Monday, March 24, 2014


I mowed a lady's yard one summer that never seemed to have her two dollars. She would always say 'I'll pay you next week" and the next week she would say the same thing.
I also did some odd jobs around the house, like herding the 6 goats out of the living room and back into the backyard, where she would have me break up pieces of old furniture to repair the fence that constituted the Goat Pen.
Sometimes she would have me go to the store and get boxes, and when I got back she wanted me to use them to "re-enforce" the Goat Pen. "How should I do that? I would ask, and she would point to some weak spot in the pile of broken furniture, baling wire, tin roofing material and rotting pallets that served as a goat pen, and have me crawl on hands and knees to patch the breach with cardboard with pictures on cantelopes or tomatoes on it.
"Stuff it in nice and tight" she wold instruct.
Twice she asked me in for lunch, and said she was making tuna sandwiches, and I would stand by the stove and watch in horror as she assembled the sandwiches on a counter full of dirty dishes, pulling moldy bread from the wrapper to get to the "good" bread. and then trimming the black from a tomato and slicing it with some wilted lettuce, then she would open the biggest can of tuna I'd ever seen, and suddenly about a 100 cats would appear on the counter, meowingmeowingmeowing away, while she spooned tuna first onto the sandwich, and then into bowls for the cats, and finally just dumping the remainder of the can into the sink while her counter came alive with 100 more cats, meow, all trying to get to the sink like wildebeasts at the last waterhole left on the Serengeti.
Me, I would take the sandwich and do my best to pretend to eat it, but always somehow I managed to redirect it somewhere in the vicinity of the goatpen.
Finally, at the end of the day, she would tell me she hadnt been to the bank yet, but she'd be sure to go when I came back the next week to replace the goatpen, and mow her yard.
I don't know how long that went on, but at some point I stole some antiques out of her garage and tried to sell 'em.
Got caught.
I had to return her property, apologize to her, and continue to mow her yard and tend her goats, only now...

Can you believe that shit!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I've been surprised to find that I have never written about Luminarias, the restaurant I worked at right after High School, that got me started well underway towards being a chef.
I started working there as a busboy in May of 1975, the day after I graduated High School. I ended up Head Chef a few years later.
Luminarias was a new restaurant in 1975, and had become famous for being hard to find, but once you got there the view of downtown Fort Worth was spectacular from the side of a hill east of town. and the food was new California Continental cuisine, Prime Ribs, Paella and Black Bean Soup. it was quite a change from typical Fort Worth's Chicken Fried Steak and green beans offerings.
They had patios on the hillside facing downtown, and a bar, and huge firepits on the patios, and Fort Worths finest folks would sit down there eating nachos and drinking Margaritas.
The entrance has a gurgling waterfall, and a little river that you passed over on two footbridges. The parking lot and entry were lined with paper bags weighted with sand with candles in them, ergo "Luminarias".
Once inside, you had rustic decor with all sorts of artifacts that hung on the wall, candle lit tables with cloth napkins, and pretty young waitresses in bustiers and extremely short skirts that tossed tableside your Granada Salad with the house Honey Mustard.

Every time the millionaire owner would fly in from California I would tease him that he ought to know better than to build a California restaurant on the side of a Texas hill. And he'd laugh at me. Of course he laughed; I was an 18 year old punk masquerading as Americas Next Master Chef, and he was David Tallichet, Millionaire, collector of of WWII planes, and Very Successful Restaurateur.
He explainded to me the pillars that held the foundation were bored down 80 feet and into the bedrock, and his restaurant would hold firm on that Texas Hill.
"Its not the restaurant you need to worry about" I told him "Its the damn hill"

Then two years later, I came in one morning after it had been raining for days, got my cup of coffee , went over to the window to look at downtown before starting work (which I did every day) and I got to the window at looked down and the patios were covered up in a mudslide and half the hill was gone.
I just had to laugh.

