Howdy, neighbors! JW here, back from another muddy meander with my companion, Meathead. You know Meathead, the Bernese Mountain who sheds enough fur to knit a yeti sweater from scratch? Yeah, that furry goofball. Today’s walk along the Llano was a doozy, full of sunshine, shenanigans, and a twenty-dollar find that could rock the very foundation of the Annual Llano Rock Festival.

Now, you know I love that rock-stacking shindig. Every year, folks from all over Texas bring their boulders and creativity, transforming the riverbed into a mini Stonehenge. But this year, things got a little…competitive. Remember ol’ Cecil Grumbles, the fella who used to build those gravity-defying towers that looked like they could topple the Alamo? Yeah, him. Well, Cecil got disqualified last year for, and I quote the official judge’s notes, “excessive use of industrial-grade adhesives and a suspicious amount of rebar.” (Personally, I think they were just jealous of his engineering prowess.)

Anyway, today, as Meathead chased a rogue squirrel up a cypress tree (squirrel 1, Meathead 0), my foot snagged on something…papery. Turns out, it was a twenty nestled beside a rock stack that looked suspiciously like Cecil’s handiwork. Attached was a note, scrawled in what I can only describe as “manic Sharpie”:

“JW, old pal,” it read, “heard you’re still slinging puns for the Llano News. I’m back, baby, and my rocks are gonna blow your socks off (figuratively, of course, considering the current state of your muck boots). Consider this a twenty-dollar peace offering…or maybe a down payment on next year’s trophy. Just wait till you see what I’ve cooked up! Your pal, The Rocketeer (aka Cecil Grumbles).”

Well, now. Cecil’s back, and he’s got rocks on the brain (and possibly some industrial-grade glue residue under his fingernails). This just got interesting. Can you imagine the spectacle? Cecil’s gravity-defying behemoths dueling it out with the whimsical cairns of the local schoolchildren? The drama! The tension! The inevitable rock avalanche that will probably flood Main Street!

Folks, I may just have to dust off my trusty notebook and sharpen my pun-fu. This year’s Rock Festival is gonna be a rockin’ rodeo, and Meathead? Well, he’s just happy to have a twenty-dollar chew toy. Until next time, neighbors, keep your boots dry and your rocks balanced. And remember, in the Llano River, you never know what treasures you might find…or what megalomaniacal rocketeers might be lurking around the bend.

JW out! (P.S. Cecil, if you’re reading this, don’t even think about using rebar.)

For more information, see the Llano Rock’n’River Fest page on facebook.