Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Edmundo does not shy away from cooking with grease. He is fearless and by the grace of God the federal food police have yet to descend on Duval County to put a stop to his passion. ChicharrĂ³nes are his signature dish; fried layers of pork fat and meat. There can be no other Tex-Mex dish under heaven that flips the finger to the notion of diet, health, or self-preservation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Going back to Richard M. Nixon, I've been voting with a career average of .600 for the winning presidential candidate. I hope to improve my average in 2012.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Better

God blessed them with energy, integrity, selflessness, and more importantly, a willing heart. We know them as volunteers with names like Elizondo, Guerra and Dimas. In Benavides they are the difference between a populace that curses the ground they walk on and a community that works to build itself up. These are better people than I.

As I steered east for home after work I noticed this small group busy sprucing up the 4-H club commemorative marker along the tracks of the Kansas City Southern. I rolled to a stop, stepped off the pickup, walked over and asked to take their picture. Of course, they obliged. Good people always do. After the customary small talk I thanked them for the photo and voiced my admiration for their work, then turned to leave. It was then that a little voice said to me, "Lend them a hand. Go home and change into some jeans, fetch your cap and leather gloves and lend a hand." I did not. It's like I said. They are better people than I.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On Vulture Time

Under a pale blue canopy they stretch black wings to soar lazily over the broad expanse of the brush country. At dusk, and near the fringe of Benavides, the vultures orbit in low circles offering no clue to what it is that draws them. Unlike humans, evolutionary earthbound, who grow impatient for what tomorrow may bring, the vulture waits, circles, roosts, and waits some more. They have all the time in the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Caliche Dust

I love the smell of caliche dust in the morning. It smells like.... optimism. How else can you explain spending countless thousands for new streets in old Benavides, Texas? There must be better days coming.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


‎"Let's go outside and look for caterpillars," the boy tells me. Why not? It's a chance for us to walk barefooted on the hard-packed earth, share some quality time and maybe stumble into a learning moment. Caterpillars are a good start.

Monday, October 15, 2012

La Corona de San Diego

In plant books it's listed as 'antigonon leptopus', a species of flowering weed. When I was a kid my mom told me it was called 'la corona de San Diego'. That's a much nicer name. It's green, leafty and sprouts pink pretty blossoms like popcorn. I wish all weeds were this eye-catching. These three sprouted of their own volition from the unforgiving soil along a high fence off Highway 339. A little more rain would go a long way to dress up that galvanized grid. Man employs the tools of industry to scar up the brush country landscape with pipe, steel and stretched wire, then nature comes along and quietly paints over it with a rainbow brush.