March 05, 2015

Texas Hold 'Em Part 1

The Lone Star State


The Den has been a whirlwind of activity of late and this week had me deep in the Heart of Texas handling some 'bidnis'.  I absolutely love Texas. Always have.  I've long said I was born a century too late as I'd have made the best Texas Oil Wildcatter the world had ever seen. I've even practiced my Boss Hog strut in 10 gallon lid poked high on my noggin with a gooseneck bottled pilsner. Those reveries of 'Texas Tea' are long gone but I have been distressed at what has become of the state capital. I sat in traffic on I-35 for five hours due to an overturned truck and my view over those long aggravating hours was of one of those vanity billboards:

Nothing rankles GSL's nerves more than a white boy in dreadlocks unless it's an ambulance chaser in white boy dreads.
I called his office and left word we are holding a barber chair open in Chicago to give him a 'high and tight'.


Vanity billboards are more often a small town feature; usually with the local real estate chippie striking some cheesecake pose in a Dolly Parton* get-up while standing sideways to display the new rack she just had installed and financed courtesy of the McMansion monstrosity she just sold over on New Money Lane.

This clown in the white boy dreads perfectly symbolizes what Austin has become. Most all real Texans I know disown it entirely.  It has become something of a Silicon Prairie tech hub with Dell Computer and numerous start-ups and is home base to countless fitness hipsters such as the now disgraced Lance Armstrong. They do put on a South by Southwest music festival that gets high marks in many quarters. In those 5 hours, I was listening to the local hipster radio station as they do play good music and heard countless promotions on the upcoming South by Southwest in a couple of weeks featuring a group called The Ting Tings. During commercial breaks a DJ would read off an ad about a local wifi company in a 30 second spot that included two full throated apologies of "I know this is a 1st World Problem..." that suddenly has become a most fashionable recusal those of exquisite sensitivity always feel the need to make.

The Ting Tings headlining Austin's upcoming South by Southwest music festival in mid March.
From what I've recently seen, Austin is the High Court where one seeks such pardons.

My all-time favorite lawyer is a Texan but he doesn't wear dreads.
Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes: ex-Marine who fought at Iwo Jima and Texas lawyer and legend.


Racehorse Haynes, in addition to possessing the greatest nickname in the history of America, is a Texas legend who is rumored to have once hired a high school marching band that upon receiving the handkerchief signal from an open-windowed rural Texas courtroom struck up the William Tell Overture to give his closing argument a dramatic flourish. I've been telling Estella for decades that I'm itching to go to Texas and get myself in a heap of trouble just so I can retain the services of Racehorse Haynes.

Trudye, please share a Racehorse Haynes anecdote or two as I'm sure he has cut a wide swath through H-Town!

Racehorse Haynes is The Den's Chief Legal Counsel.

*Now don't jump all over me for disrespecting Dolly Parton as I adore her but only Dolly Parton can pull off that look.

41 comments:

  1. I am gonna get a hidin' bc I didn't feel Texas. Mind you I saw very little of it but we didn't click. Only highlight from Texas is that the very first IHOP I ever went to was in the outskirts of Houston where I ate the biggest breakfast ever and the people on the next table walked in with an oxygen tank and a wheelchair to eat a breakfast bigger than mine. We never made it to El Paso where we were originally headed and I told my husband to turn right and we went to New Mexico instead. But hope bidnis is now taken care of.

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    1. Naomi,
      Don't let another year pass without giving Texas another go or you will get that hidin' as it represents all that is best about America. Those Texas breakfast platters do require at least a cot to recover from.

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  2. Sorry to disappoint,G, no Racehorse stories to tell. I try to avoid attorneys at all costs!
    Austin is an interesting city...art,music,politics et.al. Have not spent much time there since college,but I do know the traffic is something everyone complains about no matter the length of time spent!
    I notice this is a 'part one'. Curious to see what part two brings as Texas is something to be felt and that is hard to do when just passing thru! I will rest my case!

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    1. Those stern reprimands you gave me off-line are duly noted Darling T and I do suspect Austin has much to offer in other areas but it does have that odd very un-Texas like strain that runs thru it you must admit and per your recommendation I will look to take in those Texas Bluebonnets due to arrive later in the month.

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    2. Really, G,stern reprimands...ha ha! I was merely stating the facts...now if you you like it rough I am sure you and Claire can work something out! LOL!
      Bumper sticker oft seen around here " Keep Austin Weird" is a given! They go out of their way for that distinction!

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  3. Were you really in the slammer for non-payment of parking fines? You can tell me, I can keep a secret. I might even have paid your bail. I said might! The thought of you prancing around in a little orange jumpsuit is getting me quite excited! Claire

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    1. Now Claire, I do know how you'd love to pay me a conjugal visit.

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    2. Well, it would certainly make for an interesting first date. The romance is killing me!

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    3. Claire,
      'First Date' ?...I do like the confidence that you'd be more than a "1 and done"...I suspect you're right.

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    4. '1 and done'? Sheer poetry, now the reason you're single is no longer a mystery...consider a visit from me an act of mercy. Claire

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    5. Mercy won't be on your mind as a blush colors your cheek, your breathing becomes labored, and dignity holds on for dear life lest that schoolgirl giggle betray you completely...

