We Are Grateful

MenuWhoever you are, wherever you are reading this blog, we here at Free Range Texan want to sincerely extend our hand in traditional Texan friendship.  Communicating with us is easy, either on our blog or through info@FreeRangeTexan.net.  We are thankful for the responses and suggestions we have had, and we welcome your genuine thoughts and opinions on upcoming podcasts.  And, finally, don’t forget we are open for submissions to our Free Range Talent File.  We’re always looking for talented people in or out of Texas.  We wish you all the very best.


Episode 7 Rolling Out November 25, 2018

MenuThank you friends.  Our first official twenty days ROCK!  While there was some beta testing for a couple of weeks prior, October 28, 2018 was our official kick-off.  By that measure, we are just now 20 days old.  I turned to Kathy and said, “Man, it seems longer than that.”  She laughed and we both agreed that the dream is worth the effort.  None of it would work without our podcast listeners and blog followers.  We’re grateful and promise to keep it interesting.  Episode 7 gets a little scary (Moth Man).

Free Range Texan Podcast

Forgive Me Ladies … This is “Man Stuff”

MenuI have a friend named Johnny Lynn Sanders, and he has Deep Creek Sound Studio in Snyder, Texas.  He writes a blog that is a fun read.  He recently posted the following story on his blog.  I promptly called him and asked if I could share it with our readers.  He said “yup, but I’m watching Wheel of Fortune right now. ”  I thought to myself, there’s probably not a lot of things to do in Snyder on a Thursday night.  
The Magnetization of Lake Martin
John Sanders
John Sanders, Deep Creek Sound Studio

Alabama has a lot of lakes.  Alabama has a lot of Rivers.  Alabama has a lot of rain.  Alabama is wet!  Now to some of my friends, that may not seem like a big deal because you also live where it is wet (you know who you are), but for an old West Texan, it took some getting used to.

I remember a few days after I moved out there, some of my co-workers and I were having lunch at “the grocery store”.  It was really a grocery store, but they had a restaurant and an outdoor, covered dining area.  One of the fellas in our group spilled a cup of ice on the table and I sprang into action!  I scooped up what I could and rushed over to a nearby flower bed and put the ice in it so as to give the plant a drink and not let that precious water go to waste.   That was the *first* time I noticed them looking at me as if I had lost my mind.  There were many more times over the next year and several months.

The town I worked in is called Alexander City and Lake Martin is nearby.  Lake Martin is fed by the Tallapoosa River and is one of the largest man, er person oh whatever made lakes in the US.  It is 31 miles long and even though the average depth is 41 feet, there is a place where the water is over 150 feet deep and 743 miles of shoreline.  One of my friends has a boat and he graciously allowed me aboard a few times.  This is the story of one of those occasions.

Have you ever heard of “magnet fishing”?  Dare you to do a search on YouTube for “magnet fishing”.  You will find a LOT of videos and I wanted to try my luck, so I bought a large magnet with a long name that boasted that if you get your finger caught between two of them, there will be blood!  Who could resist?  My magnet arrived and I promptly stuck it to a metal desk.  Wish I hadn’t done that.  I tugged and tugged and actually lifted that side of the desk off the floor!  A wiser friend of mine came in and slid it right off the desk.  Did I just admit to that?  Guess so.

I tied a good length of “marine grade” rope (which we called nylon rope in West Texas) to that magnet with my best boy scout knot (accomplished by finding a boy scout to tie it).  I took it out to the nearest fishing dock at Lake Martin and in the space of about 6.5 minutes, caught roughly 2500 nails.  This thing is awesome for a carpenter!  The water there was about 15 feet deep and I was bobbing that thing up and down and I actually heard the “click!”.  Wow, I had caught something that sounded different from the nails!  I brought it up and saw something shiny on the end of that magnet.  Could it be….treasure?  It was a leatherman

that some poor fisherman had lost over the side of the dock.  Wow, 4 more of these would come close to paying for that magnet!  I was hooked! (clever play of words for a fishing story, huh?)

