This story is completely fiction…all of it. But if you are ever fortunate enough to stop by a small town west Texas diner sometime, chances are you will hear a conversation like this. Enjoy!
Yeah, you can sit there. Wha’s dat? Oh! Oh, Morton’s bout 30 minutes west here and Clovis is up the road from there a bit. I say you get there in bout hour an half. Right down 114. Ah naw, won’t be no traffic. You not familiar with west Texas are ya? Moline Iowa huh? You sell what? Oh, Well you in the right part of the country to sell tractors, don’t matter if it’s John Deere or not.
Yeah, I lived here all my life. These parts anyway. Grew up in Ralls. You know where that is. Just outside Lubbock. Dad was a farmer. Graduated school, and I knew I wasn’t going to be no farmer. I got hired on with Amoco. Back then it was Standard Oil of Indiana. Retired 15 years ago. Huh? Oh, I worked for them nearly 42 years.
This place has been here over 40 years. If you want to know what’s goin’ on. Git here early. I have breakfast here every Wednesday and Friday. I use to eat here only on Wednesday’s. Til my wife passed away. The cancer got her bout seven years ago or so. Then I started comin’ on Friday’s too.
You can’t beat the breakfast here. It’s all good.
Hey Fred, you’re late. Your crew has been hee hawing for 15 minutes. Hey, before you go, meet….excuse me, I don’t believe I caught your name. Fred, meet Ronny Facius. He sells tractors. Ronny this is Fred. Well, you better get over der to defend your honor. Tell Linda I said hi.
Linda’s his second wife. Ole Fred’s first wife ran off with a football coach here at the high school. If you ask me, Ron, he’s better off without that old broad. Na…I probably won’t git remarried. At my age….nah.
Those ole boys over there with Fred….they gossip worse than a bunch of women. You want to know whas going on in this town. Sit at the next table over and just listen. I tell ya…you won’t get that much information at a Baptist Women’s luncheon.
Whacha you have over at dat table there is a Baptist deacon, a funeral home director, a couple of retired school administrators and a ole farmer. Naw… he won’t buy a tractor. He’s done farming. Five years ago. Turned it over to his son. Third generation. Naw, his son don’t need one either.
Ron, see the heavy guy? Yea, the one with the Sports coat. He’s the one that plants people in the ground. Everybody calls him Big John! Nice man. Goes to the Methodist church in town. His wife died of the cancer too. Oh, I‘d say about 3 years ago. But any way, the stories he comes back with from the morgue. There was Thlema. She played the piano down at First Baptist. She was killed in a car wreck. Word had it, she had a tattoo on her lower back. A butterfly. No lie. And she was north of 65 years too. Hahahaha. I know! I guess she found Jesus after she found that tattoo.
That’s nothing though. You should had heard bout Rodney. Wife slit his throat in his sleep. Yeah. With a kitchen butcher knife. Found his phone. Guy was having an affair with a teacher in Lubbock. That trial was the biggest thing round here for bout six months. Big John said she mus been mad cause she slit that artery clean through. Huh? Oh, that’s before Fred’s wife ran off with Coach Johnson. I’d say bout 4 years ago. Hell, I don’t know. She got off on the “Crime of Passion” defense. Went back to Oklahoma with her two daughters.
Jimbo Hodges is the Baptist deacon over there. Huh? You tell me which one you think he is. Hahaha. That’s right. Runs his own business. Book keeping, Accounting and such. Pretty squared away guy if you ask most of the people in this town. If you ask me though, well, I wondered whated happen if the IRS ever got ahold of his books. Oh, no…no. I ain’t got proof. Just a haunch. Plus I heard if you take him golfing, you will need to take another Baptist. Otherwise, he will drink all your beer. Hehehehe. It’s an old joke. With him though, I think it’s mostly true. He does have one purty wife. I’ll say that. Now I ain’t lusting or nutin. Hell , we go to the same church. She is what we would call a “hiiiigh maintenance woman.” Always looks like she stepped out of the band box. Huh? Like she is always dressed up. Make up, hair, clothes. Like I said. She is really purty. Doesn’ require a lot of paint on the barn either, if you know what I mean. A real natural beauty.
The old man with the grey sweat top on. He was superintendent of our school district. Retired now. No, he didn’t grow up here. They brought him in from east Texas. Really good guy….and a fine golfer too. No. I don’t play golf any more. Hell, I never played much anyway. That hole is too small. Hehehehe. Your a sales guy, you have to play golf. No?!?!? Don’t know if you’re a real sales guy then. Hehehe.
Anyways, that guy’s name is Randell. He has a son that graduated from MIT and Lord have mercy, got recruited by the CIA. If you hear Ole Randy talk about it, you’d think he won the war on Iraq all by himself. We, pretty good friends and all, But CIA boys don’t like publicity…at least as much publicity that Randy gives his son. His wife died about the same time as mine. Caught the cancer too. But she hadn’t turned fifty yet.
Yeah, now that you mentioned it. Lots of cancer. Hell, that other guy over there in the red shirt. See him? He is a retired high school principal. He had both a son and wife die of the cancer. Now, I can’t prove anything as such. But I always suspected there’s sumtin around here that is causing it. I don’t know if it’s the water, or maybe the oil and gas industry around here. But we sho seem to have a lot of the Cancer. But it’s more than jus around here. Seems like every week at the Wednesday prayer service, there is a request for someone battling the cancer. It made my wife shrivel up to nutin. She was a strong lady and dat cancer….and the treatments. Sometimes I think dats worse. Wha’s that? Naw, it dudn’t bother me to talk about it. It use to….but that was a long time ago. We all go some time. Just ask big John over there. None of us make it out alive. Then you meet Jesus. That’s if you’ve given your heart to the Good Lord and all. Been a Baptist all my life.
Yeah…yeah. I need to be going too ole Ronny boy. Yeah. That’s right! Just git on 114 and it’ll take your right to Morton. About 15 miles you will pass Whiteface. You blink, you missing it. Then you keep going. To git to Clovis you going to need to go north. I don’t remember that highway. Never had much a reason to make it out that way much. Yeah. I gotta go to the bank. Always on Wednesday. No. No real reason. When you git my age Ronny boy, the bank becomes a social event. Hehehehehe. That and going to the Proctologist. Hahahahah.
Hey Jimbo, tell that beautiful wife I said hi. You boys stay out trouble now. Especially you Fred.