The shop came to be called the - what else - Cathouse. Although these gatherings did not include the distractions most commonly associated with your average cathouse - namely, women and liquor - the meetings were just as intoxicating and therapeutic to the participants. To be totally honest, on one particular night a visitor presnted an offering of some 10-day wine (the good stuff) from a local family compound in Blue Ball, but it would have been more fitting to use it as syrup poured over pancakes or in snow cones.
From the label of a bottle of wine produced at the Milliard Compound Vineyard in Blue Ball, Arkansas, and presented to the brethren at a weekly meeting of the Mind Menders. It was a Cathouse Special Reserve Blend - aged 10 days - the good stuff.....
It's not as good as Jesus made,
but it will do until something better comes along...
Instructions for proper use:
Take as needed for depression, constipation,
indigestion and/or malnutrition.
One small cup, prior to musical performances,
one halfway through for a lift,
one at the end of performance.
No liability implied by the brewer. Enjoy.
Caution: Enhances conversation; Encourages lying.
Several intermissions were declared during a session one night to check on the birth of a litter that happened to be delivered during a session. The healing power of the weekly appointments drew others to the shop from time to time as well for mind mending. Between musical selections, many of life's unanswered questions and dilemmas were explored and discussed. As time wore on, the number of songs played decreased while the distribution of wisdom and vision increased. A list of rules and fines to be levied was devised to ensure that the conversations remained at the highest level of consciousness.
The first unofficial musical mind-mending mental health convocation was held by a small ensemble of guitar owning educators and part-time philosophers who gathered after work one day to create mind-mending music while their guitars still had six strings. These gatherings took place in a local workshop a little out of town. No one complained because no one noticed. No one noticed because no one was looking. The plan of the first gathering was to test the belief that music hath charms to soothe..........and these guys realized that they needed some regular soothin' to get them through the week.
The sessions became a weekly therapy session that included music with a occasional story or theory of life, but with time there was less and less music and way too much talking. Several non-playing visitor benefitted from the stress-reducing music, stories, and an occasional head butt on the leg from a resident feline.
The original mama cat in the shop spent the early sessions walking around, occasionally lounging in an open guitar case or climbing overhead, all in a frenzied feline quest for the optimum acoustic listening location. Several litters later, there is still a cat or two to be found, continuing the search. There was always a dog or two outside, but it is not clear whether the dogs were not allowed to participate or if they chose not to take part on their own.
Sessions at the Cathouse and at deer camp were not your average gathering of guitar pickers; These sessions resulted in countless observations of the state of today's world and formulated solutions to many of the problems of today. There is a slight possibility that during the reflective conversations, there may have been statements made that did not rise to the absolute level of truth. We invite you to listen to such topics as:
- a productive use for hames
- the power of chicken manure
- baptism: the better option
- financing a church renovation
- marathon runners on crutches
- thoughts on Norse culture
- ponderings and revelations concerning
the anal orifice of a skunk
At the heart of the Cathouse sessions was the music. While many spectacular, and some horrible, performances were not recorded, there were a few nights captured that may give you a hint of the soul of the gatherings. Here is a small sampling of what passed for music during the cathouse sessions and sessions held at deer camp. The earlier sessions consisted of nonstop music, but as visitors starting arriving in later sessions for the total experience, musical performances began to decrease and conversation increased. Listen a spell and you may be able to figure out why.
The regular weekly healing sessions have ended, but the participating brethren still benefit from the mind-mending sessions. To paraphrase one of the most often lines from a George Strait movie, the best description of the experience could be, "Sure is good." There is always a chance that another session could break out if they get the urge and everybody needs some healing.
Click on the links at the top of the page to meditate on a small sampling of the Mind Mending experience................
Note: Name references have been deleted when necessary to protect the brethren from an onslaught of fame, glory, and riches that would follow; Not to mention the inevitable legions of lost souls and seekers of truth that would be sure to follow if identities were revealed.......