14 May 2009


Here is the situation with the chickens in Luckenbach as I have assessed it. I am not new to chickens, believe me. On the farm in its heyday there were usually about 70 layers at a minimum producing eggs. I would gather the eggs. My mother would candle the eggs in the basement of the house, and she and I would haul them to Marion and sell them. I will explain candling some other time.

But those were locked up hens. As soon as the young cocks started to approximate adulthood, my mother would have their heads. We ate them. And they were gone. They were absolutely nothing like these colorful roosters strutting around Luckenbach anyway. These roosters at Luckenbach are a nuisance.

First of all, these Luckenbach roosters are way juiced up on chicken testosterone. They are cocky, no pun intended. Moreover, I count seven of them. There are only three hens as I count them. Now those three hens' eyes are glazed over with pleasure, but that is not the point here. The fact that there are only three hens makes these roosters more competitive than usual. They are continually staring each other down, flapping their wings, profiling, and crowing—crowing constantly. It's noisy. One of the singers might be singing I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams, and a couple of these roosters will sound off at precisely the wrong moment. Ruins the whole effect of the tune.

I suggested to Danny, one of the bartenders who also happens to be a great musician and a better song writer, that we ought to kill and eat at least three of these roosters. It would cut down the ruckus. Danny thought that this idea was perfectly brilliant. He indicated he was going to take it up with Virgil, and I think that he did. But here we go again with these delightful southerners. I have encountered this in the Army and in other contexts with southerners, whom everybody knows I love, so let's not get testy here. But they will declare an idea wonderful, adamantly declare that this idea must immediately be put into effect. Then they wander off to something else, and nothing, nothing, nothing ever comes of the great idea. I mean, goddamnit, it is not my place to start slaughtering the roosters of Luckenbach. These guys have to do it. And these guys have already forgotten about the whole idea. I need to mention this to a couple of their wives. I will bet we get some action then.

Which brings me to another subject. While sitting around listening to music or chatting, I watch these roosters. And I have come to understand how cockfighting got started. I really have. Now I detest cockfighting as much as anyone. I am not off on one of those “to understand all is to forgive all” deals. In fact many times to understand only provides better reasons to condemn something and do battle with it. So all that aside. . . . . .

One watches these roosters strut around and challenge each other over the three hens, and you cannot help but speculate as to whether, say, the red one could whip the green one's ass. You start to size them up, make some judgments about the assets and liabilities of each—size, musculature, spurs, attitude, heart--and you start to pit them against each other in your mind. I would think then that it is a very small step from that speculation to fencing off a little circular pit and putting two of those roosters in it to have at each other and settle the whole question.

I am not saying I want to do that. I am not saying that anybody should do that. I am saying that I understand how such a thing, so silly on the surface at first blush, came to happen. The fact is that it did not just come to happen. It became an overriding passion of a great number of people in this world. There are probably thousands of cockfights going on in the world as I write this. . . . . . . .Okay, maybe 73 cockfights going on in the world as I write this.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Scott and Spike, here's what we are working with, assuming the burn ban does not go into effect. This is the Sam Lewis Camp Fire right in the middle of the Armadillo Farm Campground. As you can see, some wood splitting needs to be done.

I am booked back in here for Memorial Day weekend not in any way in reliance upon you two—I know better than that--but rather because I wanted to. Today Cigar Box Steve and I are pulling the camper up to the Pickin' in the Pines bluegrass and acoustic music festival where he will be playing. Cigar Box Steve is pitching in on the gasoline. I do not know exactly when I will get back to Luckenbach, but obviously, it will be some time before Memorial Day Weekend.

It will be a relief to get away from chickens crowing for awhile.

I will keep you and all else posted.


spike said...

Wow, that is some serious wood splitting...........Scottie could have that pile split in....oh....let's say....a year!

Anonymous said...

He could find someone to do it for him in less than a year.

John said...

Great stuff, Steve. Better than reading a novel. Due to jet lag I am passing the wee morning hours on my daughter Darci's computer in Gaibana, Italy (between Venice and Bologna), where we have just commenced a 4-week visit. (check my facebook page for photos). So we are both sojourners, the difference being that I have nice women bringing me food and beverages and otherwise concerning themselves with my convenience and well-being and you do not. And I imagine you are not drinking any Italian red wine either. Nor do you have one of your grandchildren to play with. However, philosophizing about cock-fighting seems a most interesting diversion. Next you could perhaps fantasize about a cage match to the death between enraged roosters and motorcycle fucks.

And I gotta say, I love your belt buckle.

Steve said...

Thank you all for checking in. Hope Scottie is sharpening his ax.

John, Italy sounds wonderful. Obviously, I am having a ball, but I do miss my grandchildren. You have a better deal in that regard. Thank you for taking the time to bring me up to date on your travels.

Stop by again when you have a chance and bring me up to date.