It's a morning ritual for seven Lubbock men, who gather bright and early, Monday through Friday, to walk the South Plains Mall. Marvin Dobbins, C.B. Martin, Bill Myers, Travis Jones, Tie Lassater, Charles Howard and Tommy Chamberlain have been doing this for years.
"We all started walking independently and we'd see each other and we finally just decided to have a little club and have some fun," Martin said.
Some of the men walk by doctors orders, for their health.
"I have a heart problem and the doctor said walk that mall or walk something," Dobbins said.
Some, just like having the coffee they alternate buying.
"I enjoy the coffee and talking to these gentlemen and remembering old times," Howard said.
However, the real reason these men show up every morning is each other.
"These are really my only friends. I either stay home or go to the doctors office. Those are about the only places I go," Chamberlain said.
"It's awesome to have someone to talk with every morning and walk with," Jones said.
One of the highlights of the morning is an appearance from the designated back scratcher. Jan Martin Davis is C.B. Martin's daughter, she loves coming out to walk with the guys.
"I don't come but every week or two because I want them to appreciate their back scratch," Davis said.
If someone doesn't show up, they're sure to get a call.
"Well, they'll talk about me if I don't show up," Myers said.
Laughter and constant conversation are the only things on the agenda for these members of the Greatest Generation.
"We talk a little about the weather and we talk about world problems and then, we tell some jokes and have a little fun," Martin said.
If you're lucky, you may hear a war story or two. These men represent the Army, Army Air Corp, Navy and Marine Corps.
"They're wonderful. They've got history and they're cute," Davis said.
One thing's for sure, the mall walking will live on as long as these men do.
"It means a lot to have friends. You can't buy friends," Lasatter said.
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