Doug the Neighbor
3 min readApr 12



Tom crossed the highway and entered the front door of the Palo Duro Cafe.

Miss Aggie was behind the cash register and Donnie was behind the grill. Both looked up then continued on with their work. Miss Aggie rang up a customers bill and they left. Tom walked down the counter and sat at the end stool as was his custom. He adjusted his side arm and belt. Miss Aggie cracked open a Lone Star Beer and placed it in front of him. No glass.

The Palo Duro Cafe had 10 booths along the walls. Four booths along the front window. Two booths along the back wall and 4 booths a long the wall by the counter. The leather-ette booths were a burgundy color. The tables were a 1950 linoleum pattern with chrome legs. Four booths were filled with couples and families, tourists to see the Palo Duro Canyon. The walls had a few cowboy, cactus, mountain vista paintings. Miss Aggie hustled her famous ‘Chicken and Taters’ to the tables. Ice tea. Cold beer. Then stopped to talk to Tom.

“You want a plate of fish? Donnie’s brother brought back some salmon from a fishing trip to Alaska. Kept it in an ice box to travel. Fresh.” She asked.

Tom turned his head towards Miss Aggie and said… “That would be very nice. Thank you.” Tom turned back to his Lone Star.

“Okay. I have seen that talk before. What’s up?” Miss Aggie was a people person.

“I don’t know. A lot of small things don’t add up.” Tom sipped his beer.

“Full Moon. Small things become bigger things. You are a smart hombre. You will figure them out. Every thing has an answer.” Miss Aggie left Tom sitting at the counter and approached the front door as two women in their 30’s wearing slacks, summer tops and floppy hats walked in the door. Miss Aggie greeted them and walked them to a booth by the window.

“The menu is right there. You are lucky. Last meals of the day. Sunset Party starts in an hour.” Miss Aggie stated.

“Do we check in to the motel here?” The woman with the black hair asked as she lowered her sun glasses.

“Yes. You two must be the sisters from Washington DC?” Miss Aggie stated. “You are in Room 11. I will get you the key. Do you want a cold beverage before your meal?”

“Yes two Margaritas. Please.” The blonde spoke.

“No Margarita’s or wine. Cold Lone Star. Teeth freezing.” Miss Aggie left and went to get two Lone Stars.

The woman with black hair leaned across the table. “We really are in Texas.” The blonde looked out the front window as Tom walked by. Miss Aggie returned with the two beers and two glasses of ice.

“Pour the beer into the glass of ice, if you like cold beer.” Miss Aggie stated.

“What is the Sunset Party?” The blonde asked.

“Texas sun sets are the best in the country. Best part of this canyon. We close up shop and go sit out back and watch. You city girls will never forget what you are going to see.”




Doug the Neighbor