“Down On The Corner, Out In The Street”


At 73 years of age, I still have all my hair. Not only is it all in place, but it’s also solid white, luxurious, and flowing. I use a secret shampoo from ” Dr. Squatch,” a medicinal shaman that lives in a remote mountain cabin above Colorado Springs. I have men, women, and barbers stop me on the street and comment on my massive amount of follicles. My wife says I have ” TV Preacher Hiar,” which brings me to this idea.

Since my rock band disbanded in 2019, I have missed playing music. A few nights ago, at a birthday party for our former drummer, Jordan, who turned 75, I approached the idea of making music again with him and our former bass player and singer, Danny, who is 77. Our good friend and guitar player, John, passed away a few years ago, but I’m confident he would be all in if he were with us.

They were mildly interested until I told them my idea involved playing on the sidewalks around our historic Granbury town square. The proper English term is “Busking,” which consists in playing and singing for money thrown into a jar, a bucket, or an open guitar case. They looked at me as if a third eye was growing in my forehead. I then dropped the bomb on them; I am becoming a man of the cloth, a pastor, a preacher, a sidewalk hawker for the almighty. It’s so easy; I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. My quirky sense of humor, skill as an orator, and perfect hair assure success in this endeavor.

Go online, send in your nominal fee, and receive a certified, stamped, and legal document, suitable for framing, that says you can perform weddings, funerals, and divorces, bless barroom fights, bless meals for family and strangers in restaurants, give pastorly advice, and heal people’s medical maladies. I am awaiting my credentials which should arrive any day now. My two friends and former bandmates have not returned my calls, but then at their age, they may have forgotten the conversation. I will send them a text and an email as a reminder.

Combine my TV preacher hair and my pastorly presence with our three-piece musical trio, and we should be able to draw a sizable crowd and make some nice donations for my mobile church, which I plan to christen; “The Church of The What’s Happening Now.” All proceeds will go to the “Mission Granbury” food bank and “Friends of Animals.”

Being a Christian, which I am, is advisable. But, if you’re going to spread the word of God, you had better believe what you are spouting. Atheists, Agnostics, and liberals would never make a good street preacher; they would be struck by a bolt of lightning from above and charred to a crisp right there on the sidewalk. God doesn’t watch CNN or The View.

I have better hair than any of those preachers on the TV set, so I should do quite well if my wife lets me out of the house and I can find my car keys and guitar, which I suspect she has hidden with relatives.

Memories At 4: 00 AM


My father, Port Aransas, Texas, 1957

     My father didn’t own a beach chair, nor did he want one. He preferred to sit on his haunches or stand when he fished. My grandfather, the old salt of the clan, felt the same; real men took their fishing seriously in 1957 and didn’t need such things. They smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes and carried a Zippo lighter and Barlow pocketknife in their pant pocket. If it was summer, my dad waded into the surf, sometimes up to his waist, which worried my mother; she feared a sand shark or a giant octopus would drag him beneath the waves and leave my sister and me fatherless. She fretted about the monsters in the ocean and would have a panic attack if she got more than knee-deep in the surf. She couldn’t swim a lick, thanks to her mother’s lifelong fear of water which she instilled in her children. However, my baby sister was fearless and would keep plodding headlong into the surf until one of my parents or I rescued her.

     My family lived inland, four hundred miles to the northern part of Texas. The journey from Fort Worth to Port Aransas took eight, sometimes nine hours, but we could have made it in six if not for my mother wanting to stop for lunch at Franks restaurant in Schulenberg and a potty break every hour. The women in her family were cursed with an uncooperative bladder.

     We were city folks, but our hearts and souls were one with the Gulf of Mexico and that small island village. I never considered myself a city boy; Fort Worth was where we stayed until our next trip to our natural home, the ocean. Home to me was Gibbs Cottages or the Rock Cottages on G street. Bilmore and Son’s Hardware sold tackle, bait, and gas, and the Island Grocery had the best baloney and rat cheese sandwiches in Texas. The only church in town kept everyone saved and signed up for heaven, and Shorty’s was the most popular beer joint in town and served ice-cold Pearl beer in dark glass bottles.

