Stories, songs part of Doc Blakely's presentation
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With a name like Doc - thanks to a dad with a love of all things Western - a kid learns to make the best of things, Doc Blakely said.
He and his brother, Earp, grew used to one common question, "Is that your real name?"
"It's my real name, but it's my middle name," he said. "Growing up, I learned I had to find stuff that worked for me. What works for me is to let folks know that's my real name."
The Wharton humorist spoke Thursday at the South Texas Farm and Ranch Show luncheon, telling stories, singing songs and encouraging others to find what works for them.
"We don't pierce our navels in Lane City," he crooned during a guitar tribute to the Wharton County community. "We ain't got no tattoos on our backs. We don't cut our hair like a bowl was placed up there, and all our second cars are up on jacks."
Blakely admitted the people he speaks to don't typically expect a message. Still, on Thursday he offered life advice from a book called "Psycho-Cybernetics."
He encouraged people to write a goal on a card, fold it and stick it in a pocket.
"Every morning when you get up, open that piece of paper and read that goal to yourself," he said, urging them to do the same before bed. "You will be amazed at how this stuff works."
The advice worked with a pre-diabetic woman he encountered at a Wharton coffee shop, he said. As she attempted to fight off a free piece of pecan pie, he offered his tip about the card.
"She looked at that pie again and said, 'I'm out of here. I've got willpower,'" he said. "She walked out the door and, as soon as she left, I ate a piece of that pie. Hey, it's her goal. It wasn't mine."
Victoria County extension agent Peter McGuill said he enjoyed Blakely's presentation. He said the man speaks the same way regardless of whether he's talking to two people or an entire roomful.
Victor Eder, the farm and ranch show's treasurer and one of Blakely's former students, said he always enjoyed hearing his professor talk. Blakely left a lasting impression during his time at Wharton County Junior College, Eder said, recalling one college exam in particular.
A student in an agriculture course couldn't recall an answer on the test but told Blakely he knew where to find it - in the textbook beneath his desk. Blakely encouraged him to dig the book out, explaining his goal was to make sure students knew where and how to find the answers they needed.
"What's the Internet today?" Eder asked with a grin. "He was way ahead of his time."
Yorktown resident Helen Mikus attended Thursday's luncheon and said she enjoyed Blakely's stories. She said she'd probably take him up on that index card idea, too.
"My husband and I just retired," she said. "We need to set some new goals."