A Friday Rant From The Cactus Patch That is Visiting in Colorado for a few days !


Well oil my musket, wipe my ass and call me Davey Crockett. Things in the Cactus Patch are so off-kilter I can’t walk straight without a good shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Now the whales are pissed off and jumping onto boats. The boat was owned by a Democrat Greenpeace Pot Smoking Transgendered Fishing Captain attempting to coax a throng of weekend mariners to join his cause. The whale was obviously a conservative and was enraged by the rainbow flag flown aftward and the “Little Mermaid” sticker on the hull. Let’s hope the Great White Sharks off Lon-gilend don’t catch on.

If Martha Stewert went to prison for insider trading, why isn’t Pelosi, her husband, and most of the congress receiving the same treatment? The only reason she is still alive is that she has enough money to buy black market spare organs to keep her going. If she farted, her face would explode.

Merrick Garland is going to prosecute Trump? WTF? How about he starts with Hunter Biden, his wife, his father, his hookers, and then all the Antifa and BLM trash that ruined Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, and other smaller cities? Garland is a worthless human unit that uses Dippity Do on his hair and hasn’t had a good bowel movement in years.

Biden releases another 20 million barrels of oil from our national reserve. Who is he selling it to this time? He will try and take a victory lap, but will likely be held up by Jill and the Secret Service. The corpse doesn’t know what planet he is on. This is the result of putting an old man that has shit for brains in office. Although Scarlett O’Hara wore her dress made from her curtains better than Jill does.

Biden’s machine is in full swing. The cute little Barbie black lesbian is now a historian. She and her lemmings now tout that he is the new Winston Churchill. At 79 years old, Mr. Churchhill knew his time was up. Health and mental issues had rendered him a shell of the ferocious lion-hearted warrior he was in the 1940s. Biden is only an 80-year-old feeble man with a small quadrant of his brain that occasionally functions. Don’t insult the world by comparing Biden to Churchill. It’s sacrilege.

When Larry McMurtry Had Texas In His Back Pocket


Over the past few years, I’ve harbored two “bucket-list” items to fulfill before I reach room temperature. One was to visit Marfa, Texas, the self-proclaimed and pompous art nouveau hub of Texas and the holy ground where the movie “Giant” was filmed. I envisioned a hip desert town with fine food, good booze, and every inhabitant wearing Justin boots. I got a dusty, dirty, ugly little town with two nice hotels and no decent food.

My Marfa bubble was busted within thirty minutes of entering the town. I would have suffered a breakdown or a medical event, but my wife held me together until we made it back to Alpine, packed our gear, and headed back to Granbury.

The second and most anticipated bucket item was a visit to Archer City, Texas, the hometown of our revered Texas Nobel Laureate, Larry McMurtry. The small town boy knocked William Travis and Stephen F. Austin of the “favorite son” list.

Mo and I were headed to Colorado Springs to visit her daughter and family, so stopping in Archer City to visit McMurtry’s hallowed book store ” Booked Up” would make the trip an event to remember. This bubble was more significant than the one I had for Marfa. If not for Hemingway and Steinbeck, there would have been no McMurtry. If not for McMurtry, there would not be other great writers that learned from him.

The website said the store is open for business. It wasn’t and had not been for a while. I peeked through the dusty glass front door, and some autographed books were displayed on a table, where they once had been for sale. I was about as hang-dog as a man can get.

A fellow pushing his garbage bin to the street was helpful and filled us in on the particulars. It’s a good yarn but could also be a steaming pile. Small towns run on gossip, rumors, and legends.

The old man leaned on his trash bin, got close to the window where my wife sat, and let her rip.

When McMurtry passed on, he left his two town bookstores, his typewriter, and 30,000 rare books to the lady that ran them for years; Khristal Collins. His wife Norma Fay and his writing partner Diana Ossana got the cash. His estate hired a hot-shot New York book bow-tie-wearing appraiser to give the books a value. It seems the fellow opened a few books and some stock certificates fell out, then some more books and more certificates hit the floor. Now, he had to go through every book in both stores. It may take years. Let’s hope his wife checked their mattress.

