30 Years. 30 Great State Stories. 1997. An Ex-con in Shawnee who Cooks Free Breakfast for Hundreds of Neighbor Kids

Great State

SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA (KFOR) — They start coming early.

Neighborhood kids walk into this barbecue joint well before 9:00Am on Saturday mornings.

They wait patiently for Willard Davis, and for breakfast.

“I just love to cook really,” he smiles. “It started with just a couple of kids, and just grew and grew.”

Standing in front of his grill Davis lists, “We’re going to give them french toast, sausage, eggs, and a happy day.”

There are many ways to measure kindness.

Willard does it with milk and eggs, sausage, and a hot grill.

For the past several months, he’s opened his barbecue joint to any child who shows up at his door on a Saturday morning.

The breakfasts are free, from 9:00 to 11:00AM, on South Philadelphia, kindness is a plate of hot food, and a full stomach.

“I thought it would be a nice thing if I could feed as many kids as I could for free,” he chuckles. “Just let them eat until they don’t want no more.”

On busy Saturdays close to 200 kids might come in for a meal.

Linda Jackson is one of several volunteer waitresses who make sure juice is poured and plates are full.

“It’s usually fuller than this,” she observes. “We keep Willard pretty busy back there.

“Willard calls his place Taz Hickory Hollow.

There’s no sign outside, but on Saturday mornings, kids know how to find it.

The smell of kindness has a long reach.

A good meal goes a long way too.

Davis admonishes, “You know it really don’t hurt to give things away.”

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union

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