Keep Palisade Weird.
Today in Palisade, Colorado, I enjoyed an espresso that exploded with flavor and possibilities in the quietest porcelain cup my hands had ever held. It was served to me by a beautiful silver haired woman with bright eyes and an easy going, inviting style. Not fat, skinny, tall or short, just there. Her simple menu…coffee, tea, a few muffins and, occasionally, crumpets.
For lunch, I noticed she makes one item per day and that’s it. Reading her menu, I found myself thinking how choice often seduces us and shows freedom the door.
By the time I’d finished my espresso and muffin, I had discovered her Dad had been a uranium miner who moved the family from town to town as they followed the booms and ran from the busts. Later, Daddy sold explosives. And in the end, the uranium led to cancer.
This woman and this town express a quiet dignity that humbled me. Folks go about their business in the shadow on some of the most ominous and somehow inspiring mountains you will ever see on our Planet. Moonlike dry air and dry soil. But the Colorado River brings life and the settlers here have irrigated themselves into becoming one of the peach capitals of the world!
You won’t find traffic in Palisade. Never a rush hour. No need to lock your car. But you will find bluegrass music, delightful librarians, eccentric shop keepers, and a confederacy of the dunces that brings more than plenty and quirky genius to this little American town.
Oh…On the way out, I asked if I might take a photo of my morning espresso queen. She quickly shook her head, almost scolding, “I hate pictures. I hate ’em.” I thought she was gonna take a broom and chase me. (she didn’t.)
Enjoying her perfection, I thanked her for a perfect espresso, found the door and took another picture from this beautiful western town…