My friend with the boat suggested he knew a place where an old bridge had crossed part of the lake and he would take me there to magnet fish.  Woo-hoo!  The problem with magnet fishing on a boat is that the current takes you where you don’t want to go or you drop anchor and risk getting your magnet rope tangled.  I wish we had dropped anchor.

We were drifting toward shore and I started to haul my magnet up but my friend said he didn’t think that would be necessary as he was just going to crank up to move a little way out and my rope wouldn’t be anywhere close to the prop.  My rope was quickly VERY close to the prop.  My prop and that rope had a relationship.  My rope hugged the prop and then they parted company.  My 8 foot end of the rope ended in a bunch of tattered nylon.  The prop had about 23 feet of the middle of the rope that it didn’t want to let go.  The last 19 feet of rope went down to the bottom of Lake Martin dragged by a magnet with a long name that would bloody your finger.  My friend snickered some condolences as he dived in to free the prop.

I sometimes wonder where the magnet landed.  I think it would be fitting if someone, long ago had dumped an old metal desk off that bridge and my magnet stuck to it, never to be parted.

Oh, I bought a new magnet.  A better magnet.  A magnet that claimed even greater loss of limb if it got angry with you.  I have a new, longer “marine grade” rope waiting for a boy scout to tie it on.   Of course, I’m now back in West Texas so the magnet has stayed pretty dry and safe and not nearly as much fun.

Podcast Advertising … Heck Yeah!

Michael Shawn host of Free Range Texan
Michael Shawn – Host

We all need to discuss something ever so briefly.  I know what you’re thinkin …. A-Team PR is not filthy stinkin rich …. yet!  Our production budget on the podcast episodes, web platform, travel, interviews, artwork, and copywriting can make for some late night production meetings in the conference room.  So there …. I said it.

And you thought we were just selling all the cool stuff in the Free Range Texan House of Treasures for fun.  Well …. it is fun!  But, advertising on our podcast is an important piece of the puzzle.  You might say Michael Shawn’s Campfire takes a certain amount of fuel (wood).  Bearing all this in mind, we are placing an active banner on this blog.  DON’T GO THERE …. unless you are interested in putting our podcast to work promoting your cause/business.

Yes, brothers and sisters, we are selling promotional announcements on our podcast.  We have found that our production studio works best when the electricity is turned on, etc.  It is a fact that the Free Range Texan is now being listened to throughout the United States, and by English speaking people in Canada, The U.K., over the wall into Mexico and South America, the EU, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, India, and Vietnam …. and did I mention Texas?  So you see, what kind of red blooded American (Texan) podcaster would not, should not hang a billboard or two on that?

Advertise on Free Range Texan podcastMaybe you can help.  If you have knowledge of anyone who would like to advertise on the Free Range Texan podcast, bring them here and tell THEM to click on this banner.  We will graciously do the rest.  Thank you my friends.

New Podcast Player Added to FreeRangeTexan.net

MenuI think it’s time that we stop the presses for just a moment and recognize the value of having an outfit like A-Team PR on your team when and if you decide to produce your own podcast.  The latest example of their efforts is our newly designed podcast player that presents not only our latest show, but also easily displays our entire “Free Range Texan” library.

Free Range Texan podcast player

We have discovered that many of our listeners are not quick to latch on to iTunes, Google Play, Tune In, etc., but instead are more comfortable just going to FreeRangeTexan.net and receiving full access to our podcasts.  So, “knock yourself out!”

The Lights Burn Dim at Los Rancho Mucho Broke-o

MenuIt was approximately 1975.  It was after dark in the Terlingua desert on a ranch called Villa de La Mina.  I stood with a friend by a lone campfire under a canopy of breathtaking stars.  It was a cool evening as nights in the desert often are.  And the blanket of silence that the Big Bend wilderness is known for lain all around us.

Desert sky at nightThen in the distance, back down the long dirt road that lead in to our camp, we heard the throaty rumble of what sounded like an armored division throwing dust and rocks.  Then what turned out to be five or six trucks pulling trailers laden with equipment enough to build a small town roared past us and pulled into the rocks and cactus just beyond where we stood.  One of the trucks had already blown its transmission and was being pulled by chain onto the two trucks in front of it.