In the literary world, the man is not a mere mortal, except that he did pass away at home a while back, so I was disappointed that a writer of his Homeric wizardry could actually expire.

I can imagine Larry sitting on his front veranda in the late afternoon, enjoying a good glass of scotch while contemplating his next book about the fictitious town of Thalia, Texas, and he fades with the setting sun.

When and If the Booked Up store re-opens, I will make the trip back to Archer City. I’m still hoping to meet Sonny, Duane, and Jacy.

Larry McMurtry Made Me Crazy


This coming Wednesday, July 27th, my wife and I are driving to Colorado Springs to visit her daughter and family. New transplants from Fort Worth, Texas to the liberal and hip state of legal pot and “mile-high-hipsters.” We are making a bucket list stop along the way to the small Texas town of Archer City.

My wife Mo, is accomodating, but she thinks the head injury I suffered two years ago has effected my mental priorities. “What the hell is an Archer City?” she asked. I can’t explain without choking up. How can a writer explain the reverance of visiting the holy grail of litature. I get so excited, I piss my pants a bit, but that’s because I am 73 years old and cancer did a whammy on me.

For the illiterate non-book readers who are followers of my blog, Archer City is the hometown, and for 70 years, the home to one of the greatest authors in American literature; Larry McMurtry.

Born, raised, and recently died there, he is the fair-haired favorite son that put this one red-light town on the map. A true son of Texas that accepted his many awards in jeans and Justin boots. He may have lived in New York City for a spell, but he got back to Texas as soon as he could. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Lonesome Dove” in 1986. A good ole boy from hicksville Texas writing about the famous cattle drive inspired by Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, both legendary and larger than life figures in the old west; bet it pissed those Swedes off but good.

Like many great novelist, he was an educater at North Texas State and Rice University; but I don’t hold that against him. He wrote on a portable typewriter and didn’t own a computer or a cell phone. He could play the rube with the toothpick in his teeth then write an essay that would bring tears to a grown mans eye. He also kept a rebelious streak in his back pocket as he was one of the Merry Pranksters along with Ken Kesey and his Acid Test for a few days when the circus stopped at his home in Houston. He said the LSD made him a tad anxious and preferred whiskey. For reasons unknown, in his last years, he married Ken Keseys widow and moved her to Archer City.

One of his novels, “The Last Picture Show” was a Peter Bogdonovich movie that raised a public ruckus in 1971 for the nudity and taboo liason between a high school football player an the coaches wife. A young Cybil Shepard even showed her little titties in a swimming pool scene. Good Lord.

The cast of characters in his books was drawn from the townspeople he grew up with and even with the slightest of name changes, they were easily recognized and plenty pissed until the movie and books put their one horse town on the tourist map. The movie was shot in black and white and filmed in a ramshackle Archer City which took on the 1950 look and name of “Thalia, Texas.”

As in many of his books, the places folks spent their time was at the Pool Hall, The Kwik Shack, The Movie Theater and the Dairy Queen. I plan to visit his book store, “Booked Up,” and of course have a burger and a shake at the famous Dairy Queen. One more thing striked off my bucket list. Who knows; I might see Jacy and Duane eating a chicken fried.

In Search Of My Family History; Didn’t My Mother Own A Pen and A Sheet Of Paper?


Left foreground: Terry The Terrier, Uncle Jack, My Grandmother, My Grandfather, and my Aunt Norma

I am dismayed that the numerous members of my father and mother’s families didn’t have the foresight to record their family history for future generations. So there we were, a passel of kids that would grow up to have our own passel of children, but not a paragraph or a sentence was penned for historical value. For all we knew, the entire gang of us were adopted from the Masonic Home.

A note in an old bible or a scribble on the back of an old picture. Who is the old farm wife holding a baby goat in front of a ramshackle barn in 1935? She may as well have been Ma Joad.

