Texas treasure

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“Things are fixin' to get real good…”

Dateline: Dining Room Table Story

You may not know this about me,

but I was raised to be a cowboy.


My baby room, back when I was a baby in my 571 Montrose Avenue house, my first room ever, had this wood burned sign on the door,

Donnies Corral.

It did.

I, of course, didn’t read it or realize it right away since I hadn’t been formally introduced to readin’ being only recently formally introduced to livin’ as a newborn in the corral.

My corral.

Now, to be honest, back then when I was new to all of this, there probably wasn’t a real corral with blocks of 571 Montrose Avenue, maybe several thousand blocks, and I can tell you from my last trip by the old house, them corrals ain’t getting any closer.

But back then, with me saddled in the full body cast thing, the west, with horses and corrals, was REAL close to me…just a few inches below my nose actually…because when my parents laid me down on the floor in the cast, down on the floor was where I stayed, down there it was just me and,

Hop-A-Long Cassidy.

“…in them honky tonks…”

It was down there, a couple of noses above floor level, that I learned that there was a world outside of Donnies Corral.

The Hop-A-Long Cassidy Linoleum on my corral floor showed me that.

PAUSE HERE:  It has been brought to my attention by my wife Barb that most people who will read this may have no idea, #1 who Hop-A-Long Cassidy is, #2 who or what Linoleum is, and while I find that extremely hard to believe, if you happen to be that one person on the planet, take a moment and google those two things and catch up to me here…I’ll wait.


Fast forward a few years, I’m still in Donnie’s Corral, but now I’m standing in it and on Hop-A-Long’s Linoleum…I’m in there with a cowboy hat on and a quick draw metal cap-gun six-shooter…I’ve pretty much quicked drawed and capped out the Hop-A-Long lampshade and was looking for other targets, quick before Mom came in from gardening, when I spot this new poster on my wall.

Dudes…now I can read…so I do.

Turns out it wasn’t a poster at all…but a TREASURE MAP…a Wild Bill Hickok (cereal box give-a-way) honest to goodness how to find the end of the rainbow thing.

Basically, in my new to reading brain, it said exactly this,

…Dig Here.

“…you know I'm understood…”

“So, Donnie, what do you want to do when you grow up?”

“Find treasure.”

“Me too.”

Pretty much got that same answer from every one who asked me to look far into the future when I only had a very little of my past done yet.

So I thought since every one wanted to do what I wanted to do, I thought wanting to find treasure…and be a cowboy…was a pretty normal, attainable grown up thing to do.

I misjudged that some.