I’m OK

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Free Range Texan Episode 55 titled, “I’m OK”, is the message that I would have for all of you.  It is from the bottom of my heart that I want to thank all of our listeners for the constant stream of inquiries and prayers.

Please let me apologize for the time I have spent being unresponsive to so many of you.  Now I am able to share my story, and tell you that with great effort, I have only just now found the ability to focus on creating this latest episode, after months of being off the radar.

Rather than explaining everything here, I would just like to ask everyone to listen to Episode 55.  I have chosen our Free Range Texan Podcast as the place I can most easily relate my story.  Thank you all for being patient.  It appears “We’re Back”.

Free Range Texan Episode 55 I'm Back

Michael Shawn’s Condition Improves … Details Below

We never really realized the time and the effort it would take to replace a producer like Michael Shawn, even temporarily.  That’s the thing.  We have not spent a lot of time looking for a Michael Shawn replacement because we had not imagined being without him.  Well, he is sitting up and speaking … well speaking anyway, and Free Range Texan is releasing the following statement concerning his condition.  Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Free Range Texan Episode 54

Free Range Texan Podcast of the Month

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The times they are a changin’.  If you take a continually growing audience of a bi-weekly podcast and attempt to move their loyalties to a monthly podcast format, is it risky?  Well, the answer to your question would have to be “Yes”.  But less so if one were to understand what we, those of us working on the Free Range Texan, understand about the realities of meeting the production deadlines and producing creative content for a podcast as multi-faceted as ours.

Free Range Texan PodcastFirst, let’s look at the facts.  Producing the Free Range Texan is not free.  There are a number of people who have or do commit a significant part of their time, focus and funds to make the Free Range Texan roll out on time every two weeks.  I’m about to share something with you that I don’t normally talk openly about.  The truth is we have dozens of really great ideas, but when it gets down to implementing the production process, our production funds simply aren’t in the budget … and we find ourselves stepping back, drawing a breath, and finding something else to work on.  Sometimes it’s frustrating.

If a few weeks ago you would have told me that basically cutting the number of Free Range Texan episodes in half annually could be a good thing, I would just have bent over with a knot in my gut and walked away.  I mean really!  On the surface it would seem like somebody shot us with a torpedo.  But then, we began to think about our production process and asked some pretty important “what if” questions.

A-Team PR Production Studio AWhat if we had twice the production time and budget per podcast than what we are currently working with?  What if as a production team we no longer felt under the gun to find content, get it recorded and produced, and build an entirely new episode every two weeks?  In big-time network programming, each show has three to five production teams.  And like a deck of cards, the show’s episodes are dealt out to the team members so that each team has a number of weeks to complete their production by the time it airs.  We are not big-time network producers.  We have one team and we produce everything, on time.  So spending more time with a greater budget per episode started to look like a higher quality podcast with a higher quality life for its producers.

Michael ShawnThis is gonna be fun!  To our regular listeners, please forgive us for not knocking on your door with a brand new episode every other Thursday.  We still love our listeners alot!  And we promise to continue to bring everything that you expect from our Free Range Texan Podcast to you with a few more layers of icing on our cake.  We are genuinely excited about our new schedule as our last bi-weekly podcast rolls out Thursday, July 2nd.  And our new monthly podcast schedule begins on August 1st, 2020.

There is one more thing … We believe we have been remiss in not urging our podcast listeners to subscribe to our podcast.  We have always provided a direct player at FreeRangeTexan.net.  You can still accomplish listening to our podcast thru FreeRangeTexan.net … our web page gives you all of the biggest podcast players and/or our Free Range Texan YouTube Channel.  Either way, you can easily subscribe.  Without going into a large amount of detail, suffice to say our new schedule makes our subscription rate vital to our future.  Thanks for listening … FreeRangeTexan.net.

Episode 36 Warm and Loving then Sad and Cold

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

The Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 36 varies greatly from beginning to end with a wide spectrum of emotions.  Among other things, this episode contains a special visit with Shirley and Andy Klattenhoff tucked neatly inside one of our “Ain’t Love Grand Files”.  They are a delight.