     The magic was always there, winter or summer; it never changed. The ever-shifting dunes and beach grass waved like grain fields in the southern breeze. The sea birds ran along the shoreline, paying no attention to us interlopers. The gulls would assault me if I had a sandwich or a bag of potato chips, and the brown Pelicans glided above the water like a formation of B-24 bombers. There were rattlesnakes in the dunes, but I never ran across one. I once disturbed a napping Coyote; it snorted and trotted off into the grasslands behind the dunes.

     Memories come to me at inconvenient times. This one woke me up at 4:00 am, so I figured I had better write it down. Who knows what memory tomorrow may bring?

“A Small Rant From A Half-Assed Invalid”


I haven’t ranted on anything of value lately, but the news on that flat-screen thing is driving me to something, and I don’t thinks it’s good.

Classified files at Trump’s art deco digs, Biden’s Deleware home, and now they think at his beach house and his “so called” private office. Now we have ex-VP Pence with papers at his house. To be fair, is anyone looking at Hillary’s, Obama’s, and Bush’s? Hell, my house could be next. The witch trials are on, and the minions are building the log fire and cross. Someone is going to burn for this one. Who will it be? Perhaps all of the above if justice is blind, which we know it is not.

I walk with a cane now. It’s not a fancy one like a proper southern gentleman would possess; it’s a shiny aluminum job from the Walmart. I used a few beautiful wooden canes that belonged to my wife’s late father, but I broke one and severely injured another. She has one left, and I won’t touch it since it’s an heirloom.

Since my back operation in August caused the drop foot and the unruly right leg, the cane is my savior. I’ve found it helpful on my shopping trips to H.E.B. with my wife. I’m not allowed to go on my own since I can’t drive with a bum foot, and she doesn’t believe me when I tell her that my cane acts as a good pusher for the accelerator. So, we go as a team. With my gimp foot and leg, I clumsily push the cart, and she grabs the stuff and fills the cart. I am also there as a moderator, keeping her from purchasing too many expensive goodies. Beef is $ 15.00 per pound, and Chicken is $16.00 per pound, so we eat pork or no meat at all. She slipped some New York steaks in the basket last week; hid them under some other items. I’m slipping.

Back to the cane, it’s also useful as a weapon. Any unruly shopper that bumps into me, or my cart, gets a whack from my righteous staff, with me yelling, ” I’m walking here,” the cane, and seeing I am a half-assed invalid, adds to the drama, which usually scares the poor offender into retreat. My poor wife has nothing to say; it would do no good anyway.

“I yam, what I yam,” as Popeye would say.

I Am A Texan


I am, and always will be, a stubborn, self-righteous, braggart, and proud son of Texas. If there was a lodge called ” Sons of The Alamo,” I would be a member. I bleed red, white, and blue with a lone big star. My battle flag is the ” Come And Take It,” from the skirmish with the Mexican army in Gonzalez, Texas, that sparked the Texas Revolution.

In my dreams, I carried Davy Crockett’s old Betsy from Tennessee and sharpened Jim Bowie’s knife so slick he could shave with it. I helped Colonel Travis write his famous pleading letter for more troops to defend the Alamo, and I was with the defenders on the narrow pulpits of that old fort when it fell after thirteen days of defiance. I fanned the horse flies away from a wounded Sam Houston as he lay underneath a shade tree along the banks of a bend in a creek called Texas on the Brazos. I was with the Texian army as they rousted and defeated General Santa Anna’s troops on the battlefield of San Jacinto.

I sat on the commander’s deck with Texan Admiral Chester Nimitz during the battle of the Coral Sea as the Japs relentlessly attacked our armada. I rode with the Texas Rangers as they fought the Comanches and Pancho Villa. I was but a boy with a dog-eared history book, but in my dreams, I was a part of the glorious history of my home state. I will always be eternally grateful for being born a son of Texas.

