Shelby’s Coffee Shoppe was open today, its last day as Shelby’s. Although I attended the lovely, outdoor party honoring Shelby Hicks yesterday evening, I had to stop in late this afternoon, one final time, for a peek and a latte, just to punctuate my own relationship with the place. It was probably near to closing time, and a few people were there, having a last lick of ice cream, and reading the paper.
Saturday night in the courtyard at 200 First Street in Neptune Beach was all about Shelby Hicks. A beautiful spring evening, friends gathered to wish Shelby a very happy retirement. It’s always a misty, nostalgic time – a leaving-taking – and when it’s someone who is so beloved to a small community it’s hard to fathom that her place will become someone else’s and she will move on to the next phase in her life; a phase that does not include us.
Neptune Beach Mayor Harriet Pruette presented Shelby with a proclamation from the City declaring April 22 as Shelby Hicks day. She read it aloud to the gathering, official with its governmental language, but the message was a tender love note to a beloved businesswoman who is such an integral part of our charming community.
Shelby posed for who knows how many photos while children pranced to the live music in the courtyard.
It was an ideal evening for an outdoor party at the beach. The streets were teeming with people, a sea breeze wafted through the courtyard and no one wanted air conditioning. The hugs and smiles were freely given and at one point, I noticed that Shelby unknowingly wore a bright red pair of lips on her cheek and it made me smile: A big fat smacker for a special lady.
(Some of Shelby’s former crew, below pictured at right.)
We’ll miss you, Shelby. Please don’t forget us.
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Jeannie Greenwald is a blogger, neighborhoods / 'go local' evangelist, hobbyist photographer, and degreed psychologist.