Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall Tales and Ripping Yarns from The Great State Of Texas

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“Things That Keep Me Awake On A Sunday Night, That I Shouldn’t Give A Rats Ass About”


Well, spray me with Unicorn piss, roll me in Fairy dust and turn me into a Tinkerbell Biscuit; the United States Ryder Cup golf team beat Europe today. Nobody cares; unless you’re a golfer, and I’m a golfer and still don’t care.

A team of multi-millionaire frat boys flies to the tournament in their private jets, stay in the best digs, pay for nothing, dress in awful matching shirts, keep in touch with their sponsors and stock advisors via satellite cell phones, make bets with the Europeans, eat lobster sandwiches, drink champagne and play grab-ass with their surgically enhanced girlfriends. All of this while the United States is being turned into a third-world refugee invaded shit hole by Biden and his minions. But hey, it’s the Ryder Cup, and everybody loves the USA when it’s kicking ass. Right?

Meanwhile, at the White House, Peppermint Patty tells the press “that it would serve no purpose for Biden to visit the southern border,” mainly Texas. Of course not. There would most likely be a half-million people there to greet him with who knows what; Pitchforks and Torches? It didn’t turn out well for Dr. Frankenstien when the villagers paid him a call. Just because most of the population down there is Mexican American doesn’t mean they should welcome his visit; they don’t like him either.

That buzz-haired bug-eyed DHS dude says that his folks may have let 10-12 thousand Haitian invaders into Texas by accident. Well, what is it, Mr. Clean? An accident or on purpose? Did you turn them loose with no paperwork, no vaccinations, no vetting, no forwarding address, no nothing? It’s like the Price Is Right; “come on in, get your new car and everything else you need is free, as long as you vote for us Democrats.” I think a “Christmas Carol” inspired visit from the ghost of our founding fathers would be in order about now. Imagine misty apparitions of Jefferson, Washington, and Adams showing up in Sippy Cups bedroom at 2 AM, flying him away to visit the ghost of the president’s past and future. Jill is not invited.

The entire national news on NBC this afternoon was devoted to shaming the public into getting the jab. Scene after scene of needles sticking into arms as the talking mouthpiece sitting in for Lester Holt scolded America. They did mention the wildfires in California but danced around the reason for them; governor Hollywood wouldn’t let the Forest Service clear the forest floors of dead trees and overgrowth, and all the planes and equipment are tied up with government-induced paperwork and autocratic bullshit. The poor girl murdered by her boyfriend got a few seconds, but then it was back to Covid shaming. Funny how Afghanistan and the border crisis are so easily pushed under the media rugs. Nothing to see here; move along.

John Durham, that pesky special prosecutor, says that he has 14 indictments ready to go. So I would imagine that the Clintons are packing their Gucci bags and getting ready to jet off to their new hideout in South America. It worked for Hitler, so why not Hillary.

President Sniffy is going after the Texas Border Patrol. ” Those people will pay,” he says. “Those poor Haitians, treated like cattle, being whipped and almost trampled by large, uh, you know those things that cowboys ride.” But, Texas Governor Greg Abbot says not to worry folks, “if Biden fires you, you will still have a good job here in Texas because I will personally hire you.”

Wishing you all a great coming week.

Did I say too much?

“Iron Butterfly’s Are Heavy”


In 1968, the rock band I was in signed a management contract with the top agency in Dallas, Texas; Mark Lee Productions. We had been together since 1967 and played all over Texas, but once we hitched on to Mark Lee, we entered another level. Friday and Saturday nights were booked for the next year, and we made more money than our fathers. Pretty good for a bunch of teenagers in Texas.

That was the year that rock music exploded in Dallas and Fort Worth. Forget Los Angeles and New York, we had more bands and better music right here in Texas. American Blues, which would soon be ZZ Top, Felicity that would become the Eagles, Delbert McClinton, Roy Orbison, B.W. Stevens, Michael Martin Murphy, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmy Vaughn, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Doyle Bramhall, Southwest F.O.B that would birth England Dan and John Ford Coley, Kenny and The Kasuals, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Sly Stone, The Jackals, The Nova’s, and our band, The ATNT. We didn’t think much about the East or West coast; there was too much happening here.

