High Plains drifter

Our old Army OCS friend Russ Wheat wanted to be buried in Higgins, Texas, on the High Plains, about 800 miles north of Canyon Lake where he spent his retirement years.

So, when he was discovered deceased at home alone by his pastor shortly before Xmas, a local funeral home drove him in his casket to Higgins. There was no autopsy, apparently because there was no sign of foul play and the sheriff learned that Russ was under the care of the VA hospital in San Antonio for multiple maladies, including prostate cancer. He was 81.

The executor of Russ’s estate returned his dozen or so stray dogs to the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in nearby Kendalia where Russ was a benefactor. One dog was blind in one eye, one had three legs and some were mangy. Russ had shared his one bedroom home with some of them for almost twenty years.

Canyon Lake is a little town near San Antonio catering to retirees. Higgins, near Oklahoma, is a little town barely clinging to life, with a living population of about 400, according to a 2017 article in Texas Monthly. Russ, unmarried and apparently childless, is buried with his parents in the town cemetery, on one of the few hills on the prairie.

Barbara Ellen and I are planning to go in March. We’ll make it a leisurely trip of a few hundred miles a day to see the wildflowers, and Palo Duro Canyon, as well as my friend’s resting place: a High Plains drifter gone to ground at last.

Coyotes in the canyon

A neighbor reports hearing a pack of coyotes in the canyon not long ago. They usually feast on unleashed cats and dogs and have lately scared the canyon’s white-tailed deer up onto the rim where the condominiums are. Wondering whether they’re actually coyotes or a pack of wild dogs?

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Rule 5: Tamra Dae

Anne Boleyn

Bar has me watching The Tudors by Showtime. Mostly fiction but on a base of history. In which I have become interested in Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and queen, until he had her and four presumed lovers beheaded for adultery. Reading through some book samples off Amazon to try and find something credible to read.

UPDATE:  Finally settled on Brit historian Eric Ives’ The Life and Death of Ann Boleyn

Mild winter

Going into the final week of our usual winter, i.e. January, it’s time to pronounce this a mild one. Not a hard freeze yet. Let alone a week in the 30s. Which is sort of too bad, since it means more bugs this year.

Cedar fever still elevated. But nice amount of rain, so we get the trade-off. Wildflowers should be good in the spring, starting in about four weeks.

Best headlines

Tablet, Jan. 14: Obama Passed The Buck. Trump Refused to Play.

Subhead: The Iran deal was never meant to stop Iran from building a bomb—it was supposed to delay it until disaster happened on someone else’s watch.

Typical politician.

Via Tablet

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Rule 5: Aliss Bonython