CommunityMy FDL

Thursday Watercooler


Hi, y’all.

Czech Stop pastries

A case full of deliciousness at West, Texas' Czech Stop.

Been following and tweeting #WestExplosion news all day, which is mostly grim stuff, but still uplifting at times — as Mr. Rogers always said, we should look for the helpers in situations like these, advice that’s as good for children as adults.

I live in Austin, but I’m familiar with West not so much as a city but a place you pass through. It’s population is small — under 3,000 I believe — but most of us who’ve spent time in Texas have passed through on our way to and from the Dallas metroplex. And if we’ve passed through, and we have any bit of sense, we’ve stopped at the Czech Stop, arguably the best of the many kolache places that are scattered throughout central Texas. It’s hard to overstate how much Czech Stop is an institution — it was probably the first thing most Texans thought of when they heard about the explosion.

In the most uplifting story from the West disaster, Mother Jones wrote today about how Czech Stop has become a place of comfort for the many suffering citizens, remaining open despite a buckling roof:

When the plant exploded at 8 p.m., there were about seven employees on shift. Fifteen minutes later, fire trucks and police cars started rushing down the street to the site of the accident. Not long after, injured victims started walked in.

“Two women in a truck stopped by. One’s leg was bandaged and bulging, and she had a few cuts on her arms and legs,” says Schissler. “I don’t know why they decided to stop here first. When you’re in shock, you’re not always thinking. We did whatever we could to make them feel comfortable, gave them ice water.” Several more people with cuts and bruises stopped by through the night, but Schissler said her usual customers were missing. “All the bakery regulars were out there on the scene, helping out.”

In the morning, Czech Stop was ready to help first responders who stopped by, donating cases of water and handing out free food and drink. The store is also planning on donating baked goods to the Red Cross.


A Jalopnik writer from Texas says when he first heard about the West Fertilizer explosion, his first thought was whether anyone was hurt. His second thought was whether the Czech Stop was ok. “It’s no surprise that, when I turned on the local news last night, the news producers had thought to call the Czech Stop and put an employee on the air,” he wrote. “It’s what everyone knows.”

Tonight’s music is Pat Metheny noodling on his amazing, if ridiculous 42-string guitar. Yeah I totally stole this video from a article.


Some housekeeping notes:

  • Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
  • We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
  • If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
  • Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.

This is our latest MyFDL open thread. You can chat about anything in the comments below if you are logged in.

Photo by Kent Wang released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.
Previous post

Late Night FDL: The Onion, Come to Life

Next post

Every Picture Tells A Story Don't It

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and