Small Town, USA

Small town USA, the place that forever imprints it’s images  in our minds and on our hearts.  Come with Larry Davis as he visits one town, so similar to many, yet uniquely different from any.


Cockleburr, TEXAS

Larry D. Davis

It’s a 790 miles trip, from the Oklahoma state line, to the tip of Texas on the Mexican border south of Brownsville

I am in Cockleburr, Texas.  Barely a wide spot in the road,  Cockleburr sees little traffic, an occasional farm tractor; maybe, a carload of locals.   The cane poles stickin’ out the passenger window of the vehicle says they are  heading for their favorite fishin’ hole.

It has been a long day on the road; it is nearing sunset; this is about as far as I want to go.

A small sign at the edge of town tells me 327 people live here.  The water tower looming in the distance proudly agrees, giving  me confidence, this indeed, is Cockleburr, Texas.  Never been here.

I pull up to one of  three intersections. A single red stop light dangles from a drooping line. The other two intersections, a block away, have stop signs in both directions.  I suppose these visual “arms of the law” keep the traffic orderly.

It is not difficult to survey the heart of town. I  can see one café, a few other stores, including a  convenience store called“Toot ‘n Tell”; “Ralph’s Clip-Joint”, a barber shop; and one gas station.

Charley's Sinclair Gas Station offers gas and information about Cockleburr

As I  pull in to “Charley’s Sinclair Gas Station” for a fill-up, I  am  greeted by a short, rotund little man.  An un-lit black stogie hangs from one side of his mouth. He bounds out of his tiny office, eager to serve. I am gassed; ready to go in a jiffy.

During our conversation he highly recommends “Johnny McWhorter’s Quik-Stop Café” for a reasonably priced, filling meal.  I am famished. I head down the block, this is my only choice in Cockleburr.

Just as soon as I plop down on a stool, a petite waitress, menu in hand, greets me.

I order coffee – black – hoping to recharge my road-weary body.

I study the meager menu, chose the “Blue plate special of the day”.  It looks good enough – $4.95. including iced tea (sweet or unsweet).

This is Thursday, the “special” today is chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, country gravy, collard greens, Texas toast and, for desert, peach cobbler.

“Great meal!”, I think.

While waiting, I peruse the “breakfast menu.” Decide I will have one egg, “sunny side up”, biscuits with sausage gravy, a side order of grits, in the morning; this will be sufficient to start a new day.

My evening meal is satisfying.

I drive to the “Cozy-Nite  Motel”.   My  room is  simple, but clean;  reminiscent of the “tourist cabins” along “Route 66” I remember from childhood.

There is that unmistakable aroma of those  personal-sized, complimentary, fragrant soap bars that were a permanent fixture of  Mom & Pop motels in the days of my youth.

The older model TV picks up few channels.    This does not  matter; I am dead-tired; I do not need to be entertained.

Restful sleep comes quickly.

A beam of laser-like sunlight, piercing the dark through a crack between the drawn drapes covering the front window, is my wake-up call.

I am jolted awake; back to reality!!

My own bed! My home! It is time to get ready to head down the expressway, going to work.

First, a quick shower.

So, Cockleburr, Texas was just a dream.  Or was it??

On the tray in my shower lies an unopened, complimentary bar of fragrant soap, labeled “Cozy-Nite Motel”.

©2010 Larry Davis


2 responses to this post.

  1. Hmm that’s interessting but actually i have a hard time visualizing it… wonder what others have to say..


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