You’re Only As Young As You Look


My granny, a Cherokee woman from another century, used to tell me, and anyone else that would listen, ” you’re only as old as you feel.” She had a good point. She lived into her 90s and seemed to feel good most of her life, even though every meal she cooked was in bacon grease and hog fat. She would take-back those wise words if she could see her oldest grandson now.

I stared at the reflection in my bathroom mirror this morning and said, “Dad, is that you?” Who is this old guy? My grandmothers’ words came back to me, but in this case, she is dead damn wrong.

I guess 73 years old is a milestone of sorts. I have already outlived my father, that passed at 72, so I got a year up on him. The odd thing is that I, or so folks tell me, don’t look 73. “Oh, look at yeeew, I swear yeeew could pass for 55 if not a day older; bless your heart.” Words like that make an old guy feel proud for a few minutes, nothing more.

My grandfather, my dad’s pop, passed on when I was ten years old. Born in 1891, he looked as old when I was a wee-one as he did when he left us. Early pictures from the 1930s showed him with white hair and wrinkly skin. The man was born old but never aged after that. Maybe that’s the gene I inherited. He came out of the womb with whiskers, white hair, and a Daniel Boone pocket knife used for whittling and sharpening pencils. Strange things like this happen in the south, especially in Texas. Our state is shrouded in mystery and could be a part of the Twilight Zone.

My wife, a few years younger than me, is of good German and Irish stock from the hills of Pennsylvania. She wasn’t born in Texas but got here as quick as she could via her wandering parents. She has but a little gray hair and very few wrinkles, and her eyes are bright, and her nose is cold. We’ve both had our medical maladies lately, each suffering through major back operations, cleaned-out knee joints, and other minor nuisances.

Speaking for myself, I may hold the family record if one exists; my sister is checking the family bible just to be sure. A case of prostate cancer back in 2019, and I thought it was clear sailing after that. No such luck. Now, the good stuff; three ear surgeries on both ears, a cute little prostate operation, as if the cancer didn’t do enough damage, major back surgery that included a lot of stainless steel parts, and next week major nerve and leg surgery to correct drop foot caused by the back surgery with all the parts. All of this is within a twelve-month period. Now, I will kiss your hiney and buy you a Whataburger if that ain’t a record of some kind; and I’m still ambulating, but with a fancy cane from the Walmart.

Sympathy or donations via the mail is not the goal of this story but letting other readers know what the future holds if you’re a young whipper snapper. Better start saving your cash, suck it up and get ready for the big show. The good news is; I still have all my luxurious white hair, which makes me look like a TV preacher. Amen, brother.

De-Ja-Vu Old Hippie Dude


He wasn’t the best guitar player in the band, nor the best singer, but added into the mix, he was a part of the Byrds that made them. The band gave Pete Seeger a stroke, turned Joanie Baez gay, and gave Dylan the courage to pick up a Fender Strat and plug into a twin reverb amplifier. The world of folkie music would never be the same.

Crosby was too outspoken, prideful, and an asshole rich kid who pissed off everyone he interacted with. Canadian Mockingbird Joni Mitchell wanted to kill him with her delicate hands for ruining her first album. But, despite his misgivings, the man was one hell of a part of the sixties music movement.

David Crosby has gone to the great Woodstock in the sky. When Bob Dylan rang a doorbell today, Crosby got a pair of angel wings. They were tarnished and likely secondhand, but he can now fly around the clouds flipping off everyone on earth. Joni is sick and too old to do nothing more than guide her electric wheelchair around these days, but she would still kick his smug ass if she could muster the strength. He damn near ruined her career before it started. All he wanted was to marry her, but she was already hitched to her Martin guitar with those quirky tunings. Crosby could barely tune his Gretsch.

I saw them back in 1999 at an outdoor venue in Dallas Fair Park. Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the once young gods of Woodstock. David soooo endeared himself to the audience by saying, “Dallas, the fucking city that killed Kennedy.” He was spot on, but he didn’t need to say it. The man had no control over his mouth or life and couldn’t separate reality from a good high. What was that lesbo singer Ethridge thinking about having him as a sperm donor for her kids? Drug addiction and craziness are inherited via the genes, and I don’t mean bell-bottom Levis, or did she bother to read up on it?

