists of meeting place where older men sit for hours on end discussing world events, local gossip and passing along the local lore. Long winded stories are a hallmark of the Buzzard's Roost experience

One of the hallmarks of a healthy community is the presence of a Buzzard's Roost.

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If your town doesn't have a Buzzard's Roost it is stagnating.

I've found Buzzard's Roosts in almost every small town in our travels. The south breeds a particularly healthy version of the Buzzard's Roost. Isn't it amazing that you never see women sitting on the courthouse benches talking about fishing weather? That must be because they're busy keeping the social fabric of the world mended.

Can you think of a Buzzard's Roost in your town?

15 comments:

Kaye said...

Oh, Suzanne, I love your "Buzzard's Roost" phrase! I never heard it before, but boy, does it take me back to my childhood growing up on a farm outside a small southeast Missouri town (near New Madrid and Sikeston)! The "Buzzard's Roost" there was a bench on the front porch of my uncle's grocery store. Granddaddy and his buddies would sit for hours talking and watching traffic go by and waving to everyone they knew, which is to say pretty much everyone who went by, and what the heck, they'd wave to total strangers too. Sometimes I got to sit with them while I ate my popsicle and waited until time for me and Granddaddy to go get Grandma from her weekly appointment at the beauty shop. How I'd love to sit with them one more time! I hadn't thought of that in ages - thanks for the memories!

Chris said...

Our Buzzard's Roost is the old McDonald's in town. They opened a new super McDonald's with a playland & lattes across town. Now, every day this first, small, poorly decorated one is filled with older men drinking coffee and discussing the newpapers and local politics. They did have a "latte machine" but got rid of it since they never sold any...these guys like REAL coffee!

Karen said...

I love the idea of a 'Buzzard's Roost'.

Don't think there is anything around these parts, that qualify for hat name ... unless you could qualify the steps by the river, where a lot of the local homeless men congregate, as that. I've heard a few spirited discussions going on as I've passed by. The war, the weather, the economy, the latest football game, world affairs and so on. Being the people wacher that I am, I've even sat down and listened. Had one guy turn around one day and ask me 'So what do you think, Ma'm?' So I told them. The ensuring conversation was one of the best I've had for a long time.

Back home in Wellington , NZ, the 'Buzzard's Roost' was often the seat benches in front of the local Library. Though they never called them by that name :-) I need to remember that description.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh, yes, I vaguely remember your mentioning this one before.

As I understand it, the coffee pot at "Dad's Place" is pretty busy between 4:30 and 6 am. Apparently, men stand around holding a styrofoam cup of really strong coffee chatting about news and views. The carpenter used to be there.

martina said...

The Buzzard's Roost my Dad used to frequent was the local hobby shop. He'd go there at least once a week. There they would chat about how they were building their remote control ship and boats, how engines work and probably many other things. When Dad died there was a gigantic wreath of long stemmed red roses at the memorial. It was from the shop owner and Dad's friends there. It was very touching and meant a great deal to our family.

corine said...

I love them :-)

In L.A. I'm not sure where they are hiding, and there is no doubt that this is a no-community place.

In France they are everywhere, living a slower life and enjoying lively discussion, and you are absolutely right, they are part of a vibrant community.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when I read your blog about "Buzzard's Roost" because some of my ancestors came from Buzzard's Roost, GA. It was located in Twiggs County, but, unfortunately the community does not exist anymore.

Mainly a midwife said...

We have several. One is in a diner type place. Another is in an independent cafe. You can walk in either place on any given morning and hear the old guys holding court, discussing the politics of the day. It's reassuring to me. They are always there.. Same time, same place, same tables.

Mainly a midwife said...

btw, got your postcard and it's on my blog today! Hope you had a great trip.

Lori said...

Oh my yea, we have one. It's a large long table at our local coffee shop. It's affectionately called the "Table of Knowledge". Notice I didn't say accurate knowledge. :)

LDF said...

Oh my, I thought I was the only one who referred to the place where the good ol' boys hang out as a buzzard's roost! Up here in Northern Canada, the roost is usually a particular coffee shop, and each group of buzzards has their own pet coffee shop. My own Dad used to make his daily stop at "Dixie's Cafe", and really missed it when he broke his hip and wasn't able to get there on his own.

Kendra said...

Oh yes, we have a Buzzard's Roost in our little town area. We live about 5 miles outside a larger city (3rd largest city in Kentucky...but it's still not a large city). The little town doesn't have a post office anymore - but does have a name - and consists of a gas station, a fire station, a Baptist church and a Methodist church, and a couple neighborhoods.

There is a bench sitting out in front of the gas station and every afternoon when I come home from picking my daughter up from school, there are several elderly gentlemen sitting on the bench. They're not there anytime earlier in the day..it's always the mid-afternoon. They don't sit out in a heavy rain or during the winter when it's cold. But spring, summer, and fall, hot and sunny or cool and cloudy, they're there. I can only imagine the discussions that take place there. Our situation is a bit different in that the road is a major US highway and the gas station is set back from the road a ways, so you can't just drive by and wave easily. But I bet they'd wave if someone tooted the horn and waved at them.

By the way, I'm not exactly sure where I picked it up, but I've always know these congregatin' places as "Liars' Benches".

Lucy said...

I love this. It doesn't happen where I live now..Mesa, AZ...but I'm sure it did once. One that I remember was a little town YEARS ago called Finley, ND. There were 700 plus people in that town and my phone number then . . to show how small the town was .. was 307.
Everytime..no matter what time of the day..I would go to town there would be 3-4 men sitting on a bench in front of the post office just basking the day away. I thought then how nice that was for them. I've wondered many times if that bench is still there for that use...even though I'm sure those same men are now gone.

I LOVE small towns. I'd take Finley again in a minute.

Mamahut said...

We have an old gas station in town where all of the guys go hang out. You can go in there anytime and get all of the good gossip. It seems to be dwindling though. The oil and gas industry has blown up our little community. One good note most of the people coming in are from the south. I love southern people, in fact I married one :)

Ritch in Love said...

That put a smile on my face...