A rock band out of San Diego, California, was making some noise with a 45 that was getting some airplay on KLIF AM radio in Dallas. The Iron Butterfly was unknown outside of California but was starting to make some noise in our neighborhood. With the release of their 45 and the following album, they hit the tour circuit playing smaller venues in the Southwest.

Mark Lee informed us that the band would be coming through Dallas in a month and if we would like to do a few dates with them at a local music club called “Strawberry Fields” and “The Phantasmagoria.” It was a go. We got their 45 and really dug their music, so we learned the two tunes and added them to our set-list. Folks liked them even though the songs were much heavier than what our local bands were playing.

The night of the first show at Strawberry Fields, we set up first then the Butterly arrived and added their gear to the stage, making it darn tight, so we agreed to let them use some of our equipment. In the dressing room, they were quiet, talking among themselves and not much to us. We were teenagers, 16 being the youngest and 19 the oldest. They were in their mid-twenties or older, hardcore and mysterious rock musicians from the west coast.

Before we went on, our manager, Mark Lee thought that it would be nice if we did one of The Iron Butterly’s songs; an adoring shout-out of sorts. We were young and stupid, so we agreed to do their song “Possession.” If we had massacred the song, it would probably have gone unnoticed, but we nailed it to the wall and plastered it with gold stars. We finished our set and were met by the pissed-off members of the Butterfly. The keyboardist and the elder leader, Doug Engle, tried his best to keep his band members from kicking our butts. He understood what we had done and didn’t take offense to our gaff. Our illustrious manager thought the entire event was hilarious and was laughing his ass off. Feelings were soothed, tempers lowered, and we finished the gig and on to the next club where, by the end of the evening, we were all buddies, exchanging phone numbers and promises to keep in touch after we all made the big time rock scene.

“Surfing Into The Sunset”


We have been in Corpus Christi the past few days visiting my son and his family. I will be 72 on the 17th and figured that I owe myself a bucket list item; surf one more time.

Wes, my son, was accommodating and borrowed a new-fangled all foam board that he thought I could handle. My grandson has a much shorter board because he is 8. The beach at Padre Island was the most crowded mess I have ever witnessed. Granted, the last time I was on a Texas beach on Labor day was in the mid-90s, and that was at Port Aransas. This was beyond stupid. Thousands of people parking their cars near the water, getting stuck in the sand, hogging any sliver of a spot to reach the water. After searching for an hour, Wes found a small opening and squeezed his truck into the slot.

Beach chairs unloaded, cooler and surfboards ready, my grandson and I grab our boards and wade into the surf. As it turns out, the surf today was terrible. Slushy with no good form. We struggled to find a decent wave and did luck into a few.

I paddled through the shore break past the first sand bar and tried to sit on my board. Nope, that wasn’t happening. I took off on a wave and couldn’t stand up, nope, that neither. The head injury from two years ago is most likely the culprit. No balance and no equilibrium. Being 72 didn’t help my quest. I was a good surfer in the 60s and 70s and figured it was something that could not be forgotten. Wrong on my part. The defeat was at hand, and I took it willingly.

I came back to the beach, laid the board down, and told my wife that I can now scratch this one off of the bucket list. Sometimes your eyes are bigger than your brain.

Friday Things That Make You Go WTH?


Isn’t it amazing how much General Fubar Milly Vanilli looks like John Goodman? At this point, I believe John Goodman would be a better leader of our Armed Forces.

This is student pilot Abdul Abagawaweenie III, in the cockpit of a C 17 Cargo plane that Joe Biden gifted the Taliban when the US pulled out of Afghanistan. He’s a bit challenged since the only machinery he can operate is a Toyota pickup and a motorbike. He plans to use the Billion Dollar plane to fly his buddies to parties around Kabul.

