Breakfast at Jo's: Time Traveling in Sheridan
Eating omelets and watching old men argue
You seat yourself or you stand out.
A sign on a cabinet states: Guns are welcome on our premises. Please keep all weapons holsters unless need arises. In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated" A picture of John Wayne is posted near the sign.
Vintage bottles from bygone eras when glass, not plastic ruled sit on high shelves near the ceiling. Black and white pictures of stars – Elvis, George Strait, Hank Williams, Jr. and Marilyn Monroe – hang on the walls along with Arkansas Razorback memorabilia.
Old men talk about their ailments and wives. People hug each other. Couples gossip about other couples having affairs. A table of men talk about a preacher.
"Shady guy," one man in a camo cap says sternly.
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Snakes, guns, water heaters, the state of the world. You name it. They talk about it.
Jo's is a diner where Sheridan meets for breakfast. It's a throwback diner with comfort food and good company that someone like Oliver Anthony would like. Uppity, it ain't.
And that's a good thing.
In a world of fake hipster decorating, Jo's is the real deal.
Coffee mugs advertise local businesses. The western omelet is cooked to order, chocked full of hunks of sausage and ham. And the water doesn't come with lemon.
Funny stuff is said at Jo's because it seems everyone knows everyone’s business so old timers stop at every table to gab. An old man in a United States of America T-shirt walked up to talk to one couple in a booth and told a tale about a time he got into an argument.
"I said, 'I will take you outside. That will be the longest 20 seconds of your life."
He kept talking.
"I saw that red-headed girl one night and I knew she's the one I wanted," he said. "I knew in a heartbeat."
When he asked her father to take her out on a date, he was told that she had to finish high school before they got married.
If you are lucky enough to have a seat at THE round table in a dark corner, you will learn the secrets of Sheridan. That’s where men hang out for hours in the morning only to return at noon to finish their business — whatever it may be.
When I asked a young server how she handled these men, who sometimes gets rowdy about politics, local business deals and school business, she said, "You give it back like they give it.
Not that anyone will be wounded for misbehaving in Jo's but a sign says:
"Warning. Due to price increase of ammo do not expect a warning shot."
Jo's is located at 903 Rock St in Sheridan. You can’t miss the big cock! A doodle do!
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