CCTE Breakfast: The Role of the Cafe

Susan Blassingame, dean at Lubbock Christian University, political fiction research- representations of Richard Nixon
“News and Politics: The Role of the Café “

This is a live blogging of the session.

At TCU did a paper on café. …asked to do more work and present it at the Paris Café in Ft Worth.

Skip Hollingsworth writing an article about power breakfasts in Texas (for Texas Monthly)

always interested in café
not sure why
uncle used to take us to the café in Big Spring, where I grew up
continue to do research

took my parents across panhandle on Rte 66 to hit every café

“Have you ever eaten at Froggy’s?” at Robert Lee, defunct café

scholarly article to honor previous dean from Spur, TX: Don Wms, theater professor
He knows someone in each department in Texas.
proportionally there are more famous people from Spur than you can imagine

small towns that appear in literature

At one time the town of Spur had 55,000 people. Huge hotel that burned down twice.
A number of first class cafes in Spur
Sanitary Café
Dixie Dog
Pie Ross
Roscoe and Holmes Café
Bell Café

Now, Dixie Dog and the Dairy Queen remain in Spur.

in lit:
Claymore knows if he wants to get the straight story, he must go to the café.

McMurtry questions whether the storyteller at the café still exists.
Ultimately decides storytelling remains a significant part of our lives.
Texasville, chapter 4, DQ ringed with pickups
introduces us to the crowd
oil field workers, ranch workers, and the “girls” from the City Hall
DQ discussion centers on direct issues: oil economy
world affairs how they effect their own town
Sonny Crawford reads part of the paper to his audience… parts that respond to their situation.
“no pass, no play” most important thing since Civil War

Susan’s friend:
Café is dominated by two men: newspaper publisher and the big rancher
WTx oil situation, farm, and the schools “up at the school” particularly with athletics

“better get down to the café to see what he had done right and pick up pointers” HS coach

How power structure in community is reflected in how folks sit and where.
Definitely true. Remember this from restaurant in Switzerland.

Audience response:
Café culture is extended… by barber shop.

Robert Lee the women invaded the barber shop for six weeks because salon lady had a hysterectomy.

Barber shop is good example of same thing.

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