Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Ricochet: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

 

CheersWhen we ask people, “What makes for a good bar?” the most common answer we receive is, “A place where people know your name, you know, like Cheers.” Rob Long may be pleased to hear that it’s not just Boomers who say this, but even Millennials often refer to the sitcom classic to describe their ideal watering hole.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my wife and I are taking this year to go to a church and a bar in every state. Every time we go into a bar, we ask people two questions, “What makes for a good bar?” and “Whether you go to church or not, what do you think would make for a good church?”
As one would expect, we receive a variety of answers to these questions.

Some answers to the bar question:

  • “You want someplace with cute birds, like you see around here.” (Yes, a guy in Florida, not a Brit, referred to women as “birds.“)
  • “I want a place with cheap, deep draws so I can get drunk fast.”
  • “I just want a lot of TVs so I can watch a lot of games.”

But again, the most common answer we get from people is that they’re looking for community. Sometimes they do find that in a bar.

In a bar in Rock Hill, SC, we met a young couple (young to us, they were in their late 20s or early 30s), named Ginny and Chris. I asked them our questions, and Ginny apologized in advance for her husband’s speech since he had suffered a stroke. After his stroke, without their knowledge, their friends got together at McHale’s, that very bar, and talked about what they could do to help Ginny and Chris.

The group organized a day of music and raffles — straight out Public Television-type fundraising. They raised $10,000 to help with the couple’s medical expenses, but that wasn’t the end of care for the couple. Ginny said that whenever she came to McHale’s after that, not only the staff but other customers whom she didn’t know would ask how Chris was doing. Now, Chris is back enjoying the McHale’s community himself.

After people answer “community” to the question of what makes for a good bar, they often give the same answer for what makes a good church. They’ll express the idea in different words sometimes (“A place where I’ll be welcomed and not judged,” for example). On this trip we have seen great examples of churches striving to build community. A pastor in Nashville, TN, said, “We’re looking to be hospital for sinners rather than a museum of saints.”

There are a lot of people out there in search of community — which, of course, is the genius of Ricochet. On other parts of the internet, there are people looking to bring Proverbs 1:11 to life, “If they say, ‘Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul.'” (Probably the best description of Twitter I’ve ever seen.) Ricochet is one place on the web where people are looking to encourage and support each other.

So, a few questions:

  • Have you found community in a bar? (Norm?)
  • Have you found community in a church?
  • Have you found community here at Ricochet?
  • Where else have you found community?

There are 22 comments.

  1. Randy Webster Member

    Back when I was traveling around building restaurants, we sort of took our community with us. We’d find a bar we were comfortable with, and hang out there. We did suck some of the regular patrons into our orbit.

    • #1
    • April 24, 2016, at 3:35 PM PST
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  2. EThompson Inactive

    Where else have you found community?

    After graduating college and leaving my sorority, it was unquestionably work. Some day I’ll write a post about the bonds formed between NYC roommates crammed together in a 400 sq ft. apartment and co-workers who woke me up at 1:00 a.m. to go to Studio 54.

    These people are still my closest friends and I doubt we’ll ever sever that special connection you form when you are young and reckless. (And survive to talk to about it.)

    • #2
    • April 24, 2016, at 3:59 PM PST
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  3. Kay of MT Member

    EThompson:

    Where else have you found community?

    After graduating college and leaving my sorority, it was unquestionably work. Some day I’ll write a post about the bonds formed between NYC roommates crammed together in a 400 sq ft. apartment and co-workers who woke me up at 1:00 a.m. to go to Studio 54.

    These people are still my closest friends and I doubt we’ll ever sever that special connection you form when you are young and reckless. (And survive to talk to about it.)

    I still have a couple of friends from that age group who are still alive, but most of them have passed.

    • #3
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:12 PM PST
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  4. EThompson Inactive

    Kay of MT:

    EThompson:

    Where else have you found community?

    After graduating college and leaving my sorority, it was unquestionably work. Some day I’ll write a post about the bonds formed between NYC roommates crammed together in a 400 sq ft. apartment and co-workers who woke me up at 1:00 a.m. to go to Studio 54.

    These people are still my closest friends and I doubt we’ll ever sever that special connection you form when you are young and reckless. (And survive to talk to about it.)

    I still have a couple of friends from that age group who are still alive, but most of them have passed.

    Some of my friends from that era should have passed due to their irascible behavior, but fortunately some human beings do have 9 lives. :)

    • #4
    • April 24, 2016, at 4:25 PM PST
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  5. Arahant Member

    Eustace C. Scrubb: So a few questions: Have you found community in a bar? (Norm?)

    No, but I have never been a drinker, so had little reason to go into bars.

    Have you found community in a church?

    Most certainly.

    Have you found community here at Ricochet?

    Most certainly, especially in the PITs.

    Where else have you found community?

    I had found it on a few other sites on the Internet in the past. The problem was that there would always be trolls who would eventually sour everything.

    • #5
    • April 24, 2016, at 5:07 PM PST
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  6. EJHill Podcaster

    Arahant: I had found it on a few other sites on the Internet in the past. The problem was that there would always be trolls who would eventually sour everything.

    Now what did I do?!?

    • #6
    • April 24, 2016, at 5:14 PM PST
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  7. Arahant Member

    EJHill:

    Arahant: I had found it on a few other sites on the Internet in the past. The problem was that there would always be trolls who would eventually sour everything.

