Category Archives: Texana

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.

Horns win, Ags in trouble

So nice to see (hear, actually, as we don’t have a TV yet at the mini-rancho) the uneven Longhorns beat Tech by a whopping amount (49-24) after a four-game slump.

Now the equally benighted Aggies have to play No. 1 2 LSU. Doubtful they’ll rack up 49 points, much less beat the Tigers. But we shall see. Always hope in Aggieland.

UPDATE:  LSU 31, Ags 0 at the half. Ouch! I doubt the Horns could beat them, either.

Another scorpion

Spotted him, a red one, in the hall, moving slowly if at all. Smashed him with my shoe and deposited the remains over the porch rail into the wet pre-dawn darkness.

Rabbi Google says the cold weather makes them sluggish. Time for a re-treat from Bugmaster or another pest company. More spray, that’s the ticket. The best one available.

UPDATE:  It’s been almost three two weeks since Bugmaster sprayed for scorpions, doing the light fixtures for any coming in from the crawl space. I’m going with ABC Pest Control for a change, if for no other reason, since Bugmaster didn’t rid us of them.

MORE: Nah. Sticking with Bugmaster because they’re re-treating for free and keeping at it.

I’d rather not see Rather

The liberal Dimocrats of the UT Journalism department still puff their famous (now infamous) graduate Dan “Mr. Suspenders” Rather, bringing him on at awards and fund-raising events. He outlasted Walter Cronkite in the CBS anchor job, after all, even if he was lacking the integrity of Edward R. Murrow.

“CBS News earned what now looks like a permanent stain on its reputation, after Dan Rather was forced out for pushing ‘fake but accurate’ smears against President George W. Bush in 2004. When a news division screws up as badly as they did, and then had their star anchor forced out by a bunch of ‘bloggers in their pajamas,’ you’d think they’d try to fix the situation by doubling down on integrity.”

Nope. They lost that long ago with Mr. Suspenders. Old fake-but-accurate his ownself. Instead, they’ve doubled down on vicious bias with the lastest of his successors, the floundering Norah O’Donnell. Fourth in a field of three.

Via PJMedia

His excellancy returns

Sennacherib, that is, a rare reader and commenter, looking remarkably chipper for being several thousand years old. He had visited the old Rancho earlier and he wanted to see the new mini-rancho. Liked it, or seemed to, mini as it is.

As usual he told us a lot of tales of when Austin was young, not so long ago actually, about seventy years. Turned out his Austin father owned a masonry company and Barbara Ellen’s father was a mason. But they soon figured out that bit of synchronicity went nowhere as BE’s dad worked for other companies but not that one.

Alas, his highness was unable to answer the high dollar question: Who is/was the Neely of Neely’s Canyon? As in Neely’s Canyon Condominiums. Google has nothing. It’s still a mystery. Surely it was not some developer’s name as the condos were built thirty-nine years ago by Larry Peel. Might have been any landowning Neely of the late 1800s, his excellancy surmised, a time when just about every piece of terrain in this part of Texas acquired a name.

Grandfather trees

Two of them, just down the slope into the canyon from the mini-rancho’s back porch, must be twelve feet around and reach a hundred feet high. Usually they have a very calming influence on the surrounding terrain, as trees of any size have a calming effect on people.

Right now they’re swaying in a forty mile an hour breeze. Results of a cold front that came in early this morning and dropped the temperature from yesterday’s high of ninety-four degrees to just above forty. It’s the sudden changes that get you in Texas.

Starship prototype

Turns out that Elon Musk’s SpaceX isn’t just about shipping people and goods to NASA’s space station, but, some day, a trip to a nearby star. Not sure why he built this, near Boca Chica in the Rio Grande Valley on the Texas-Mexico border, when we haven’t even gone back to the moon yet, much less Mars.