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    6. You must read a lot of Victorian melodramas! I don't want to be giggling, I want to be writhing in ecstasy. I'm not sure you could handle me! Claire

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    7. GSL does'nt traffic in melodrama be it Victorian, Elizabethan, or Tabithian. I'm assuming the ecstasy you desire to writhe in isn't sold in pill form by some pork-pied hipster in a rave club? Handling you will be easy peasy but getting you to that desired state has as much to do with you as me. I can help you get there but it requires me at my most inspired and if you don't possess the charms to enchant then we will both be left short of the summit.
      Can you handle that?

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    8. The expression "guys, get a room!" has never been more appropriate;p is it wrong I am loving the banter? Claire you need your own blog!

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    9. Hopefully with my 'charms' and your equipment we can both scale the heights without having to rely on help from a sherpa. Claire.

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    10. Naomi,
      Claire is quite clever and a Den Fav and we'd always be eager to read her posts hot off the press....I am also of the opinion that she'd have the goods to enchant....and that room would have the DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging for days on end....summits having been ascended...

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    11. Of course what goes up must come down...so we'd have to change that sign to DISTURBED ENOUGH. Claire

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    12. My Dear Claire,
      Just leave the signage to housekeeping staff as room service brings magnums of champagne and oysters in on pallets but you must do between now and then whatever is required for you to feel at your very best or at least a sense of recent progress as that is the key to gaining entree to GSL at his most inspired and then he'll alter your belief system in ways you never even thought possible...

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  4. I lived in Austin for 3 years in the early 90s and worked for UT in the engineering department. The university was great, lovely people, whip-smart engineers (building the electric car and a electromagnetic gun for the Army), but Austin was really weird, even back then. I called it a 'half-way' house because no one was ever FROM Austin. People came there for school, they came there to work in government, or because they were an elected official (and I want you to know I voted for Ann Richards for governor! Both times!), but no one seemed to be from there and it didn't seem like anyone would stay. SXSW was WAY cooler back then, I have to tell you, it was such a rag-tag fugitive fleet of musicians, and the audiences who loved them, I cannot believe how they have grown that music festival and you couldn't pay me to attend it now! When we wanted an authentic Texas experience we always got out of town--I loved Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, plus those little tiny Texas towns like Fredericksburg, which I loved. The Salt Lick barbecue is, for my money, the best barbecue ever, anywhere! I do have to laugh that Texas is the ONLY state in the union that has a tortilla chip in the shape of itself. I used to buy them all the time from the HEB! Oh they do have big egos in the Lone Star state. God love Texas, it was an important influence on me in my early to mid 20s.

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    1. Jill,
      I was there in the mid-90s and layed over for the weekend when the SouthXSW was really taking off and did a little 6th Street barhopping and came back to Chicago raving about Austin. It seems to have since become more a 'scene' than anything more substantive (I'll duck for cover from Trudye fallout). As Bebe mentions, that 'scene' isn't about Texas or Texans.
      My politics were different from Ann Richards but I loved her and she was a real Texan!

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    2. Jill,
      The Salt Lick is great fun and good food,too! I have thrown back my share of long necks beneath that beautiful canopy of oaks! Thanks for reminding me!

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  5. You have surprised me pleasantly-I had no idea we shared an affinity for the Lone Star State. Most people north of the Mason-Dixon line have no idea what its about. When I would travel back and forth from Dallas it would take me a couple of days to get used to New Englanders again, such is the difference between the two regions.
    I miss it quite a bit. Texas is wonderful

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    1. Dearest Bebe,
      You had to know that GSL likes everything that is quintessentially American. I do recall that your collegiate years were spent in Big D which is OK but I prefer the charm of Fort Worth. I've spent only a couple of days in Houston and intend on looking in on Trudye and her Dr G one of these days and get her input re itinerary.

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  6. I don't know any real life lawyers called Racehorse, but I'd like to.

    I'd like to go to Texas. Someone told me they don't pay income tax? Is this true?

    Have you watched American Sniper? Thoughts?

    Take care.

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    1. No Texas Income tax which is a huge draw but of course they have to pay Federal which is always the much larger number.
      Haven't yet seen American Sniper so will get back to you.

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  7. I plead my ignorance of the Lone Star State. I've never visited but have heard all manner of stories about Texas since moving to these shores. Sounds like a colorful place.

    When my husband had occasion to pass by once upon a time, on his way home from a diving trip in Cozumel, he was pulled out of the airport line and taken into a little room and questioned randomly (so it was stated). His welcome by the airport security officer was "keep still and don't make a move otherwise you'll be pickin' sheet rock out of your teeth boy". Needless to say, with that kind of welcome he never went back.

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    1. I don't like the sound of that one bit Just have Mr CD send me a physical description of this goon along with which airport and terminal so I can have some of Racehorse's boys teach him some manners.