    Now what did I do?!?

    I thought you were out of Ohio, not Michigan.

    trollsville

    • #7
    • April 24, 2016, at 5:19 PM PST
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  8. GrannyDude Member

    Church—yes.

    Co-op Pre-school when the kids were small—yes

    Bar—no. I wish. There’s an old general store just up the road from my house that is, apparently in perpetuity, on the verge of being turned into a new general store and I’m hoping it also becomes a pub. Because then I could walk to the pub…possibly every night…have “a pint” (Anglophile thing) with my husband and my neighbors and then walk home in the moonlight, laughing. Actually, if there was a general store/pub in my village, then I’d have everything I need—church, library, post office, pub. husband,moon…and I’d never need to go anywhere.

    • #8
    • April 24, 2016, at 6:09 PM PST
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  9. Caitlin Peartree Member

    EThompson: After graduating college and leaving my sorority, it was unquestionably work.

    My college didn’t have sororities, but in some ways my dorm served as one. In addition to that, I had built up a a community of very close-knit friends by the time I graduated. People are all over the country now, so I’m having to do a lot of that community-building work all over again as I establish myself somewhere new. It’s good to know it’s work for other people, too!

    • #9
    • April 24, 2016, at 6:14 PM PST
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  10. Boss Mongo Member

    Eustace C. Scrubb: Where else have you found community?

    I like Ricochet a lot, but haven’t paid in enough with posts and comments to truly feel I’ve joined the community fully.

    I’ll leave out all the different aspects of military life, so:

    Thai restaurants: Every town we’ve lived in, there’s been a Thai restaurant where everyone knew my name. And my order. And that I’m a good tipper.

    Dojos: I’ve never been to a dojo (Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Karate) that wasn’t just full of good people. Every now and again (at some of the harder core places that trained professional fighters or that had reputations as “the real deal”) someone would come in with a black belt in Punk Jitsu, but they usually got humbled pretty quickly and turned out to be good guys, or decided to train elsewhere.

    • #10
    • April 24, 2016, at 7:15 PM PST
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  11. Casey Inactive

    I’m very active in avoiding community.

    • #11
    • April 24, 2016, at 8:16 PM PST
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  12. aardo vozz Member

    Community?

    My synagogue,my family, my friends,my workplace, and Ricochet. Everyone else seems to know better.:)

    • #12
    • April 24, 2016, at 8:30 PM PST
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  13. SpiritO'78 Member

    Community in church–for sure.

    Churches have a reputation, among some, for being judgmental and suffocating. Finding the right one though is the difference between a working compass and a broken one. Friends from church keep us accountable by staying ‘closer than a brother’.

    • #13
    • April 25, 2016, at 3:46 PM PST
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  14. Richard Finlay Member

    Ricochet: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

    Or, at least, your alias.

    • #14
    • April 25, 2016, at 4:49 PM PST
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  15. E. Kent Golding Member

    Both the pro trump and anti trump people have harmed the sense of community. I am guilty myself.

    • #15
    • April 25, 2016, at 5:29 PM PST
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  16. AUMom Member

    Church, absolutely! I am not that happy with my church’s leadership at the moment but I can’t leave because church family is family.

    The prayer thread here on Ricochet is a community. The others? Not so much. I read enough to know folks but I don’t post enough to be known. My guess is that iWe would say he and his were surrounded by Rico folks during the Baltimore riots.

    I don’t go to bars but I know lots of folks who work at the local Publix and Oriental House. Booster clubs for high school activities build relationships that last far longer than our children were in school.

    • #16
    • April 25, 2016, at 5:48 PM PST
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  17. Liver Pate Inactive

    In the streets of Paris.

    • #17
    • April 25, 2016, at 5:50 PM PST
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  18. Jimmy Carter Member

    Afternoon, Everybody.

    • #18
    • April 25, 2016, at 5:59 PM PST
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  19. Allan Rutter Member

    I am reminded of the greek word, “koinonia” meaning fellowship, sharing in common, communion. That sharing can happen in churches if people are honest to each other, and can happen in bars and restaurants where good food and spirits can lubricate social interaction.

    I have found community in the stands at a baseball game, admiring the creative chatter and exhortations around me, passing down concessions from the hawker on the aisle and returning the money the other way. I found it when I commuted on a bus or train in previous times in my life, nodding at regulars, admiring the amiable chatter of good friends, sharing a shrug or rolled eyes at cellphone talkers or people who weren’t able to shower on a hot day.

    • #19
    • April 25, 2016, at 9:20 PM PST
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  20. Hammer, The Member

    I have found community in all of the above.

    But mostly with old friends I’ve had since childhood.

    • #20
    • April 25, 2016, at 10:56 PM PST
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  21. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Ricochet is my intellectual and political community. Y’all are phenomenal.

    My Jewish community is very strong as well. Widespread acts of kindness, helping each other out… hallmarks of a great community.

    • #21
    • April 26, 2016, at 3:36 PM PST
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  22. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    When I lived in the city several bars were within walking distance , in the suburbs bars and driving don’t mix. Bars have been ruined for me by the insanely loud music which prevents conversation. No one wants to be the grouch who asks for it to be lowered.

    There was great community in working shifts in computer operations , there were so many characters that I always thought we had the makings of a Cheers like sitcom. When we get together now, decades later, we still laugh at all the old stories.

    • #22
    • April 27, 2016, at 6:42 PM PST
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