Life on the King Ranch

Overview


"This is the story of me and my ranch friends, of the heritage that was ours, the way we worked, the tales we told, and the fun we had on America's largest, most progressive cattle ranch," says Frank Goodwyn. The creed of the King Ranch cattlemen was simple: "If you want to make a kid into a cowboy, start him out as soon as he can sit on a horse." Being the son of the foreman on the Norias Division of the ranch, Goodwyn started working cattle every summer at an early age. Except for the bookkeeper and the ...
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Overview


"This is the story of me and my ranch friends, of the heritage that was ours, the way we worked, the tales we told, and the fun we had on America's largest, most progressive cattle ranch," says Frank Goodwyn. The creed of the King Ranch cattlemen was simple: "If you want to make a kid into a cowboy, start him out as soon as he can sit on a horse." Being the son of the foreman on the Norias Division of the ranch, Goodwyn started working cattle every summer at an early age. Except for the bookkeeper and the bachelor boss Caesar Kleberg, the Goodwyns were usually the only Anglos present. Goodwyn thus spent most of his time with the Spanish-speaking ranch hands, and, he writes, "among them I learned the beginnings of all I know." With photographs by Toni Frissell, Life on the King Ranch is replete with tales told by Goodwyn's compadres such as cow camp foreman Euvence Garcia and Jose ("Joe One-Wing") Cantu; fun and games in the prickly mazes of mesquite; and the real work of roping, branding, dipping, and just-plain working cattle. Goodwyn also tells of the founding by Captain Richard King of the legendary ranch and of the ways that the King Ranch was modernizing its operations while contending with the age-old elements of the semidesert South Texas plain.First published in 1951, the old-time cowboying and creative techniques, campfire cuisine, and memorable personalities of Life on the King Ranch make it a book of timeless interest.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Goodwyn's 1951 firsthand account of life on a cattle ranch in Texas depicts the folk culture of the Southwest. (Dec.)
Library Journal
In 1951, author and professor Goodwyn released this book recalling his youth on Texas's King Ranch. Besides being his own story, it provides a good deal of information on the business of ranching and, of course, a few tall tales. With interest in cowboys and Western lore on the rise, ``this should still be popular'' ( LJ 6/15/51).
Booknews
First published in 1951, tells of the author's experiences growing up and working on a South Texas ranch which was founded in 1853 and is now a multinational agribusiness and energy exploration corporation. He tells of the ranch heritage, traditional cowboy ways, and the impact of modernization. Illustrated with b&w photos. Includes a bibliography and glossary, but no index. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author


FRANK GOODWYN was born in South Texas in 1911 and grew up on the King Ranch. He holds degrees in English and Spanish from Texas A&I University in Kingsville and earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and Folklore from the University of Texas at Austin. He twice held the J. Frank Dobie Fellowship in Southwestern Literature. Goodwyn is the author of two novels, The Magic of Limping John (named Best Texas Book of the Year by the Texas Institute of Letters in 1944) and The Black Bull, as well as poems, folk tales, and articles on the craft of writing. He is a professor emeritus of the University of Maryland and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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