In Tracy Byrd’s classic song, “I’m From the Country” he reminds us of one of the simple blessings of small town life. His lyrics state,
“Everybody knows everybody
Everybody calls you friend
You don’t need an invitation
Oh, kick off your shoes, come on in”
One of the charms of living in a small town is knowing your neighbor and being known by them. This hallmark couldn’t be more evident than in a place like Shuff’s Main Street Grill in the heart of Jones, OK. If you frequent Shuff’s, chances are you are already on a first name basis with not only the owner, but his head waitress, Mrs. Sue. There are days I haven’t even walked in the door, and Mrs. Sue already has my drink ready for me at my favorite table. Beyond just knowing your name, Sue Humphrey probably knows your parents, she’ll ask how your grandma is doing, and she has your usual order memorized.
For over 30 years, Sue Humphrey has been serving the residents of Jones, OK at the Old Malt Shop and Shuff’s Main Street Grill. Sue says that she learned her work ethic and love for waitressing from her mom, Mrs. Sarah McKey. Of her mother, Sue states, “She was the hardest working, most loved person.” Sarah McKey worked at the Malt Shop for 23 years, and Sue served customers right along side her during her last years there.
Sue grew up in Jones, moving out of town in the 8th Grade. However, this has always been home for her. She wakes up at 3 am each morning and drives into town to greet her customers with a cup of coffee and a smile. She says the best part of working in a small diner is the multigenerational relationships she builds with her customers and their families. She calls everyone “her kids,” and she loves when a new generations of longhorns grow up knowing that Mrs. Sue loves them.
Sue will officially hang up her apron this Friday, as she welcomes a wonderful new season of life in retirement. For her retirement, Sue plans to “Do what I want to do when I want to do it.” She will have been married to her husband, Warren “Rude” Humphrey, for 48 years this August, and she is looking forward to spending lots of quality time with him.
As a final farewell to everyone’s favorite waitress, there will be a town send-off on Friday, July 2nd at 2 pm. Cards and gifts for Sue can be delivered ahead of time to the Jones Drug Store. Best wishes to Mrs. Sue in your retirement. You’ve certainly earned this extended coffee break!
“I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor – it is the gift of God.”Ecclesiastes 3:12-13