The Rain Man Cometh

Years ago, there were men who traveled around the countryside in horse-drawn, colorful wagons who claimed to be able to make it rain. They would move from area to area literally “drumming” up business with drought-stricken farmers and stockmen.

Some of you may recall the song by Tanya Tucker called Lizzie and The Rain Man that tells the story of just such a man. The lyrics begin with:

He came ridin' in on the sunrise of a hot west Texas day

A fancy man in a painted wagon with some fancy things to say

Looks like you folks need some water, well water is my game

And for the small price of $100 I betcha I can make it rain…

It goes on to tell the story about how the Rainmaker would employ someone to beat a drum and someone to keep a fire going as that was his method for making it rain. Noise and smoke.

During the great cannonades of wars, it was noted that rain always followed those engagements. This was probably due to the drops of rain forming around the residue of the burned gunpowder as it wafted into the atmosphere. So, the rainmakers of the day latched onto such information and legends were formed.

It appears to Ol’ Dutch that just such a service might be needed in the days ahead as many parts of the Southwest are suffering horribly with dry conditions. And while I do not personally know of anyone with a wagon and a drum or even a cannon, Ol’ Dutch has been known to make it rain about everywhere he goes.

Why just a few years ago Miss Trixie and Ol’ Dutch took a trip Westward to the land of fruits and nuts, California, and soon after began a time of copious rainfall and a winter of record snowfalls.

That next summer, they were skiing on July 4, no joke. My trips to the normally dry South Padre Island means those poor people will have rain all winter and I can ruin a Spring Break faster than a wife can spend your paycheck.

Normally all I need to do is get out my fishing pole and the Heavens open, and the rains descend like in the times of Jonah. Or was that, Noah? I guess they both got wet, and Ol’ Dutch is oft seen to be a certified Rain Man in the places he has been.

Miss Trixie and I have had a winter sojourn in North Texas this past year and these poor people are so tired of the rains that they are about to take up a collection just to see us leave. Every other week since mid-March, storms delivering six-plus inches of rain have left them all soggy and unable to even plant gardens, so I guess it's about time for us to head out for our next rain making location.

Until now no one has seemed too anxious to pay Ol’ Dutch for his services which seems a little bit odd since they do pay the weatherman for his and all he does is report on what may occur. That seems just a tad messed up to me. 

It may be time for Ol’ Dutch to pull out all the stops and get me a painted wagon, an old dapple gray mare and have Miss Trixie dress up like the black-haired, gypsy girl she is and start traveling the circuit. We can set up shop at farmers markets, craft and trade shows, county fairs and church garage sales and really put on a great demonstration of modern science. Well, something like that.

Patented elixirs will be sold, wordy speeches will be made, and you too may get a chance to beat the drum or keep the fire burning all in an effort to alleviate the drought.

Rest assured, The Rain Man is coming and this year I have two fishing poles with which to wizard that reluctant rain from the sky so you may want to look on Amazon for a raft while they are still available. Ol’ Dutch seems to be able to make it start but for the life of me cannot figure out how to make it stop. You may want to come up with another remedy for that, ASAP.


Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found