Somewhere, there is a leggy ex-waitress with a branding iron in the shape of a heart I pulled off the wall. If you see her say hello, kiss her once for me."


Friday, March 21, 2014


This story reminds me of the shoes my mother in law gave my son for Christmas when he was about 6. He loved those shoes. They had moths, pretty little multi-colored moths, on them.
No one thought much about it.
Then one day his class went on a trip to the Fire Department. A fireman saw his shoes, and stared teasing him a little.
“Do you like your little butterfly shoes, son?” the fireman asked.
My son says “These aren’t butterflies mister, they are moths!”
His class, and all the fireman laughed at him.
He came home that day, just about devastated over those shoes.
Seems there is a big difference between Moths and Butterflies.
He’s always been a little leery of anything his grandma gives him for Christmas since then.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


look there.
the one you considered killing yourself
you saw her the other day
getting out of her car
in the safeway parking lot.
she was wearing a torn green
dress and old dirty
her face raw with living.
she saw you
so you walked over
and spoke and then
her hair did not glisten
her eyes and her conversation were
where was she?
where had she gone?
the one you were going to kill yourself
the conversation finished
she walked into the store
and you looked at her automobile
and even that
which used to drive up and park
in front of your door
with such verve and in a spirit of
now looked
like a junkyard
you decide not to shop at
you’ll drive 6 blocks
east and buy what you need
at ralphs.
getting into your car
you are quite pleased that
you didn’t
kill yourself;
everything is delightful and
the air is clear.
your hands on the wheel,
you grin as you check for traffic in
the rearview mirror.
my man, you think,
you’ve saved yourself
for somebody else, but
a slim young creature walks by
in a miniskirt and sandals
showing a marvelous leg.
she’s going in to shop at safeway
you turn off the engine
and follow her in.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fully Clothed Women

"Probably for every man there is at least one city that sooner or later turns into a girl. How well or how badly the man actually knew the girl doesn’t necessarily affect the transformation. She was there, and she was the whole city, and that’s that."
— J.D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”

Monday, March 10, 2014


"Everything we paint is just a shape"

Found this marvelous water color by Joseph Zbukvic.

"Joseph Zbukvic is a leading master of watercolour medium of his time. His impressive achievements and enormous success is due to his ability to transform any subject into visual poetic language. Covering an infinite variety of subjects, his sensitive, lyrical and atmospheric paintings have captured people and galleries from all around the world.

Due to his exceptional drawing skills and extraordinary abilities in art, he is proficient in any medium. However, it is his passion for watercolours that has led him to become a unique master of that medium. Although greatly admired for his soft moody impressions of rural life, Joseph also produces strong urban scenes and powerful equestrian images. He has always had a deep connection and affection for the labourer and the common man and it is these works that are also his finest paintings ever produced in watercolour."

Check his site here.  His paintings, and his comments on each, are stunning.Very nice.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Here we see the painting by Volterra (1506), portraying the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) where the lowly shepherd boy David has brought the much larger warrior Goliath down with nothing but a small stone and sling, and now prepares to behead the giant Philistine with his own sword.
I like this painting so well because the underdog, David, wins the battle and because Goliath has such nice breasts.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


 I'm still waiting to hear of a Gay florist, Antique Dealer, or Car Salesperson turning away a Methodist.

Sunday, March 02, 2014


Went to church this morning. Really, I did.

What did I learn? 
That 5% of the world population is gay; that DFW is second behind San Francisco in total gay population; that some members love Ellen but hate that a Methodist minister married a gay couple last week in Dallas; and that homosexuality is undoubtedly a choice and a sin- always has been, always will be.
I haven't fact checked any of this.

I can't tell if things have changed since I was a church boy or not. Maybe church has always been as political as it has been spiritual. I just don't remember it that way. I do remember back in 2008 attending a Sunday School class and being pretty well admonished for thinking about not voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I remember that real well, and I remember  Sunday Morning Coming Down.