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My friend, Franlkin Cincinnatus, is a funny guy, but, he can be very serious when he wants to be.  He calls himself a "Researcher". I know he spent some time in college, I just don't know how much.  He claims he makes his living researching "things primarily within the boundaries of what was the Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas".  We met at the Pecan Street Brew Pub in Johnson City, Texas.  He was "doing research" on "art and LBJ".  I had a piece of art in the Brew Pub and he said he was interested in why I painted it.  I was bartending at the time -- he was really more interested in free beer than "research".  I told him that I was in the process of writing a book about my grandfather possibly sneeking down to Mexico and fighting in the Mexican Revolution.  He assured me that he could help me with my research.  

He tends to be more serious than funny these days -- at least I think he's trying to be.  He is kind of obsessed with the Mayan 2012 thing.  The following is a transcript of a conversation I recorded last week.  


Kevin: Ok, Frank, this thing is runnin', tell us a little bit about yourself.  What are you thinking about these days?

Frank: Well, my real name is Dean Moriarity.

Kevin: Come on man.

Frank: I'm hungry.

Kevin: We'll eat when this is done.

Frank: Ok, uh...well, I just got back from a trip to visit some friends down in Alice.  There's a lot of fracking going on down there.  I didn't drink the water.  Ha, ha...I went there for a couple of reasons.  As you know, I primarily do research and I went done there to eat and do some research on J. Frank Dobie, for a song I'm writing.  I really am hungry -- there's this place in Alice that has the biggest tacos...

Kevin: You write songs?

Frank: Yes sir and I play the guitar...very badly.  Although, I'm pretty proud of some of my songs.

Kevin: Yeah, I really like that song that you wrote with your buddy, Matt Andes.  What was that one called?

Frank: He won't let me play the guitar in his presence.  It was "Run, Run, Run Epifanio."

Kevin: Yeah, ha, ha...tell us what it was about?

Frank: Oh...well, basically it was about this wonderful fellow from Mexico that did some work for me.

Kevin: Epifanio?

Frank: Yeah, he was from a little place called Escolasticas Pedro Escobedo, in the mountains outside of Queretaro.  He's a sculptor.  

Kevin: You've been to his village?

Frank: Uh, huh, most all the men in his village were stone carvers going back, probably, to the conquest.  Unbelievable work...when I drove into the village for the first time, the very first piece that I saw was, a perfectly executed, lifesize replica of the Discobolus.

Kevin: What's a Discobulis?

Frank: Discobulos, it's a Greek discus thrower.  It was perfect.  Anyway, it was back in the 80's, I was doing research for a commision I had gotten to design and build a fountain.  I asked Tom Clancy, a landscaper friend of mine, if he had any guys that may know someone that knew how to carve stone.  He didn't.  But he told me to go to a specific intersection and ask the guys standing around there.  I did and I met Epifanio.  The stinkiest dude I've ever known, but boy one of the most talented and beautiful people I've ever met.  Epifanio Lizardi...he claimed his grandfather was Pancho Villa.  

Kevin: How did you find out all this?

Frank: I asked him.

Kevin: I know you asked him.  How?

Frank: Whataya mean?

Kevin: Man...just tell the folks listening that you speak Spanish.

Frank: Oh, I speak Spanish.  I can understand better than I can speak it.

Kevin: Ok.

Frank: He kinda looked like Pancho Villa.  He claimed his grandmother had met Villa in Pedro Escobedo and become his lover.  Epifanio said his uncle told him they met when he was there meeting secretly with Venustiano Carranza.  I doubt it's true -- Villa and Carranza didn't like each other.

Kevin: What the hell were we talking about?

Frank: The song.

Kevin: Ok.

Frank: One more thing about Epifanio.  After I picked him up and told him what I was looking for, he asked me to take him to a stone yard.  He picked-out a rough boulder about two foot by two foot.  I didn't have any chisels.  I gave him a hammer and a screwdriver and he worked in my garage and by the end of the day he had a perfect ten inch by ten inch block with floral motifs carved on five sides.

Kevin: You never told me this story.

Frank: I just did.

Kevin: What's the song about?

Frank: Matt and I were up at his place.  I call it El Santuario Del Sotol Y El Zopilote Alegre.

Kevin: What does that mean?

Frank: The Sanctuary Of The Sotol And The Happy Buzzard.  Matt's a Saint Francis of sorts -- he has magic with birds and animals.  Some kind of karmic ju ju.  He's tamed a scaley lizard, foxes, a road runner.  One of his critters, a cockatoo named Bunny, has an unhealthy infatuation with me.  He actually has a buzzard that comes to visit.

Kevin: You're a trip, man.

Frank: Thanks, you know Matt used to be a 70's rocker.

Kevin: Yeah, now he's mostly into animals and birds?

Frank: Yeah, so, uh...I told him about Epifanio and we wrote the song.  It's basically about the illegal Mexican immigrants in Texas.  Did you ever see that movie "A Day Without A Mexican"?

It's great...nobody to mow yards, tend the children, dryclean, on and on...even the woks were left unattended.  That issue is one of the most dishonestly discussed issues in this country.

Kevin: I agree. We gotta wrap this up.  I'm gettin' hungry too.  Get back to Alice.

Frank: Sure, there's this place in Alice called "El Taco Mexicano" and, man, they've got these huge tacos.  Really good.

Kevin: What were you doing in Alice, shit.

Frank; You don't have to get pissy.  I'm doing research on J. Frank Dobie.  I was named after him and FDR.  He lived in Alice when he was a kid.  I have friends that are doing research on  fracking down there.

Kevin: Do I know them?

Frank: Yeah, but I can't say their names.

Kevin: Ok..I know.

Frank: I have one for ya.

Kevin: Ok.

Frank: My Mom used birth control before I was born -- ya know why it didn't work?

Kevin: No, why?

Frank: She used buffered asprin.

Kevin: That's bad man.

Frank: Let's go eat.

Kevin: I've almost forgotten what I wanted to talk about...You told me a couple of weeks ago that, through your research, you had figured out the Mayan 2012 thing.

Frank: Of course, that was another reason I was in South Texas.  I was looking for the shrine of Jesus' socks.

Kevin: What?

Frank: My hypothosis is that the Mayan Maize God, their god Kukulcan, and the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl are somehow representative of the power that is Jesus.  And the mayan 2012 prediction is really about the end of the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Jesus and the onset of an enlightened age.

Kevin: That's cool.

Frank: Yeah, now can we go eat?

Kevin: Let's go to El Charro.

Frank: Maybe we'll run into Kinky.

Previously posted at

Originally posted to Kevin Tully on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Protest Music and DKOMA.

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