Shirley and Andy Klattenhoff
Shirley and Andy – 1978
Shirley and Andy Klattenhoff
Shirley and Andy in “Studio A” today

Shirley and Andy have been walking hand-in-hand through life for over four decades.  Through the best of times and tough times, they have always just taken it all as it comes.  We have learned that true love sometimes appears when you’re not even looking for it and when it is least expected.  We think you will love hearing their story.

Native American James ScottAbove is the picture of James Scott, a Native American, who died in 1944 at about 110 years of age.  As a child, he was part of the forced removal of Indian tribes from Alabama and Georgia to reservations in Oklahoma.  We have recreated word for word his actual recollection of the removal.  It is a remarkable story, and yet may not be suitable for our younger listeners.

All of this and more on another Free Range Texan Podcast that comes from the heart.

Free Range Texan Episode 36

A Campfire Story That Took on a Life of Its Own

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

Michael Shawn’s Campfire stories tend to flow from all directions.  There are countless sources, including close friends and contributing editors, who’s contributions to our podcast are appreciated more than anyone knows.

We were producing the campfire story for Episode 30.  Traditionally, podcasts contain various and sundry amounts of content, generally edited around a main file (Heroes and Heroines, The Unexplained Files, Free Range Talent, etc.) and always winding up at Michael Shawn’s Campfire.

In the tradition of creating a campfire segment for Episode 30, we most of the time run a ballpark estimate of four to eight minutes, depending on variables in the script and production.  It’s the way we like to end each podcast.

Thinking that the story of the Alamo from Davy Crockett’s point of view would be a different way to tell the tale, we began to do research outside of the traditional writings concerning Texas history.  We stumbled into a credible source of knowledge that told more vividly the happenings in the last days of Davy Crockett’s life, specifically describing the world around him.

Before we knew it, we had a podcast script two to three times longer than any campfire story that we had ever produced, and in trying to edit this remarkable tale, we could not find portions we were willing to leave out.  Numerous times we were brought to tears as we began to realize more than the Hollywood version of the world falling apart around the remnant of Texan volunteers.

By the time we finished production, apart from being profoundly moved by what we were hearing, we also realized that as much as ever before we had created a piece of “theatre of the mind” that was a true story of remarkable bravery and heroism.  The Free Range Texan Podcast Epiosde 30 is dedicated to my life-long friend Harlan Reddell, who spent three years putting up with a smart-aleck young Michael Shawn, teaching me everything I know about dramatic presentation.  This one is from the heart.

Free Range Texan Podcast Episode 30 Davy Crockett

Free Range Texan Episode 30 rolls Thursday, October 10th just after dark.


Bob Wills Bus … Or Not

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

If you’ve been to Turkey, Texas, I’m sure you will agree that it is a town full of friendly people, and there could be no better place in the U.S.A. to host the annual Bob Wills Day Festival.  Western Swing artists from all over the southwest converge for a couple of days of family friendly, boot scootin’, genuine Texas music.  In the midst of all of it, I happen to find Buck and Rhoda Coghlan from Scottsdale, Arizona.  They have single-handedly refurbished buildings and brought what appears to be Bob Wills Bus to be on permanent display in Turkey, Texas.

Buck and Rhoda Coghlin
Buck and Rhoda Coghlin
Turkey, Texas Gas Station
Turkey, Texas Gas Station
Turkey, Texas Phillips 66 sign
Turkey, Texas Phillips 66 sign
Turkey, Texas Bob Wills Bus
Turkey, Texas Bob Wills Bus

The story behind the bus parked in Turkey is to say the least, interesting, and Buck and Rhoda have earned a place in the on-going stories about the life and times of Bob Wills.  Everyone in Turkey, Texas, appears to agree.   One more thing — we at the Free Range Texan Podcast would like to apologize for the West Texas wind.  Our state of the art digital recording microphones still do not handle it well.  We will endeavor to overcome this situation in the future …. enjoy!