Ancestry has been no help, I know where my father’s family came from; England, Ireland, and Scotland; via ships with vast yards of sails, they made landfall in New York, kissed the Statue of Liberty, and then on to Pennsylvania, and points west these were men and women of Celtic origin, who could handle a sword and drank Jameson Irish Whiskey instead of water. They were the refugees of the potato famine and the Catholic-Protestant conflict that still rages today.

My mother’s family is vague, shrouded in indigenous Indian mythical mystery. Relatives who grew up on the Cherokee Indian Reservations, also known as The Indian Nation in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

These folks lived in Buffalo skin teepees and log cabins and hunted for their food, and there are rumors they killed more than a few white settlers. My grandmother had a large mass of human hair she claimed was a scalp her father took during a raiding party; she would bring it out at Christmas to add drama to the children’s holiday.

From what I’ve been told, my great-grandmother had a serious “thang” with the violent but educated Cherokee Chief Quannah Parker, and that “thang” is still a family mystery. Still, my grandmother looked like him, so the family story calls us relations. There may have been more than holding hands in the moonlight on the banks of the Canadian River.

Belle Starr, the infamous outlaw gal, is another relation on my mother’s side. My grandmother said she never intentionally shot anyone but did shoot her husband’s pinky toe off when he wouldn’t help dry the supper dishes Dime Novels made a fortune off of her antics.

Belle was a larger-than-life fixture residing in the old Fort Worth district known as “Hell’s Half Acre.” Butch, Sundance, and Etta Place were her drinking partners, and it’s rumored that she could out-shoot Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill, who also had a “thang” for Belle. The famous quick draw Sherriff Jim Coulter was puppy-love sick for her, but he knew she could likely out-draw him, so he loved her from afar.

A famous uncle also worked as a US Marshall out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and rode with the legendary black marshall, Sam Bass. Sam handled a Colt 44 as graceful as a forkful of steak and taters. Unfortunately, he had to replace the handles on his pistols twice after he ran out of room for the notches related to the count of bandits he had plugged. The uncle in question was likely the model for the character July Johnson in Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Lonesome Dove.” I’m waiting for confirmation that I may be related to Will Rogers, Sasquatch, Blue Duck, and Amelia Earhart.

I was a teenager when I heard one of the better stories from within the family. My mother’s brother’s wife shot and “more than killed” their only daughter’s mean-spirited husband during an “Old Crow” inspired confrontation of which there were many. The old gal shot her son-in-law three times in the chest with a 38 Police Special and then once more in the head, just to assure he wouldn’t get up. She got off in self-defense. However, the thoroughly dead fellow was unarmed and stupid drunk.

The famous weapon hung on the wall in a framed case, still loaded with the two remaining bullets. Family badges of honor come in all forms.

For me, time is of the essence because it’s running out. I hope to complete some form of family history for my grandchildren by Christmas. It may not be pretty, but it will be a good read.

A Reader Shall Never Be Illiterate


Back in those magical 1950s, Texas had a law that a child couldn’t start first grade unless they were six years old on or before September 1st, the standard start of the school year. So my birthday came on September 17th, rendering me ineligible for formal education.

As my neighborhood friends marched down the sidewalk in their new school clothes, off to George C. Clark Elementry, I stood on the front porch feeling like life was passing me by. In a way, it was, and for a kid, the slightest things seem dramatic.

My Mother and my aunt Norma hatched a plan. They got their hands on two years of Dick and Jane books. First and second-grade editions that taught kids to read. Within a few months, I was a reading machine, having breezed through the books learning to read and then write in the lined notebooks used in school. My Mother and Aunt Norma were determined that I would enter the first grade on a third-grade level. I suffered through the year of drills and teaching techniques, but I emerged a better student for it.

My aunt Norma, a crazed reader, introduced me, by reading me, Micky Spillane, Zane Gray, and a long line of pulp fiction paperbacks that in a decent world should have been off limits to a kid my age. Murder, mayhem, sex, and salacious behaviors seemed normal to me before the age of seven. ” Mike Hammer stood in the doorway as the cool redhead dropped her robe to the floor exposing her watoness to the hardened detective.” What kid reads that crap? It seemed normal to me.

