Mavericks

Overview

Texas has been home to so many colorful characters, out-of-staters might wonder if any normal people live here. And it's true that the "Texian" desire to act out sometimes overcomes even the most sober citizens—which makes it a real challenge for the genuine eccentrics to distinguish themselves from the rest of us. Fortunately, though, many maverick Texans have risen to the test, and in this book, Gene Fowler introduces us to a gallery of Texas eccentrics from the worlds of oil, ranching, real estate, politics, ...

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Overview

Texas has been home to so many colorful characters, out-of-staters might wonder if any normal people live here. And it's true that the "Texian" desire to act out sometimes overcomes even the most sober citizens—which makes it a real challenge for the genuine eccentrics to distinguish themselves from the rest of us. Fortunately, though, many maverick Texans have risen to the test, and in this book, Gene Fowler introduces us to a gallery of Texas eccentrics from the worlds of oil, ranching, real estate, politics, rodeo, metaphysics, showbiz, art, and folklore.

Mavericks rounds up dozens of Fowler's favorite Texas characters, folks like the Trinity River prophet Commodore Basil Muse Hatfield; the colorful poet-politician Cyclone Davis Jr.; Big Bend tourist attraction Bobcat Carter; and the dynamic chief executive of the East Texas Oil Field Governor Willie. Fowler persuasively argues that many of these characters should be viewed as folk performance artists who created "happenings" long before the modern art world took up that practice in the 1960s. Other featured mavericks run the demographic gamut from inspirational connoisseurs of the region's native quirkiness to creative con artists and carnival oddities. But, artist or poser, all of the eccentrics in Mavericks completely embody the style and spirit that makes Texas so interesting, entertaining, and culturally unique.

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What People Are Saying

Anne Dingus
Although other books exist on Texas characters, they are fluff. Fowler's book is much more solid and extremely well researched. I like his take—it's serious as well as refreshing. . . . There's a fair amount of appeal here to a general readership, especially given that cool photographs back up the fun stories. The pictures are a major plus.
Anne Dingus
Although other books exist on Texas characters, they are fluff. Fowler's book is much more solid and extremely well researched. I like his take--it's serious as well as refreshing. . . . There's a fair amount of appeal here to a general readership, especially given that cool photographs back up the fun stories. The pictures are a major plus.
Anne Dingus, writer-at-large, Texas Monthly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292718197
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene Fowler grew up in a Dallas showbiz family and has been writing and performing for theater since the 1960s. His previous books include Border Radio, Mystic Healers and Medicine Shows, and Crazy Water.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sintesi Texana

Part One: A Gallery of Performance Folk-Artists

1. Commodore Hatfield: Prophet of the Trinity
2. Cyclone Davis Jr.: "Bewhiskered Dervish"
3. Port Arthur's Popeye, Bet-a-Million, and the Brownie Man
4. Governor Willie
5. Bobcat Carter
6. William F. Drannan: A Hero, or "Nothing but a Damn Liar"?
7. Madam Candelaria: "Most Outstanding Female Character of San Antonio History"
8. Three Rode for Texas
9. Wild Bill's Final Performance
10. Sain-toh-oodie Goombi and Two Braids Tommy
11. Hondo Crouch: "Imagineer"
12. Trek Stars: Hickey, Hoopie, Plennie L. Wingo, and Others
13. Arizona Bill
14. Bicycle Annie
15. Moses Evans: "Wild Man of the Woods"
16. Robert Hall: Sharp-dressed Frontiersman
17. Anthony Banning Norton: "Full-blown Eccentric"
18. O.L. Nelms: The Most Thankful Millionaire
19. Jim "Silver Dollar" West
20. Bozo Texino
21. Ray's Ornamental Gardens
22. O.T. Nodrog, the Outer Dimensional Forces, and the Time Ark Service Modules

Part Two: Other Texas Characters

23. A Pair of Snake Kings and One Snake Queen
24. Giants
25. Big Sam
26. Stout Jackson
27. Milt Hinkle: Aerial Bulldogger
28. Booger Red: "Ugliest Man Dead or Alive"
29. Buck Gunter: Raisin' Hair and Ridin' Broncs
30. Samuel E. "Doc" Asbury: Texas Nativist
31. Quinta Mazatlan: Adobe Outpost in the Rio Grande Valley
32. Four Great Ladies
33. Five Aces of Magic
34. Mystics

Appendixes

Appendix A: The Zeb Crawburg Memorial
Appendix B: Astro Turf Ranchette
Appendix C: Western Art
Appendix D: Break on Through
Appendix E: Zaney Blaney and the Beat

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