Calf Rope

Original Oil Painting by Will Cooper

In elementary school playground fights were always part of recess. Perhaps we were unruly kids, but to us it was a sport.  There were no gangs or revenge. Fighting was like football a game. The object was to get the best of the other kid and make him say, “Calf rope.”  The equivalent of  “I give up.”  I didn’t always win, but getting that “calf rope” out of me took some doing. I finally said it a few times when I was in the sixth grade and a few, big eighth graders bested me.  Giving up is so hard for me to do.  I remember my dad share-cropping a poor dirt land farm and one year grasshoppers wiped us out. A cousin wanted dad to move to the big city of San Angelo and take a job on a drilling rig.  Dad struggled for weeks, finally telling the relative that he would have another try at farming. Dad couldn’t say “calf rope.” We were so poor I wore the same two pair of trousers all year. By summer they were covered in patches. Mom said they were my wash and wear pants. I wore a pair while she washed the other.

Recently I’ve been getting prices on new water wells.  I need five for my spread out place. My 2,500 acres are situated in a long thin rectangle. I have windmills but they are old as Texas and we are constantly repairing one of them or fixing a broken pipe. I had three companies give me bids. It’s going to cost me about $9,000 per well and another $6,500 each for solar pumps. I guess the solar is cheaper than us running wires all that distance. When I got the price I almost cried “calf rope.”  The wells will cost me over $70,000.  Just when I thought I would recover from two of the driest years in the history of Texas, I get slapped with a monster cost.  By the way the $6,500 is for the cheap solar pump. The driller suggested the larger unit at $15,000 each. If I go that route I’m looking at over $120,000.  Not complaining but I’m getting close to “calf  rope.”

Several of you have written and asked what I thought of Comrade Elena Kagan. I have not dug deep into her background. I understand she is a 5′ – 3″ lesbian. We know she is left of Karl Marx. She is perhaps the most radical leftist Obama could have selected. Kagan stopped military recruitment on Harvard campus and is totally against you and me owning guns. I have not gotten involved, because it is futile for us to spend energy on this woman. She is pro abortion. She is an elitist snob, raised rich and has been hidden from people like you and me. If the Republicans don’t block her, then she will be there for the next 50 years or longer.  Letter writing, phoning and marching on Washington won’t help. It’s in the hands of 41 Republican Senators to stand strong. If they vote as a group they can block Comrade Kagan.  My focus is remaining on electing fiscal conservatives November 2.  Email:

Thanks for your support. You are the wind in my sails.


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