Entering the first grade, my teacher was perplexed by my abilities. I had already advanced to the third-grade level of reading and cursive writing. She assumed I was an idiot savant and recommended I be sent to a special school for mal-adjusted children. Fortunately, my Mother and aunt intervened and explained the situation and their tutorial extensions. I was saved and allowed to attend classes with my peers, even though I was bored and apt to nap most of the day. My teacher asked the class about their favorite Dick and Jane book, and I explained that Mickey Spillane was my most endured famous writer, along with Mark Twain, of who I wanted to become. An hour in the principal’s office did nothing to deter me from my goals or abilities. Once again, I was on the savant list; and another conference was convened on my behalf. With no kindergarten in those days, kids were expected to trod along at a slow pace and learn as a group at that level. My additional year at home had allowed me to surpass in the form of hyper-speed, eclipsing my peers that were by no means ignorant but only learning at the average speed expected.

By fourth grade, I had read Mark Twain’s collection of works and started on “The Grapes of Wrath.” I didn’t grasp many of Steinbeck’s words and his sentence structure, but in all, I got the jest of the story because my grandparents had been the Okies that traveled to California and did the fruit and vegetable picking Steinbeck wrote of. Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, Gertrude Stien, and F. Scott Fitzgerald found me. I was ruined for life. Dick and Jane were nothing but fodder for a good winter fire in our hearth.

A Special Rant From The Cactus Patch


Good Lord in Heaven, the news flashed a moment ago that Biden is sending the oil from our national reserves to China instead of using it to lower the cost at the pump.

“Just Go Buy That Electric Car,” I ask you, what kind of man, much less a president does something like this? Perhaps because he is secure in China’s back pocket because of his sons’ dirty dealings, from which he undoubtedly benefited? Maybe dementia has altered his state of reality and he is of the mind of a child? Doe’s the Democratic Party not have a clear-thinking member that opposes the ruination of this country? All valid questions, and I am but one of the millions with like thoughts.

” Silence Is Not Golden,” although the Tremeloes had a great hit with that term. Why has the Republican Party not offered answers to their constituents? Where are the press conferences and full-page newspaper ads? The gonads of McConnell, Medows and a dozen other so-called leaders are safe in a drawer in their bedroom credenza. Most likely next to their useless pricks, which renders them, useless Eunuchs. Our saving grace may be some of the firebrand female senators that pack a pistol on each hip and mean business.

How does the majority of America receive its news? Good old NBC Lester Holt, the metrosexual young man on ABC, and that green-eyed red-headed pronoun devil on CBS, an avowed conservative Christian hater, although her family all served in the military. She is a contradiction.

There is Fox and Newsmax for conservatives, then the rest of us peons watch the three-letter networks or Google, or Yahoo, or the hundreds of leftist sites that populate the net. It’s an orchestrated effort to feed the population a constant flow of misinformation. Biden’s almost cute little Nazi misinformation Frau didn’t last a full week. She was yet another of his appointments with no experience in anything except producing sing-song Tik Tok videos. To date, AOC is the only one to successfully pull it off, only because her voting base in her hood is as moronic as she is.

Who is the wizard behind the green curtain? Soros, Biden, Pelosi? The Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man? More than likely it is a combination of Obama, Hillary, Eric Holder, and Susan Rice, all with direct lines to the Biden residence. Scoff if you may, but I might be right, based on what I have read in and between the lines. Of all the experts in written media, Victor Davis Hansen may be the most accurate. His assessments and predictions are spot on and should keep us awake at night.

” Come And Take It,” is the flag waved by the outnumbered Texans during the battle of Gonzolaz against the Mexican army. Our illustrious pontificating governor should learn a thing or two from our history, starting with that flag. So the DOJ is filing suit against Texas declaring our border an invasion from a foreign power. It is exactly that and more. Let Merrick Garland and his lackeys try and stop us. They are chickenshit at best. Mexico’s government shrugs their shoulders, “no english” they say. The hordes keep marching to the castle walls with no end in sight. Abbott had a good idea when he held up the trucks at the border, he should reinstate that law. A large chunk of Mexico’s economy is ” Western Union” money from illegals in our country. Halt that and see how fast President Pedro does the sideways shuffle and puts on the brakes. How about our National Guard with a shoot-to-kill order on anyone that resembles a Cartel or drug mule? Maybe some well-placed Texas militia in the scrub brush? That sounds drastic and cruel, but we are eons past the point of civility. This is a war against our country. As in Washington, under the current administration of our once proud state of Texas, the sons of the Alamo have been silenced. It’s heartbreaking.

“Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?” The sixties group “The Barbarians” had it right over 50 years ago. A tongue-in-cheek jab at our parent’s generation of intolerance. It was a catchy tune that if revived today, would likely become a breakthrough hit. If a boy wants to dress up and play Girlie-Girl and a girl wants to dress up and play Manley-Man, then do it. Don’t expect special treatment or rights from the rest of us, except maybe a butt whooping once in a while. We all played cowboys and Indians back in the 50s, and none of us grew up to be Roy Rogers or Tonto; well maybe a few of my friends did. My childhood friend Billy Roy grew up to be the Texas version of Pretty Boy Floyd and spent his entire life on the dope farm in West Fort Worth. I also had a cousin that dressed like a woman and robbed a Piggley Wiggley, but he got off after pleading insanity. The judge sent him to live in Dallas…nuff said.

Remembering the 4th of July, 1957


The whirling of the push mower blades sings their song of torment as I struggle to advance the heavy beast forward. I miss cutting the grass by two days; now, it’s akin to whacking my way through a South American jungle. I’m eight years old, and it’s the 4th of July, 1957.

Later this afternoon, friends and relatives will arrive for a backyard cookout and fireworks at dusk. There is a watermelon packed in an ice-filled tub. Cold beer and soft drinks fill another. Both tubs are sitting in the shade of our backyard Mimosa tree. My father’s beloved Leonard Brothers all-steel charcoal grill sits on the driveway, loaded with briquettes.  

Many of the relatives are on my father’s “shit list,” but being the nice fellow, he extends the invitation on this day and the Christmas holidays. They always come, and the reason for their banishment soon rears its ugly head. Beer gives them the strength to make a beautiful ass of themselves. I’m a kid and could care less. I want to play with dangerous fireworks and blow things up.

People arrive around four. A few cousins close to my age make the party tolerable. My tomboy cousin Ginger brings her bow and target arrows. She wastes no time shooting my cousin Jok in his left buttock. My father removes the arrow, and a band-aid dresses the wound. Kids were tough back then. A speeding bullet is the only thing that might stop us. We move on to firecrackers, cherry bombs, and sparklers.

Burgers are served along with “tater salad” and watermelon. Pearl beer gives my father’s uncle Orum the ability to talk like Will Rogers. His home-spun recounts of past family gatherings captivate the adults. Without the lubrication of beer, he is as humorless as a cardboard box. Cousin Ginger finds her bow and arrows and sends one through the bedroom window glass. She gets a well-deserved butt whooping. It’s not often I see a girl get a butt busting. She does the one-arm dance as her mother delivers the blows. Cool.

I destroy every ant mound in our alley with Black Cat firecrackers and send a tin can into the stratosphere with a Cherry Bomb. Cousin Jok sits a cherry bomb on top of the front tire of his older brother’s new MG convertible to test the velocity of the explosion. The firework blows an outward dent in the fender. Jok is a doomed kid when he gets home.

Darkness arrives, and we swirl sparklers in figure-eight patterns. Sticks of metal burning at 3,000 degrees. Kids holding a welding torch; what could go wrong?

Ten o’clock arrives, and I’m lying in bed after my bath. The soft whir of my bedroom swamp cooler lulls me into La La Land. The adults are still in the backyard. I hear their laughter and catch a few words of some dirty jokes.

Drowsiness comes; sleep is but a minute away; then I hear my mother singing God Bless America, and the others join in. It feels good to be a kid on the 4th of July.

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