We don’t have to live very long to figure out that all things come to an end. Some things we experience can’t end soon enough! For example, a trip to the dentist (Sorry dentist!) or the flu! On the other hand, other experiences end much too soon! Things like a good vacation or, for me, a Butterfinger Blizzard! 2:00 P.M. tomorrow will mark the end of a very good thing as Snookys Restaurant closes its doors forever.
Snookys represented many things to many people. For some it meant good fellowship with good friends. For others it was a favorite meal (Perhaps a hamburger steak with cheese and gravy with seasoned French fries!) For many people Snookys was synonymous with Georgia Southern Football and Erk Russell! For multitudes of GSU alum it represented an opportunity to relive memories of college years on return trips to Statesboro!
I don’t know what Snookys meant to you but I know what it has meant to me…FAMILY! For the last 24 years of my life Snookys has been the gathering place for our family. I started eating there with my future wife and managed to work my way into a free meal plan with Bruce Yawn, the owner of Snookys and now my Father-in-law. Somehow we worked out a deal for me to do his yard work and in return he gave me free food at Snookys! Pretty sweet deal especially when you consider the fact that I did his yard work for about three months and have been eating at Snookys for 24 years! I would say I got the better end of the deal but I have always had a sneaky feeling that Bruce has those signed tickets somewhere and is waiting on the right moment to tell me I owe him thousands of dollars!
There is no doubt that Bruce and Snookys have left a great legacy in Statesboro and beyond as memories are carried in the hearts of those who have frequented the restaurant. As I thought about Bruce, Snookys, and the legacy that is being left behind I have found it quite amusing to watch all of the fanfare that has taken place since the announcement of the closing. It’s amusing because I know that if Bruce had his way he would have simply locked the doors on Saturday, February 18th at 2:00 P.M. and walked away! How could he do that?! After 40+ years! Literally a lifetime investment! That might seem strange to some and even rude to others but it is just the way Bruce has lived his life.
The secret…Bruce knows that the greatest investment he has made are in the things that carry eternal value and are not temporal! As a servant of Jesus, his family, and this community Bruce has touched the lives of many, many people. For every act that he has received recognition for there were 100 or more selfless deeds done for people that no one else knew took place! I don’t think, I know, that Bruce’s greatest mark on this community is not the thousands of burgers he served or the amazing banana pudding Mrs. Nancy Yawn perfected (it was amazing by the way!) but the lives that God has used him to touch!
As great as Snookys has been, its 40+ years of existence are only a vapor that is here one minute and gone the next in comparison to eternity. That could be a depressing thought unless you are well invested in the only thing that will last…the Kingdom of God. I would like to say thank you to Bruce…not just because he has run his race well as a businessman but because he has run his race well as a follower of Christ! While the Snookys era comes to a close, the impact of a life lived on purpose for Christ will continue! I, and many more, are thankful for the impact Bruce’s life has already made and cannot wait to see the chapters God writes in the future!