Photo courtesy of The Lone Ranger

As of September 1st, 2021, Texans can carry a firearm in public without a license or permit. Pictured above is my 15th cousin, Lilly Ann Oakley confronting a punk after he took her parking spot at Walmart. Just saying, it’s going to be the Wild Wild West all over again.

7th Century Demons from Hell, Photo by Jeanie the Genie

A reminder that 7th-century Zeleots, woman beating, boy raping, beheading murderous pieces of camel crap Demons from Hell pictured above defeated the best army the world has ever known with Toyota pickup trucks, knock off Japanese motorbikes, and shitty Chinese rifles. Our president thinks they are ok dudes. “Awww come on man, we can trust them.”

Thirteen brave young United States soldiers in flag-draped caskets were carried from a cargo plane to their grieving families. Thirteen times, our president checked his watch after each casket passed. Did he have something more important to do? This photo should say it all. If you voted for this man, you have some explaining to do.

Nancy Pelosi has partnered with those two wokie, snowflake, pansy assed antisemites, Ben and Jerry to produce her own brand of ice cream. Pictured above is her first flavor of the month.

The newest Baseball Card from “Upper Deck” collectibles.

Arizona can now legally sell weed in neighborhood grocery stores. Tom Bagger, spokesman for Safeway Food Stores says there is a state-wide shortage of Twinkies and Ding Dongs in all of the stores.

“My Marfa Bubble Just Got Popped”


Fifteen years ago I ran across an article in “Texas Monthly Magazine” touting Marfa, Texas as the next “big deal” in the art universe. The author gushed on about Donald Judd, a prolific artist based in New York City who had moved his home base and all his toys to dusty little Marfa. Up until he arrived, Marfa was known as the backdrop for the 1956 movie “Giant.” After the article hit, van loads of weirdo artists from Austin showed up and claimed the town as their own. “Keep Austin Weird” was now “Keep Marfa Weird.” The mostly Hispanic population thought the gates for Hell had opened and released its hipster demons on their quiet township

For reasons I can’t recall, I became a bit obsessed with visiting this desert town and made myself a little Marfa bubble that grew larger with the passing years. I am also an artist and figured there was something life-altering in Marfa I needed to experience. The lure of the Big Bend desert kept calling. Time marches on and I forget about Judd and his art colony until a few years ago. I figured it was time to make the trip to Marfa.

My wife and I decided that after our summer vacation in Ruidoso, New Mexico, we would drive down to Marfa and scratch one item off of my bucket list. At my age, every trip becomes a bucket list item because my shelf life could expire any day now.

Five hours of driving through the Chiuauan desert landed us in Alpine Texas and the 1950s era motor hotel “The Antelope Lodge.” Retro doesn’t begin to describe this place. Very little updating has been done since the 1950s and the stucco cabins reek of the halcyon years of family road trips in large station wagons. I believe that the Cleaver’s may have stayed here. I can imagine The Beaver and Wally sitting in the courtyard eating Moon Pies and drinking RC Cola in the 100 degrees heat.

Marfa is a short hop from Alpine so the next morning we are on the road early, planning to catch breakfast in Marfa. I’m thinking about bacon, eggs, and pancakes Texas-style while Maureen is wanting fluffy biscuits and sausage gravy. Yum Yum.

Driving into town, the scenery is not what we expected or what I had found online. Dilapidated house trailers surrounded by broken down rusted cars line the highway on both sides. Not the best greeting for visitors. My bubble just sprang a leak.

Once in town, we realize that everything is closed. The art gallery is open on Saturday only, the Hotel Paisano lobby is closed until 5 PM, the Hotel St. George lounge doesn’t open until evening, the square is deserted and the only signs of life are some foreign tourists taking selfies in front of a boarded-up hardware store. My bubble is leaking air big time.

Now officially starving, we search for food, and found “Marfa Burritos,” the only restaurant open, and calling it a restaurant is a stretch.

Marfa Burrito dining area

A burrito is $7.00 and a warm can of Coke is a buck. What the hell, it’s food. The kitchen is located inside a ramshackle frame house; peeling paint and rotted siding give it that weathered west Texas appeal.

A young man and woman are ordering their burrito from the cook. They smell like incense and the girl has more armpit hair than the guy. I figure they must be from “El Cosmico,” the transcendental hipster enclave of yurts and vintage travel trailers that everyone online is raving about.

The outside dining area needed a little attention. A feral cat was munching on a half-eaten burrito that fell from an overflowing trash bin, and ants and flies are everywhere. I’m thinking Marfa doesn’t have a health inspector.

After breakfast, we decide to visit the Prada exhibit, which the Marfa website says is located just outside of town. Some years ago, two German artists constructed a small building full of Prada handbags and shoes in the middle of the desert, and it became the main tourist attraction for Presidio County. The other attraction is the Marfa Lights; twinkling orbs that dance around in the mountains east of town. The locals claim the lights are Aliens or maybe disgruntled Indian spirits. Some of the older folks believe they are the ghost of James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizebeth Taylor, the long-departed stars of the Giant movie.

We drive for twenty-minuets and no Prada. We check Google maps and find it is another half-hour’s drive to Prada. To hell with that, so we turn around and motor back to Marfa. My fifteen-year-old bubble just popped. We decide to return to Alpine, pack our gear, and head for home. No more bubbles for me.

“A Deer Named Sweetface”


Last week was our annual summer trip to Ruidoso New Mexico. High in the Sacramento Mountains at 6500 ft. above sea level, the temperature was a pleasant 75 degrees in the daytime and a chilly low in the 50s at night compared to our 98 degrees high in Granbury Texas. I didn’t break a sweat for a week and didn’t worry about a damn thing that was happening back in Texas, although the national news covering the Afghanistan debacle gave my wife and me a few restless nights. A couple of iced tumblers of Tullamore Dew while sitting on the covered deck took the jangle off of our nerves.

Like most villages in the New Mexico mountains, Ruidoso has a large population of Deer, Elk, and wild Mustang horses. Pictured above is a local four-legged resident that took a liking to my watermelon and granola cereal. The small Doe was going gaga over the gluten-free granola, eating large handfuls from my palm. When I fed her bites of cold watermelon, well, she almost danced with glee. I was surprised how dainty her mouth was, and her gentle nibbles showed no sign of biting. She and I experienced a small mind meld and came away with a better understanding of the complicated relationship between man and wild beast. I have the food, she likes the food, I feed her the food and she likes me, and I like her too. It was illuminating, to say the least.

The picture above is when she tried to take the bowl of watermelon from my hand, or possibly give me a kiss of appreciation. Either way, she was a sweetie, and I named her Sweetface. I considered naming her Marfa, after the west Texas town we visited a few days later, but I am glad I didn’t because Marfa was a complete letdown and bubble buster. More on that experience later.

“Everything is FUBAR”


In World War II, our servicemen had a favorite word and phrase, that summed up every situation that went off the rails; “FUBAR,” or “F..ked Up Beyond All Recognition.” Of course, in most cases, it applied to commanding officers and their incompetence that tended to get soldiers killed in battle, but it was also a favorite term used for President Roosevelt and most of Washington DC politicians. 1944 was much like 2021.

Does our military still use this term? Most likely not, since anyone caught saying it would be assigned sensitivity training or booted from service. It’s a sure bet trigger word that would send any lib worth their salt into crying gaging convulsions.

I haven’t heard the word since the movie Saving Private Ryan, and my childhood. My father a WW II vet used it excessively when I was a kid, and I never knew what it meant until I became an adult. It’s a sneaky clean way of cussing without actually saying ” the word.” As a six-year-old, I threw it around a few times and received a butt whooping from my Mother, who used the word as much as my Father but considered it unfit for my vocabulary.

Let’s see how this sounds; Joe Fubar Biden, Kamala Fubar Harris, Nancy Fubar Pelosi, General Fubar Milley, Anthony Fubar Blinken, Barrack Fubar Obama, and the list could go on for pages because the phrase fits what our politicians have done to our country.

Those small-town kids that made up our greatest generation and the most feared ass-kicking military in the world sure knew how to turn a phrase.

“When The Words Wont Come And The TV News Sucks”


My mind is oat meal mush and my fingers are as useless as a tomato plant on Mars. Words wont come.

I can see them in my mind’s third eye, but It’s as if my vocabulary has reverted back to that of a five-year-old. A massive brain fart has incapacitated my once-fertile imagination to the point where everything comes out “see Dick run, see Sally chase Dick, see Spot bite Sally.” Jibberish on burnt toast.

I may have the answer to my condition, even though I can’t remember how I came to this conclusion, but it must be true.

“Television News.” It’s not “real” news; it’s a short presentation sprinkled with Fairy dust, and Unicorn piss dreamed up by a gang of young writers holed up in a small office on the tenth floor at Rock Center. Nothing but bad, bad Leroy Brown. There ain’t nothing on the news but bad shit, every day, twenty-four hours of hair-pulling madness with “big Pharma” sitcoms paying the way.

Lester Holt over on NBC looks like a million-dollar cloths horse dressed in his pretty suit, sitting there telling us that everything is okay. He knows it’s bull-shit, but he won’t say it. He’s a good dancer and a better liar than most of them. A little taste of doom and gloom, and then POW, “it’ those crazy assed Chritians fault.” Cuba is not communist; they just want the Covid vaccine and after-market classic car parts. Castro wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and AOC is his love child.

Lester said today that his viewers are getting the Delta Varient, even though they are fully vaxxed. You got the jab, you got the gab, and now your gonna be on a marble slab. This little bugger is worse than Epstiens home videos. Just what did those folks in India send to us? The next time I get a scammer call about my auto warranty, I’ll ask the Indian dude, “what the hell?”

I remember “back in the day,” when Walter Cronkite read us the news in a matter of fact black and white. There was no dancing around the subjects or inserting their own opines, just the facts, Jack.

Walter bought his suits at Sears, ate his lunch from a brown bag, and took the subway to work. I would imagine he sold pop bottles to buy those suits. Of course, I was a kid, but I remember being comforted by Walter’s grandfatherly looks and the warm way he reminded us that the Russians will nuke us at any moment over the Cuba blockade, but it’s okay. The good old USA will come back from the ashes and be as good as new. Now, let’s gets those rockets finished and get to the moon, and Kennedy really was a choir boy. Now, boys and girls, that was some real news. He wasn’t Edward R. Murrow, but he got the job done.

There. I believe I am healed and back to normal. Venting works miracles. It will take a while to get to 100%, but you can bet your sweet ass that I won’t be watching the TV News anytime soon. Good Day.

“When Alice Met Arlo”


Photo by: David Crosby

Above is a picture of my 16th cousin removed, Alice B Token, taken at the famous Woodstock Arts and Music Fair in 1969.

She was working for Wavy Gravy and The Hog Farm at the time, so she was used to serving large numbers of hungry, stoned, and confused flower children.

She was the only wait staff left, after her co-workers dropped the brown acid that Wavy warned everyone not to take, so her three days of peace and harmony were a living hell; you can only serve so many needy hippies in a day.

Not one to put up with shit from anyone, she personally kicked John Sebastian’s whiny gimlet ass for saying “Wow” for twenty minuets, and pulled Grace Slicks falsies off during a cat fight over a ham sandwich. Things around the stage got a bit intense. David Crosby grabbed her ass and she whopped him with the closest weapon she could find, which wound up being Neil Young’s Martin acoustic, which was a total loss after connecting with Crosby’s head. That’s why he didn’t play with Crosby,Stills and Nash, and is not in the film. The girl grew up in Texas and was a total bad-ass; enough said.

