Wednesday 16 June 2010


“Aah used to have a lot a crap hangin’ round here.” Wendell’s hand nonchalantly waved toward the walls of his shack. The front porch was adorned, no covered with crap. An artificial limb, bull horns, rusted children’s toys. A hook consisting of an extended middle finger. Old bar signs, beer cans. Crap. Everywhere. Not a spare inch of bare wall. “Whatcha drinkin’ there Wendell?” someone asked, pointing at the Smirnoff Ice like liquid swirling around in the bottle. “Aah, that’s water. It’s kinda murky though.” The clock ticked past midday.

Wendell is a big guy. Around my height, six foot or so, and probably sporting a few more pounds. He looks no more than fifty but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he is. He has massive hands, and his shake tells you everything there is to know about him. He is a warm, generous, kind man. A funny man too, but he won’t take any shit. A Texan, through and through.

We bumped into Wendell again in an outdoor store in Austin. He was buying a knife. In the ensuing discussion of knives, he shared a story. Some kids were camping on his land down by the river, so he drove over to move them on. Spotting the baseball bat on the front seat of his truck, one of them asked if he was expecting trouble. “Nah, that’s just in case you boys were fixin’ for a game a baseball”. Unsheathing the bayonet from an AK47 he added; “This is in case there’s any trouble”.

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