Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cactus Pryor

He signs off with the phrase "Thermostrocka mortimer." My spelling is an educated guess based on a couple clips. It's meaning is unknown, but Cactus once said, "The phrase is in the Bible; if you don't find it, keep reading." Of course, it could be a snipe hunt. He is Texan, they'll do that to Yankees.

In Texas he is a broadcasting legend. But Texas has it's own history separate from the rest of the South, from America and in some cases, even reality. But Cactus Pryor... he was real and he didn't require exaggerating.

Today he's mellowed into a Paul Harvey-type of character, with his “Cactus Comments,” narrating two minute sentimental tales of Texas past. For the last few years he's also played the part of "Nopalito", the radio spokesman for the Austin, Texas restaurant chain Serranos.

Pryor started out in Texas broadcasting back in 1944. His nickname comes from the Cactus Theater on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, which was run by his father, Skinny Pryor. In Austin, Like the rest of texas, a nickname is mandatory, and will preceede all personal claims to fame and infamy. He is the former Program Manager of KLBJ-AM Radio and KTBC-TV. He's been on air at KLBJ for 60 years. He's also a columnist for Texas Monthly.

He was born in 1923 in Austin. His local success in radio led to two movie roles: Hellfighters and The Green Berets with John Wayne. For a Texan that's like managing to visit Valhalla. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Pryor has pressed on, and at the are of 84 he remains in radio. More