In this pic, she is delivering sandwiches to the bands at the rear of the stage, and appears not too happy about the whole situation.

Joe Cocker, that fidgety spastic Brit dude, had requested a spam and cheese sandwich on a toasted English muffin, while Janis Joplin ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a fifth of Southern Comfort. Celebrities are so damn picky.

This is where she met up with her future husband, Arlo Guthrie, who memorialized her in his song “Alice’s Restaurant.” The one thing she came away from Woodstock with was, “those worthless smelly Hippies don’t tip shit, they don’t have any money.”

“Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”


Us Texans can be braggarts, pompous asses, and supercilious zealots about our state, history, and traditions. To us, “everything is bigger” in Texas. I won’t deny this because it happens to be true.

We are divinely blessed with the big sky country, enormous cattle ranches larger than most states, the vast rolling prairies, Big Tex and the State Fair, The Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, the Big Bend National Park, big-assed rodeos, colossal oil and gas fields, big cattle with massive horns, tall longneck beers, fat fluffy biscuits, and my favorite, “big hair.” I happen to have first-hand knowledge of the big hair phenomenon. It happened in our household.

In 1956, an artistically inclined Fort Worth beautician that happened to be my uncle figured out he could take a woman’s healthy, shining long hair and transform it into a towering monument of femininity. Teasing, ratting, poking, backcombing, and then mold the mass into a two-foot mountain of tortured follicles. To keep the sculpture in place required a minimum of one or more 16-ounce cans of flammable cancer-causing lacquer-based hair spray that was known to explode when in the vicinity of an open flame. Who knew a hair-do could be so dangerous.

It was a winning combo for the beauty shops. Women had to visit their beauticians to achieve their “big hair” style, and the shop sold the spray to hold the sculpture in place. It was a gold mine, and within six months, every beautician in Fort Worth had doubled their business and was driving a Frank Kent Cadillac. The good times were rolling in, and Texas women would never look the same.

My hair-fixin uncle entered a hairstyle show in Dallas and needed a model. My mother, ever the good sister, volunteered for the job, and off the two went. But, of course, Dallas was the forbidden zone for us, Fort Worth-ians, so it was a shock to the family when my mother consented to go.

As children, we must repeat an oath, pledging to never, under any circumstance, visit Dallas, except for funerals and weddings, and then don’t spend your money there; keep it in Cowtown. Amon Carter watched over his sheep, and the Leonard Brothers needed our support.

As a cold Saturday in late December, turned to nighttime, and then late evening. My father grew increasingly worried about his wife’s whereabouts.
“How long does it take to fix some damn hair?” He said for the hundredth time. The weatherman on Channel 5 had forcasted a big sleet storm that might hit at any time.

Dinner was a sack of White Castle burgers. My sister went to bed early, and I, in support of my father, sat up watching “The Mummy” on Nightmare Theater. My father was outside in the cold, pacing on the front porch, chain-smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes and cursing Dallas.

Around 10 PM, my father joined me in front of the television as the mummy was killing his final victim with a chokehold; the front door opened, and there stood my mother with a furry gargoyle perched on her head.

The lighting from our Christmas tree cast an eerie glow on her form. Tiny glass ornaments in her hair reflected the red and blue lights, making her an angelic Christmas version of “The Bride of Frankenstien.”

She staggard to the sofa plopped down, and fell over sideways. My father gently lifted her to a sitting position and placed a cushion behind her back. I noticed a small pile of broken hair where her head had landed. She began to weep. There was no consoling her; the more we tried, the louder she wailed.

Uncle said that a jealous competitor had switched his hair spray with a can of spray glue, so the hair-do would be permanent. The good news is they won the hair show, and they got a big trophy and a check.

The following day, mom left the house early. When she returned, her hair was as short as a man’s.

I was sad to see the hair-do go. I thought the tiny ornaments in her hair looked pretty cool. After all, it was Christmas time.

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