I loved the Byrds in 1965 and forward. I loved CSN even more, and coke loved David more than anyone in the biz. He was a powder hound deluxe, made for drug abuse and bat-shit crazy behavior. Stills tried to put out a Mafia hit on him, and Nash attempted to poison his Oatmeal after he completely destroyed CS&N. He was loved by many but hated by many more. Why are the tortured souls the ones to drip with talent? Maybe Morrison can fill him in on it this evening if the two are in the same place. The poor man was a train wreck and a screw-up, but tomorrow, I will listen to my two CS&N albums and The Byrd’s greatest hits and remember one of the shining talents from when I was a 60s teenager banging on an electric guitar and wishing I was him. RIP, you old hippie dude.

Washington Is Screwed


Things in Washington are screwed to the max. Old man Biden is being eaten alive by the press that ran interference for him all of his 40 years in office. Secret documents stashed next to his hipster Corvette. Home Depot boxes are full of “for your eyes only” secret squirrel shit. Was it Dementia or everyday stupidity? The newsboys smell blood in the dirty Potomac. The low tide stinks of scandal, and Watergate boys are considering coming out of retirement for one last show. Old NBC Lester sees his chance to win a Pulitzer, that’s if he can beat out that green-eyed devil bitch on CBS news, and that metro-sexual chap on ABC. With some form of grace, the only way out for Biden is to politely expire at the podium; at least then, he would get somber news coverage and a state funeral, and his son would take the rap for the corrupt family. That smiling Chinese dictator devil would send a lovely flower arrangement and a few million bucks to his widow, Not A Doctor, Jill. He will be elevated to sainthood if the old Italian deviant in red shoes approves the anointment. It’s about time we get fed the real deal.

Resolutions Are Made To Be Broken


The night of January 2, 2023, I resolved not to write about politics. It was 2 am in the morning, and I was lying in bed fretting about the news I had watched earlier in the day. There is no “good news”; it’s all bad, given to use in small doses by people on my television screen that couldn’t talk their way out of a robbery without a teleprompter.

I vow to take immediate action to mend my mind and soul from the poison I am fed daily at 5:30 pm. I fought the compulsion to limp to my recliner and write a scathing blog post about the current suicidal condition of our country, but I stayed in my warm bed. Sarcasm can wait until breakfast.

Goodbye, old Lester Holt. Your suits are lovely and fit you well, but you are a liar, and I would readily join you for ten million dollars a year. You have no backbone or conscience as you continue spitting bullshit into the camera. I’m done with you and the others. You know, the nice-looking news anchor women with perfect hair, white teeth, and store-bought breast. I will give them one compliment: they don’t resemble a Kardashian woman.

I began to read The Fort Worth Press when I was a child, 9 years old, to be exact. Reading books came to me naturally, and so the newspaper was also. Starting with the comics, then sports, and from there, real news, the front page. Bad news makes for a good readership. The writers at the Press understood this. The front page was their “kill shot.”

I wanted to be a writer like the men in the newsroom, typing on their Underwood machine while smoking an unfiltered Camel and downing lousy coffee with a shot of Old Crow added for flavor. My earlier quest to be Mark Twain didn’t work out, so this would be the next best thing. I let my father know of my intentions, which led him to remind me that last year I had wanted to be a Good Humor man with my own ice cream truck. He was right, but a kid can change professions daily. I was years away from holding a job.

My mothers’ ancient typewriter weighed at least a hundred pounds. It had belonged to her sister, that once had aspirations of being the next Ayn Rand but lost interest in becoming an author when she married a college professor that was an author. It gave me a hernia around my young groin when I heaved it onto the kitchen table. I rolled a sheet of paper from my Big Cheif tablet into the machine, ready to start my first article that will be mailed to the Press.

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