Happy Trails to Sue

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

One thought on “Happy Trails to Sue

  1. I just wanted you to know that I have read your editorial regarding the Jones sales tax issue and you are right on the mark. I served over 27 years on the Town Board of Trustees and never voted to bring a sales tax issue before the people. Sales tax is non progressive. Increases indicate that you have exhausted all other means of revenue to offset expenses. In my opinion, the Town has not exhausted all other means of revenue. We have a “golden goose.” It’s called our municipal natural gas system. One complaint the Board has made about raising water and sewer rates only to fund these large infrastructure projects have been centered around the fact that it would be costly per user and not affect any Board member. No current member is on municipal water and sewer. I bet some, if not all, have municipal natural gas. Over the years, we have tried to keep the gas cost to our customers lower than what ONG charges. We could raise our MCF charge by $5.00 and still be lower. We used to sell approx. 50,000 MCF per year and that would raise approx. $250,000. in annual revenue to fund these projects. I believe this figure would be close to the added sales tax revenue. Maybe the Town should also look at reducing expenses to balance their budget.

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