Archive for May, 2009


     a winner has been declared in the north texas division of the home-grown tomato contest…. a dark horse ( henley ) delivered his trophy winning entry to my house on the thirty-first day of may at five thirty p.m.

 days ahead of the south texas black dirt competition…. weeks ahead of A&M horticulturist ed fenotee and his patented mule manure medium…

    this virtual unknown oilfield investor turned amateur gardener has beat the montague home-boys at their own game…. embarrassed all the bill magee trainees and walser wanna be’s with a two pound vine ripe J S 2000 before the first day of june… it’s all over but the salsa…

  look closely ed … it’s round and it’s red ! flawless !…unlike your green gourd shaped roma culls. maybe you should stick with growing black lettuce … leave the tomato’s to a real professional…danny’s neighbor , and this year’s champion of texas , chief henley !


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Sometimes in life ,

Dark clouds hide the light .

Cloud bottoms are black,

While their tops are snow white .


The light is still up there ,

Not at all as it seems .

The mere presence of clouds

Have divereted light’s beams.


The view that we have ,

As seen with our eyes ,

Is not the true picture

Of earth or of skies .


Remember His presence ,

His power , His will .

The winds will obey,

When He tells them ” be still “

                                         shortfellow 05

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   spring is here , school is out ! … i remember those glorious days when thoughts turned from american history towards survival in the great outdoors…. several of uncle melvin’s prized eighth grade students spent the summer polishing their camping skills… out towards bill frank’s place … west of town…

    preparation for the traditional friday night campout was meticulous , included digging for worms at the end of the lateral line.. packing the crisco and corn-meal… mom’s cast-iron skillet and a sharp knife for skinnin .. a few borrowed potatoes  , the tackle box and a zebco 202… a two-man tent for six kids…make that seven 

   chipper , the carter brothers , red hardison , and the handcock boys… all headed to a half empty stock-pond a mile west of the courthouse…. dreams of a lunker bass occupied our thoughts for hours , til the harsh realization sat in… there’s nothing but poly-wogs in this turbid mud-hole…six inch catfish with four inch spikes on their heads…

  a successful night’s fishing efforts provided a stringer load of bottom suckers , or at least one bony carcass for each of the starving campers….that’s why we took potatoes !  fish and chips… mostly chips !

  then nine uninterrupted hours of darkness… dead flashlight batteries and strange noises in the night… owls screeching… tree frogs chirping… any kid claiming sleep was a liar… it was nine hours of hell … terrified….one ventured only inches beyond the tent-flap for bladder relief…

   Sasquatch is out there waiting ! he’s tired of eating mud flavored poly-wogs from this coffee colored pond same as us…and looking to dine on a tender eighth grader….

   finally…. the first promising rays of morning light partially illuminated our humble campsite….we’d survived the test of camaraderie and manhood..sleepless and hungry…  we climbed from the canvas fortress , anxious to break camp and return to town , where the less adventurous guys slept in the confines of civilization… the sissys…

  now , fifty years later , chipper still loves to camp out… goes somewhere every few weeks… day or night , winter or summer… but he traded the old canvas tent for a forty five foot motorhome…. with multiple slides and a stainless steel kitchen…..indoor plumbing and queen-sized beds…sleeps fifteen comfortably but he prefers sleeping in solitude… just him and the camp cook , mary !

  he no longer depends on fishing skills for food… stocks up on rib-eyes and cheap beer before leaving town… flatscreen t.v. and satellite reception have replaced the campfire fables….

  he’s no longer afraid of strange noises in the night… he can’t hear’em , neither can his neighbors….chipper’s 240 volt diesel generator has turned the tables on Sasquatch…now the monsters are spending sleepless nights from the incessant racket wafting from chippers power grid… 120 decibels ..240 volts of alternating current… now who’s the sissy ?

