Slow Road to Brownsville: A Journey Through the Heart of the Old West

Slow Road to Brownsville: A Journey Through the Heart of the Old West

by David Reynolds


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"Immensely illuminating and enjoyable account of a road trip along Highway 83 ... Books like [Reynold's] prove that good travel writing remains not only very much alive, but essential."—The Bookseller

In Slow Road to Brownsville, David Reynolds embarks on a road trip along Highway 83, a little-known two-lane highway built in 1926 that runs from Swan River, Manitoba, to the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico. Growing up in a small town in England, Reynolds was enthralled by both the myth of the Wild West and the myth of the open road. This road trip is his exploration of the reality behind these myths as he makes his way from small town to small town, gas station to gas station, and motel to motel, hanging out in bars, drinking with the locals, and observing their sometimes-peculiar customs. Reynolds also wanted to see the country where the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Comanches, the Apaches, and other native groups lived and died and to look at how their descendants live now. He describes the forced location of the Cheyenne people, discovers the true story of the Alamo, and finds similarities between Sitting Bull’s tours and those of the Black

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771640497
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Reynolds was one of the founders of Bloomsbury Publishing and is now a director of Old Street Publishing. Based in London, he is the author of Swan River: A Memoir of a Family Mystery, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Acklerley Prize for Autobiography and Memoir.

Table of Contents

1 "That road goes to Mexico" 1

2 Mr. Ribs 8

3 Ancestral land 12

4 Geniuses of local landscape 18

5 Elegant women 25

6 Not so elegant women 31

7 Ghosts and grain elevators 39

8 Fracking in Gatsby country 47

9 Turkey dinner in a glass 55

10 Buffalo hooves 61

11 Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea 65

12 Knife River 78

13 Cowboy Picture Library 82

14 In the land of the Sioux 92

15 Custer: The man who died laughing 100

16 The night I found Christ 107

17 Sitting Bull-and the plastic Indians 115

18 "One, one thousand, two" 123

19 Great Stories of the Wild West 134

20 Highway Patrol 138

21 Badlands 142

22 Rosebud 152

23 The source of mankind 158

24 Nebraskan pastoral 162

25 Holding hands with Vernon 169

26 In the bleachers 178

27 Buffalo Bill and a pastor 184

28 Paradise unpaved 189

29 Massacre Canyon 194

30 Night drive 198

31 Pioneer family 203

32 Cheyenne raiders 209

33 Self-obsession at Monument Rocks 219

34 Biscuit trouble 223

35 Beef and racism in Garden City 231

36 Truman Capote and the Clutters 245

37 Where the dead guys aren't 254

38 Guns and freedom 262

39 Two panhandles and the Cherokee 267

40 Cotton and slavery 277

41 Hot and wild 286

42 Fear and a handful of plums 292

43 Cow towns and cattle trails 299

44 Kind rancher 309

45 The smiling man from Pharr 328

46 189 heroes and a man who loved his children 335

47 A birthday in Carrizo Springs 345

48 The streets of Laredo 351

49 Slouching towards Brownsville 360

50 The bridges to Mexico 367

51 Tejano 372

Acknowledgments 377

Select Bibliography 379

Discography 382

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