Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall tales from Texas about characters I know and have known. Who knows, you might be one of them.

Archive for the month “March, 2019”

” My Sweet Lord”


Driving from Fort Worth to Granbury this morning, the local “oldies” station spun one of the best songs ever; George Harrisons, “My Sweet Lord.” The song, released in 1970, on his album, “All Things Must Pass” is a gleaming gem of music history. Harrison’s beautiful guitar work is a masterpiece to behold. Far better than when he was a Fab Four.

When the chorus comes around, the backup singers begin chanting; “Hare Krishna, Krishna-Krishna, Hare-Hare.” I don’t remember that part, but Harrison was extremely religious and most devoted to all things mystical and Eastern. Hare Krishna’s. I haven’t thought about those goofy folks since 1970.

The Hare Krishna movement danced into Dallas around 1969-1970; flowing robes, shaved heads, Yule Brenner ponytails and a large flock of former hippie-chicks banging on tambourines. They appeared everywhere; Lee Park, McKinney Ave, Oaklawn, the Quadrangle, downtown and especially at the cities airport, Love Field. An organized army of orange robed hippie-converts, dancing down the sidewalk, chanting, swirling in childish abandon and singing gibberish. My parents generation was terrified, believing disciples of the evil Manson family had invaded Big D. Krishna’s are prolific religious messengers, and their foremost message is, ” give us your money or we are not leaving you alone.”

On a hot August day, I taxi my Mother and a few of her relatives to Love Field for a vacation flight to Hawaii. After goodbyes at the gate, I proceed to the terminal lobby. The Krishna’s are on me like the measles; dancing, singing, chanting their gibberish, swirling around while beating their little tambourines. They are smart in one sense; they encourage the Krishna girls to approach men. The pretty ones are recruited to collect the best offerings. Capitalism and sexism seems to be encouraged in their religion of poverty. Someone has to pay for that incense and the Bentley sedans.

I am surrounded, with no way out, short of bulldozing through the throng. A cute young Krishna girl meekly approaches and ask for a contribution, a “love offering” she calls it. Their circle grows tighter; they are uncomfortably close. I can smell the Petiole oil and incense they use instead of soap and water. Short of violence, escape is futile, so I pull a five from my wallet and contribute to whatever they believe in. The circle breaks, and they dance away. No blessing, just take the money and run.

During the war, Love Field, at any time of day, or night is full of service men coming from, or going to Vietnam. Many of the returning boys are less than 24 hours out of battle and more than rattled and raw from being thrust back into real-life with no decompression. The Krishna’s, at this time, are mostly made up of wayward, converted, confused former hippies, and many of them, still possess their anti-war feelings. I can assume that Hare Krishna doesn’t teach their converts sensible logic in dangerous situations.

Two Army Rangers walking through the terminal, duffle bags on their shoulders, are immediately surrounded by the band of frenetic minstrels. Something is said, or implied, and within an instant, olive green arms and “fist of fury” fly like a Texas dust devil, and five male Krishna’s are laying on the marble floor, knocked out cold. Security saunters over, observes the damage and congratulates the two soldiers for a job well done. The young Krishna girl stands quietly for a minute, observing the scene. She drops her tambourine, removes her beads, head scarf and robe and walks away with the two Rangers. Sometimes a good dose of reality hits you like a fist in the gut. True story.



Technozombies


Technozombies. It’s not a real word, but it should be.

Standing in a rather long, and slow line at a sandwich shop during the lunch hour, my wife and I were treated to the bizarre, and ridiculous behavior of three millennial women. I hate that term “millennial”, but I guess its better than calling them dumb as shit little twits.

Each girl had a cellphone in their hand, tapping away. The man in front of them placing his order, tapping away on his phone. The guy taking his order had his phone in hand, tapping and waiting on his customer. The people behind us were tapping on their phones. Looking down the line toward the checkout, everyone was looking and tapping on their cell phone. This could have been a good “Twilight Zone” episode if Rod Serling were still around.

I focused on these three, and realized they were texting and sending messages and attachments to each other. No talking, just communication over the airwaves, mind melding like Spock. One girl did giggle, asking her friend ” did he really say that to you?” her friend giggled back. It’s odd how young women communicate with each other. Giggles, tongue clicks, half spoken words, broken sentences, rolling of the eyes, flicking of the hair. Its a secret language.

I watched them eat their lunch. All three, eating and tapping away on that damn device. No one looked up or spoke, except to take a bite of sandwich. Then head down, continuing to tap-tap. Complete social breakdown. I wonder, can they write in cursive? or do they print like most young people. Cursive is “our language”. Old timers know the value of the free-flowing wrist and a beautiful writing instrument transposing our thoughts onto paper. These young ones just tap-tap-tap.

I shouldn’t be so hard on this twenty-something generation. After all, I am writing this on a laptop.

No Rain…No Rain…


Read this morning that Woodstock will be back for an oncor. Fifty years its been since a half million young people sat in a pasture, listening to rock music, believing they actually changed the world. It was revisited in the 90s, and was a miserable mess, even without the rain and mud. Some things should be remembered for what they were, and leave it at that. But, possibly, this 50 year reboot could be a winner.

Imagine if some of the original musicians returned, and they well might if asked. That would be worth the cost of a ticket to see Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young wheeze through a set. Melanie could ride her personal scooter onstage and croak through a few tunes. Country Joe and the Fish could do the Vietnam song again, and Joni Mitchell might even make the gig this time. John Fogarty will be born on the bayou again. Of course Hendrix, Janice Joplin and the mighty Joe Cocker have checked out, so Santana will have to fill that void. John Sebastian and Arlo Guthrie could do their hippy single guitar thing and say “wow” a few hundred times. Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm could run the concessions.

Pretty sure the rest of the line up will be current stars. Rappers, dancers, acrobats and singers flying through the air or taking the stage via a zip line suspended from a cell phone tower a mile away. Its not about talent these days. Its all, “look at me” and auto-tune. Katy Perry can fly in on a Game of Thrones dragon while lip singing any-one of her forgettable songs. Courtney Hadwin, the fiery young reincarnation of Janice Joplin will probably steal the show. Greta Van Fleet will wow the crowd with their spot-on imitation of Zeppelin. Wonder how that will turn out since Robert Plant will be performing?

I attended the Texas International Pop Festival in 1969 and saw most of the acts that were at Woodstock a few weeks before, so I can say, ” been there and seen all that.” It will be fitting for the old-timers to show the young fans how it was really done. ” No rain-No rain.”


Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: