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.