If you happen to be in Baldwyn between 8-8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and want or need to know the answer to some of life’s most difficult questions, then Tom’s Drug Store is the place for you to be.
There gathered in their own particular place, sits one of the most sophisticated groups of bull-shooting coffee drinkers in the world. The group consists of a cross section of businessmen, including a former school superintendent of education to the present superintendent, a law officer (known for his singing ability), local merchants and farmers. With a group such as this, the answer to the problems of life has to be found.
Most of the group have been meeting regularly for the past four and a half years, with new members drifting in and out of the “Round Table.” Each bull session is centered around local, national, world, private, public, domestic and foreign affairs. The group discusses with great importance the differences between Mississippi State and Ole Miss, with neither side gaining ground.
After hellos, talk about the ballgames we won or should have won “if,” and crises of the world are solved, the group then gets down to the business of determining who buys the coffee for the day. In the past, the first one that would leave usually bought the coffee. This was not a bad idea unless the same one had to leave first each time.
Steve Clark, present superintendent of schools, introduced “Round Table Bingo.” Clyde Tapp, owner of Tom’s Drug Store, set a $2.00 fee for the coffee and the game began and it is still played every morning. One person, usually the one who bought the coffee the day before is chosen as the “Quarterback,” and he picks a number between 0 and 500. The rest of the men then guess a number, with the quarterback telling them whether or not the number is high or low of his number. This process continues until someone guesses the number. Then that person not only pays for the coffee, but is also the “Quarterback” for the next session.
Last year a tally was kept each day and selection was made for the “Quarterback of the Year” award. Even though some thought the honor of paying for the coffee fell on them quite often, John M. McElroy, owner of Buster McElroy and Company, was presented with the most coveted award. For his distinguished service in payment of coffee the “Round Table” gave John a plaque to remind him and the others that gather around the “Round Table” of a job well done.