Standing under a mesquite tree, in Auga Dulce, Texas
He just keeps on playin' hide and seek with that hot August sun
He's sweatin' and a pantin', cuz his work is never done
Well my old bike is just a gray-haired 70 years of Texas
He's doing all he can not to give in to the city
and he always takes the rent late, so long as I run his cattle
He picks me up at suppertime, and I listen to him rattle
He says the Brazos still runs muddy like she's runned all along
There ain't never been no 'cane to grind, and the cottons all but gone
And this Chevrolet pickup truck, 'well she was somthin' back in '60
And there won't nobody listen to him cuz they all think he's crazy
-Robert Earl Keen
On the Second of August we rode to Friona, TX, the hamburger capital of the world. On the way there, we saw prairie dogs, a tarantula at lunchtime, huge dust storms, and we rode through Hereford, the beef capital of the world. That night in Friona, Zach, Henry, and I stayed with this cowboy, 75 years young, who lived just out of town on a cattle feedlot with his wife. He and his wife have 18 grandchildren - a fact we knew upon walking in the house when we were confronted with many family pictures. The first one shown to us was his 9 year-old granddaughter riding a bull with perfect form. Most of the others are cowboys also, though it seems that they tend to break horses more than doing any cowboying. Once in the 70s, our cowboy host had traveled to NYC. He hated the huge brown ugly buildings, and soon got lost, so he went into a shop to get directions. The shop owner could not understand him, and he couldn't understand the shop owner at all. He eventually had to walk outside and get directions by conversing in Spanish with someone walking down the street.
He said this was back before T.V. made all of us sound more alike.