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  8. I've never been to Texas, but have been very entertained by stories told to me by my Australian friend who is currently living there (and has been for the past 4 years). I'm dying to go.
    Seriously, the biggest entertainment for me in the US is the billboards. I was in stitches the last time we were in New York and I was reading the billboards on the way from the airport to the city. That and watching some of your ads on tv…. I remember one from around 24 years ago when I was there and my sister and I still say it to each other. It was for a kid's breakfast cereal and the tag line was "If your kids don't like it, they're weird!". Catchy.
    But if we'd seen one for a Lawyer like that dreadlocked dude, well, that would have taken the cake!

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    1. Heidi,
      I've never been Down Under but would think Texans and Aussies would get on well. When I was kid the big billboard thing was for 'South of The Border' which is a big fat ridiculous tourist trap but has 100 miles of kitschy clever billboards leading up to it both Northbound and Southbound on Interstate 95 with the 'border' being what separates North and South Carolina. All the billboards featured a character named 'Pedro' that is perhaps nowadays seen as a grotesquely politically incorrect saying things like "Sunny Today, Hot Tamale" which were real knee-slappers for 6 year olds in the back of station wagons circa 1970. You had 100 miles of build-up with kids threatening to high-jack the station wagon if Mum didn't pull over and all it was was silly honky-tonk nonsense of putt-putt, T-shirt shops, overpriced taco shacks, and gasoline a quarter more expensive than at the exits before and after.

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  9. Darling G,

    Our knowledge of Texas has previously been limited to what we have been able to gather from the very informative television series 'Dallas' and from a very long night ( and some of the next morning) in the bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest where Texans were in town for the Formula 1 car racing.

    Alas, as we have no television, 'Dallas' provided us with erratic snippets gleaned from quick glances at other people's television screens. And so, we believe that all the men dress like J.R Ewing and the women of a certain age wear their hair like Barbara Bel Geddes ( what a name). Are we correct? Our long night in the bar taught us that Texas has a coastline as the Texans in town ran a boat building business which seemed to us very strange when we thought that Texas was landlocked. They taught us how to down Tequila shots like a Texan and we remember very little else!

    We should love to know what our man of international mystery, darling G, was doing in Texas. Or, is that the substance of part two?

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    1. Darlings J & L,
      We anxiously await your North American debut that will surely rival the entrance that Fab Four from Liverpool made over 50 years ago. My trip deep into the Heart of Texas was done in part to make sure the leg of your Texas tour runs smoothly. I was scouting a couple of rambunctious saloons with those charming halfzy swing doors that always portend a sassy buxom barmaid and a poker game ending with a no good black-hat cattle russler holding Aces and Eights.
      Racehorse Haynes is making the necessary arrangements for diplomatic immunity and procuring a bushel of post-dated pardons from the governor.
      Of course GSL shall accompany you.

      ***The Den wishes to welcome our new visitors from mainland China now granted Den Privileges. A poker hand with 'Aces & Eights' is known as a Dead Man's Hand since those were the cards Wild Bill Hickok was holding when shot from behind.

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  10. I watched Dallas (ditching it for Knotts Landing) and thought Southfork was the most beautiful ranch.
    I've only visited San Antonio, when my husband did his recurrent flight safety on the CJ. The people were so friendly, and The Riverwalk was enchanting.

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    1. Hi Donna,
      I also like that riverwalk at San Antonio and have been making noise for years about Chicago getting one as well which is finally underway and near completion. I couldn't believe how small the Alamo was!

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  11. G this is so funny and I've always wanted to go to Texas. My Dad's first cousin lived there for years, he was a Colonel in the Air Force, served in Vietnam, and was devoted to Texas though originally from Michigan.
    Love Dolly Parton, and as she famously said "it costs a lot of money to look this cheap".

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    1. Dani,
      I don't think anyplace has as much local pride as Texas and with just cause. Dolly is a national treasure!

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  12. I recall a movie with Heather Locklear about a real life murder case, in which Racehorse Haines defended Cullen Davis, who had murdered his ex wife Priscilla.
    Paraphrasing Countess Luanne from the Real Housewives Of New York,"Money can't buy you class"; but it can buy you one hell of a good defence lawyer.

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    1. Duchess, I will step in here, if G will allow...
      Yes, Racehorse successfully defended Cullen Davis in the murder trial. Actually, Priscilla did not die from her gunshot wounds to the chest. Her giant silicon breast implants saved her life...seriously!! Only in Texas,as the saying goes! Unfortunately, two other people died at the scene and CD was acquitted. CD was also acquited in a murder for hire trial in which he was accused of trying to put a hit out on the judge in the case! Again,only in Texas!
      No, I did not sit in the jury box or gallery, but this all happened in,figuratively,my backyard in Ft. Worth! Many stories told about this tawdry Texas tale and everyone knew someone or someone who knew someone...

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    2. Trudye,
      You always have carte blanche in the Den and Estella and I watched one of those Dominick Dunne shows featuring that Cullen Davis character and those cases you cite. Only in Texas is right! On my next trip to H-Town, after a couple of well poured glasses of Chard, I'll have you singing like a canary regarding the tawdry Texas tales you are withholding here!

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  13. Thanks Trudye, it's been so long since I saw the movie, I forgot her her implants saved her life. Funny, and chilling at the same time.

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