1946; Lee and West Second Street in Odessa. Western Union and Frisco Cafe facing North. Reproduced from Odessa American from Sunday, 9/20/98 issue page E 1. Julie Breaux, author; Photographer unknown

Oil field workers used the Frisco Cafe to hire out & keep up with all the oil patch news. The food was good, the atmosphere friendly, and everyone enjoyed the daily meetings and conversation. Those sack lunches were fast on the uptake if you had to join a crew for the day.

Some of the cafes in those years acted as employment agencies. A hard working enterprising individual; nicknamed "Cookie" had a restaurant and knowing what companies needed roughnecks and routabouts, would line up the crews; feed them and pack lunches on credit until payday. The boss would give Cookie their checks; and he would deduct the food bill and hand them the balance of their pay in cash. You did have to work steady every day; or the credit would terminate immediately. If my memory serves me correctly; "Cookie" would even make arrangements for sleeping facilities if you earned his friendship.

More than once; a unknown person would try to waylay Cookie at opening or closing time and steal his money bag; and be hauled off from wounds he wish he hadn't acquired. I remember one that didn't have to serve time; he was interned in the local cemetary. Cookie guarded those pay checks with his life and had some scars to prove it. He was safe guarding other peoples valuables and did it well! He was probably the drifting oil field workers best friend.

Clear Page
updated: 9/20/98