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  carolyn and i sloped off to the north-side of cow-town for a minor league experience with all the feel of a major league game…at a third of the cost..!

  we stopped off on north side drive for a texas sized share of mexican cuisine…and still arrived before the gates opened.. our seats were located three rows back of the wingnuts dug-out… great view from shaded theater seats for fifteen bucks each… beer… $5.00 , dogs…$3.00.. cokes…$3.00… burgers …$4.00  try those prices at a ranger’s game..

  after finding our seats , we settled in to absorb the traditional ball-park atmosphere… great yard  , modern facility , typical texas hospitality…old fashioned score board accented with big screen video…. in ten minutes time it felt like home…… i took off to shout at coach clay…. he pointed out ken york seated near the mezzanine , with his sister and in-laws…

   carolyn began reading the cats line-up… low and behold… there’s two very familiar names …. al jay davis from san francisco , who played with heath taylor at O.U…. osiel florez played with taylor at mahoning valley in niles ohio…small world !

  we had no earthly idea these guys were on bill-bills team…it was great !  the cats beat those wichita wing-nuts 5 – 4 in eight and a half innings… then we rushed the dug-out to surprise al jay… he was as shocked as we were…

  then a fire-works show after the game… we had great fun , ate like hogs , bought ten pounds of souvenirs , and witnessed a good game… then stopped at braum’s for a single dip waffle cone….and still got home by midnight…

   carolyn’s already on-line , buying  more tickets for a return visit next month….

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  it’s pay-day friday … come quittin time today granny and i are off to la grave field… home to the historic fort worth cats… an independent minor league baseball team with  cow-town  flavor… located between the historic stockyards and the trinity river … eye-shot of  tarrant county courthouse..

   the original stadium burned in the early sixties and was only rebuilt a few years ago on the same site.. the original dug-outs are now suites below ground level..

  goldburg’s head coach and husband to cattle-kate , is gainfully employed with the cats for the summer… ed seems to think he’s shagging foul balls into filty-mc nasty’s parking lot in the stockyard district at every opportunity… i think he’s filling resin bags for the opposing team… other’s say he’s the clubie .. frankly , i don’t know.. he could be the pitching coach …

    the wild cats are hosting the wichita wing-nuts …( love those minor league names ) …tonight at seven… i’ll be there in the cheap seats munching on chicken-lip hot-dogs and tepid draft beer..screaming like a loon in mating season at every wing-nut batter….  batter batter batter swing !… yeah it’s juvenile , but it’s a hoot…

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my day to shine

  may the twenty eighth… 1966 was a proud turning point for me…. carolyn and i gathered with family and friends at calvary baptist church in bowie for a simple ceremony with profound potential … the wedding was performed by carolyn’s brother-in-law… bobby joe johnson.. part time preacher… full time barber.. i was nineteen, naive , and nervous as a long tailed cat… carolyn was eighteen and strikingly … undeniably… unpretentiously….beautiful.. i’m talking gorgeous..

  that’s where the journey started that would eventually lead back to montague , by way of austin , tacoma , fort worth , fruitland , saint jo, and bowie…. through tough times and good times … through heartache and euphoria….through disappointment and great personal pride… through trials and spiritual rewards…through three pregnancies and three heart surgeries… through dirty diapers and graduation ceremonies… carolyn has suffered great personal sacrifice to assist me through my financially challenged journey down life’s glorious highway…..

    i thank God everyday… but especially today on the anniversary of my greatest moment of brilliance , her greatest moment of weakness , when God and j.c. mc donald gave her to me for better or worse…..   HAPPY ANNIVERSARY  CAROLYN…. better luck next time !

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pray for pay

eds pic

   this is obviously a picture of a deeply religious windmill repairman.. this candid personal moment was captured by bank executive hoot meekins during a recent board member meeting… while ed was applying for a loan extension and praying over a stack of unpaid accounts receivable…. his ox is irretrievably in a ditch … his prayerful attitude and relentless groveling resulted in a thirty day extension and excommunication from woody’s office… 

  this is a novel approach to unconventional banking practices , but only one in a plethora of  techniques used by the windmill man…

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