This intrepid group of chili cooks / demolition experts / oilfield roughnecks had roared into my life and began a four decades long kinship that would teach me a lot about what I know concerning friendship and brotherhood.  There is no reason in the world why they should have adopted me into their family, but they did.  One of the more colorful characters among them, and believe me … they were all colorful, was Vietnam Veteran Dave McCarter and his wife at the time, Deb.  Fast forward to 2018.  Life happened to all of us.  When I hit a number of low points, like being hospitalized and non-ambulatory for a number of months, I could always count on the fact that Dave would be the first one to call.  I never knew him not to be repeating the same phrase over and over throughout the years.  Whenever we would part company, he would take my hand and hold it to his heart, look me in the eye, and say, “Any time, any place, any where.”  I never knew Dave McCarter to fail to make good on that promise.

Terlingua cemeteryI got a call this afternoon from his son, Zack, who said, “They found Dave doing what he did best … He was at home, at his family homestead outside of Snyder, Texas, in his barcalounger, watching Gunsmoke.  He went peacefully.”  I can never think of those times back down the way in God’s most beautiful wilderness and not think of Dave ….. Any time, any place, any where Brother Dave ….. Adios.

Michael Shawn with a personal word … October 15, 2018



It is a rare moment.  It’s actually been a quiet sort of day.  Our Free Range Texan podcast’s first four episodes have garnered interesting and consistent responses from people in a number of countries.  And it’s to our listeners outside the United States that I would like to speak for a moment.  While it is true that I and the rest of the people responsible for our podcast, by and large live, work and thrive in the wide open spaces of West Texas, we are not, however, shielded from the reality that is the United States.

There is an angry spirit that has taken over our nation.   It cannot be confused with patriotism.  For a true patriot is first concerned about his country.  That statement does not refer to our nation’s government.  Instead, it refers to its people.  What is happening inside the United States is not healthy for any of us.  And to our friends around the world, we want you to know that at the Free Range Texan we are aware.

Recently, I heard a gentleman that I respect say, “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all mankind.”  Speaking for a number of us here in West Texas, we want you to know that we are dedicated to remaining strong, but not necessarily strong to fight.  We feel called instead to be strong “to stand”.  The message here is, that while we come to work everyday with a grin on our face and work on, among other things, the Free Range Texan podcast, we like to think that it comes from the best place inside of us to the best places inside of you.  And maybe, just maybe, we can spend a half hour escaping the thunder and enjoying the peace.

Our podcast begins its biweekly episodes on Sunday, October 28th.  I’ll be checking in on the blog between now and then because there is truly some interesting stuff coming together and lining up for our next few episodes.  I’ll say this just one more time, “it’s gonna be fun.”

Michael Shawn’s FREE RANGE TEXAN Update – Oct. 13, 2018


The response to our Free Range Texan podcast has been a bit overwhelming. We feel humble and blessed. As of the writing of this post, Stitcher, Tune-in, Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes have all given us a position in their podcast lineups. Our YouTube Channel and Facebook have all just begun to tick. In the interest of full disclosure, I will have to admit that we have worked for months, days, nights, and weekends to see it all become live at once. That was our dream. Now to have it all well received is deeply appreciated.

We would like to point out that the Free Range Texan podcast is beginning as a bi-weekly. and starting on October 28th when Episode 5 will be released, we will be rolling out a new episode every other Sunday. All of that is subject to change in the future, but for now we see it as a plan we can live with. We know it is important to keep our programming fresh, interesting, and from time to time vital. That being said, while we deal with some interesting and/or disturbing issues, we always want to find a place to regain our sense of humor and have a warm visit.

For those of you who become regular Free Range Texan podcast subscribers, we would love to point out our website’s store.  Great gift ideas!  We will be adding a line up of most excellent stuff as the days go by.  Ooops … did I really just say “GO BUY”.  When you purchase any items at our store, it helps support our Free Range Texan podcast Prime examples: