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Trust me. At the crack o'dawn, Basil is the only guy in Old Town. Who's open for coffee, that is. Proof? It's 6.30 a.m. right now. I've just walked the whole of Old Town plaza and up San Diego Avenue and down Congress Street looking for the black gold...nada.

But Basil, at the Old Town Transit Center trolley and bus station snack shop is here every morning at 5.30, six on Saturdays, seven Sundays. Before seven is when he gets all the love. People look at him like they've just crawled in from the desert, or he's the sole water guy at the end of a marathon. We're all so grateful. Power ripples from his fingers as he hands you the empty polystyrene cup to fill with your daily drug. Hey, if Basil slept in, OT Diego would grind (oops!) to a halt.

Basil, we love ya!

Pictures: Shop sign at old Town's rail-bus depot; Green Line trolley seen from Basil's shop; Basil

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