Kinky Friedman and Shirley Wetzel somewhere in the Texas Hill Country.
Several years ago I came across the website for Kinky Friedman. http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/ He’d gone from being a successful, if controversial singer in the 1970’s (Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys), to a successful mystery novelist. “Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed” was a favorite Kinky song for my husband shortly before he became my ex-husband. I’m not saying the two were connected, but I’m not saying they weren’t, either. Kinky won the Male Chauvinist of the Year award for that one. I forgave him, partly because I love his mysteries. I told him this story the first time I met him, and he gave me this sage wisdom: “When the horse dies, get off.” Kinky had a website with t-shirts for sale, and I ordered something from the lady who was then in charge of the fan club, Cousin Nancy Parker. She’s not my real cousin, but she feels like kin … I sent her an e-mail and mentioned that it must be great to live in a place named Utopia, Texas. She wrote right back, and we started up an e-friendship. She said I should come on out and visit with her, and I did. I got to meet Kinky and visit the house he lives in on his family’s ranch. Back then, Nancy and her beau Tony Simons had a few dogs and cats. Some were theirs and some were Kinky’s – he had, and has, a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home, but since he was often on the road he dropped them off with Nancy. Time went by, and the critter population at the Parker-Simon hacienda was growing by leaps and bounds. KF decided to make it official, and the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch was born. http://www.utopiarescue.com/
Nancy and Tony are salt-of-the earth, wonderful, fine, outstanding human beings. Tony’s on the quiet side, and that’s good because Nancy hardly ever stops talking :-) If you’re ever in the Texas Hill Country area, give them a call, and they’ll invite you out to visit with them and send you home with a dog, or two, a cat, pot-belly pig, turkey, donkey, or no telling what else.
Here’s Nancy at her beloved Yoda’s grave. Note the Eternal Squirrel