Thank you John Sanders for being there on the scene and shooting some great photographs.

Free Range Texan Episode 21




One of the Best Free Range Texans I Ever Knew

Michael Shawn
Michael Shawn

My daughter, Mariah, graduated from Texas Tech with a Masters Degree in Chemistry. My son, Cody, graduated from Texas Tech and got his Masters in Athletic Training at Arkansas University. I, however, took a different path. I grabbed my high school diploma and set out to conquer the world for better or for worse. I did graduate with my master’s but I chose a different route.

The picture below was the Dean and Chief Professor of a large portion of my master’s degree. For me, going to class meant riding number two on a line-up of off road motorcycles following, watching, and observing Ben Faulkner. I learned more about different cultures, barely explored wildernesses, and general life lessons as a young adult than anyone can possibly imagine. Ben Faulkner, while being approximately 15 years older, was destined to be one of the best life-long friends that a young “wildling” could ever have.

The stories of his adventures could fill a book. He taught me that life is often like riding in the desert … be ready for anything and never go over the top of a bluff without first stopping to look. My life long love affair with the Big Bend and the Chihuahuan desert now includes knowing that I will never be able to open my eyes and see that sunrise and feel that special place without my thoughts being full of my big brother, Ben Faulkner.

Memorial Day at 7:15 a.m. Ben rode into those pearly gates without me, but I can just see the grin on his face. I know he left me here to break camp, cause like so many others of late, I expect we’ll be meeting up again across the river. Adios Uncle Ben! Enjoy the ride!

Ben and Dona Faulkner

Talk Back, Tell Us What You Think, Submit Your Ideas

Our Free Range Texan Podcast is growing by leaps and bounds.  It is, however, a mixed blessing.  Our production staff and behind the scenes crew, not to mention the resources and creative services of A-Team PR, continually get stretched thin with a growing number of details.  They tell me these are the type of problems that people in our business get down on their knees and pray for.  Well, consider our prayers answered!  We are thankful.  But find ourselves looking at a growing number of complications that we struggle to keep simple for everyone (including our staff).

Anyone who produces a podcast will tell you that one of the major challenges is to maintain a continual flow of “content”.  We are so grateful to so many of you who have shared information and great stories with our Free Range Texan podcast.  And in case there were any questions about how to plug in with almost any portion of our production team, we have narrowed it all down to one door, making it simple and quick, and assigned reliable Free Range Texans to pay attention and help us stay responsive.  Thanks a million y’all.  We like it when our listeners step up.

Holy Smoke, Who Knew He Could Sing

Imagine how we were all amazed when in midstream on Episode 17, he turns into a Blues Singer (term used loosely).  Well … the only one we had at the moment anyway.  We haven’t said much to Michael Shawn about the entire affair, we don’t want him to start acting like “talent”, getting sensitive and all.  Episode 17 begins a season of premier announcements for things to come on our Free Range Texan podcast.  Word on the street is the Free Range Texan network is looking for a new roving reporter personality.  We’re certain Michael Shawn will shine more light on this subject soon.

Who Knew Michael Shawn Could Dance?

Episode 15 of our Free Range Texan Podcast openly admits the existence of a canine super hero heretofore left in the background of our production.  Apparently there is no longer any keeping of “Foxy the Wonder Dog” a secret.

Big thanks to Daniel Jones for bringing us up to date.  We freely admit that technical problems occurred with Daniel’s interview and there are parts of the podcast on that account that require you to listen harder because Daniel was on the road and away from any of our digital recording devices.  Honestly, folks we will take steps to improve all of that in the future.

We left Michael Shawn alone to create his campfire segment, and when that happens you can count on the fact that his heart for Texas generally takes over the conversation.  Thank you Michael …. good info.

Free Range Texan Episode 15Oh, yes, and the last thing we want to mention is that this is the first of our podcasts that our host actually opened and closed the show break dancing for our audience … Is there no end to Michael Shawn’s talent?  If you haven’t heard Episode 15, we suggest you climb aboard.