The Cowman, The Cowboy, and Grandma’s Medicine Man

jack-horseback-drawing

The Cowman, the Cowboy, and Grandma’s Medicine Man 

 

Old “Mr. McCarty” was an honest cowman.

Worked hard, every deal made square.

Raised his brothers and sisters, taught school at Lone Star,

Brilliant and strong, tho’ austere.

 

Took care of his help, extr’ blankets, good food;

Cared for them like he’d want to be treated.

Wanted everybody happy with every trade he made

Even if he got a little bit cheated.

 

Put together a good ranch while others went down.

Helped others while makin’ his place.

He understood land, good cows and men,

Invested with cash as a base.

 

My Grandpa Pete was a wild cowboy

Liked adventure and challenge or a dare.

Unpredictable, irresistible, the favorite funny man.

He’d show up, but no tellin’ where.

 

Ray Reed says “Casey Tibbs couldn’t ride a better bronc,

And he played a fiddle good as Bob Wills.”

When I think about his touch and his blood that’s in my veins

The possibilities give me cold chills.

 

Grandpa Pete’s a friendly guy, liked by anyone he met.

Railroaders tell of his heroic deeds.

But a’straddle the bottle, he’d make his last ride

While scatterin’ destructive seeds.

 

Grandma Margie’s history can’t be quite traced,

The records have all been burned.

She was sensitive to the supernatural world,

The shaman arts she learned*.

 

If there is a Cherokee connection here,

Some tell it, some will deny it.

Her last few years, I was her close friend.

Even in pain she was kind- to her credit.

 

Grandma’s little trailer house was a stall full of love.

I was received there night or day.

Tho’ we didn’t agree on every important thing,

There’s nothing that we couldn’t say.

 

Mr. McCarty put the math in my head.

Pete’s music is deep in my heart.

Grandma’s magic touch is still in my bones,

Where’ll I go with such a start?

 

Influenced strongly by a magistrate,

A clown, and a warrior brave,

Whether methodical, moody, or mystical,

At home in a mansion, a cabin or a cave.

With nothing I wasn’t given by

A school teacher, a singer, and a sage or

A man, a curious child, or everyone’s best friend.

I’ve a scientific, spontaneous, spiritual guage.

 

Managed 7-figure budgets and over 40 hands

By the age of 25

Makin’ music and rhyme since I could talk,

My spirit is active and alive.

 

Most thanks goes out to my patient parents

When sortin’ out who I can,

When hung ‘tween the cowman, cowboy,

And Grandma’s medicine man.

 

The trail is not so simple when

Measured from 3 different views.

To pave a way for others to follow

May my be example be fit to choose.

 

Cactus Jack McCarty 12/24/’94

  • G’ma’s funeral was a spiritist event, not Native American, but kinda’ like a séance, and she had a crystal ball on her coffee table. When I came to Christ, I had a lot of spiritual warfare ahead of me.

 

Arrowheads (I found a Folsom point)

Arrowheads click to see text — I combined a true ride with this find for the poem story.

arrowheads pic   another great drawing by Mary Newsome

Arrowheads 

I grew up wanting to find a really good arrowhead like everyone else seemed to do, but me.

God answers prayers. I asked specifically to find “a really nice one.”

My sons and I were pushing cows to a different watering tank because the cattle were drinking it faster than the windmill was making it. It was a terrible , hot day.

As my 4th grade son’s horse stepped over a suspicious shiny object, I stopped to check it out. There was a fine, fine, fine! chunk of flint with a point to it.

I sent it with my 6th grade son to have the local artifact expert, his teacher, check it out.

During our noon meal “dinner”, he called me on the phone. With baited breath, the teacher asked me “Do you have any idea what your son just handed me?”

Of course, I had no idea.  I thought it was a 100 or 125 year old arrowhead left by native hunters years ago.

“If I could find one of these, I’d stop looking for the rest of my life!” he said.

“And the craziest part was one of my students pulled it out of his shirt pocket and handed it to me!! I’ve read about them and seen pictures of them but NEVER of this type material, red chirt! I can’t believe I’m holding it in my hand right now!

This man never to my knowledge had claimed religious affiliation, but I had the privilege of sharing how God had answered my simple prayer. I’m still very grateful.