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Short Call: Snippets from the Smallest Places in Texas, 1935-2000

Description: The Texas Folklore Society has been publishing a regular volume of folklore research (our PTFS series) for the past several decades. Most of these books are what we call miscellanies, compilations of the works of multiple folklorists, and they feature articles on many types of lore. We've also published over twenty "Extra Books," which are single-author manuscripts that examine a more focused topic. Short Call: Snippets from the Smallest Places in Texas, 1935-2000 by Joyce Gibson Roach, is TFS Extra Book #24. Joyce Gibson Roach has collected “snippets” of stories, recipes, and traditions of life in Turtle, Texas, which represents many small towns—and the people who inhabit them. Many of the younger generations leave such towns, finding both place and society crumbling. Those who've stayed are finding new and interesting ways to put themselves and their places back together. Both the short and long pieces herein are about the folks who've elected to stay generation after generation, knowing that for them wherever they’ve stayed is still the Home Place. The characters' viewpoints are personal, sometimes agreeing with facts found in history books and sometimes not.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Roach, Joyce Gibson

The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke: Volume 4, July 3, 1880-May 22, 1881

Description: John Gregory Bourke kept a monumental set of diaries beginning as a young cavalry lieutenant in Arizona in 1872, and ending the evening before his death in 1896. As aide-de-camp to Brigadier General George Crook, he had an insider's view of the early Apache campaigns, the Great Sioux War, the Cheyenne Outbreak, and the Geronimo War. Bourke's writings reveal much about military life on the western frontier, but he also was a noted ethnologist, writing extensive descriptions of American Indian civilization and illustrating his diaries with sketches and photographs. Previously, researchers could consult only a small part of Bourke’s diary material in various publications, or else take a research trip to the archive and microfilm housed at West Point. Now, for the first time, the 124 manuscript volumes of the Bourke diaries are being compiled, edited, and annotated by Charles M. Robinson III, in a planned set of eight books easily accessible to the modern researcher. Volume 4 chronicles the political and managerial affairs in Crook’s Department of the Platte. A large portion centers on the continuing controversy concerning the forced relocation of the Ponca Indians from their ancient homeland along the Dakota-Nebraska line to a new reservation in the Indian Territory. An equally large portion concerns Bourke’s ethnological work under official sanction from the army and the Bureau of Ethnology, work which would make a profound change in his life and his place in history. Aside from a summary of the entire Ponca affair in approximately two pages, virtually none of this material appears in Bourke’s classic On the Border with Crook. Bourke’s staff duties bring him into contact with many prominent individuals. He is particularly unimpressed with the commander of the army, General W.T. Sherman, who, he wrote, “is largely made up of the demagogue and will not ...
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Date: May 15, 2009
Creator: Bourke, John Gregory

Californio Voices: The Oral Memoirs of José María Amador and Lorenzo Asisara

Description: In the early 1870s, Hubert H. Bancroft and his assistants set out to record the memoirs of early Californios, one of them being eighty-three-year-old Don José María Amador, a former “Forty-Niner” during the California Gold Rush and soldado de cuera at the Presidio of San Francisco. Amador tells of reconnoitering expeditions into the interior of California, where he encountered local indigenous populations. He speaks of political events of Mexican California and the widespread confiscation of the Californios’ goods, livestock, and properties when the United States took control. A friend from Mission Santa Cruz, Lorenzo Asisara, also describes the harsh life and mistreatment the Indians faced from the priests. Both the Amador and Asisara narratives were used as sources in Bancroft’s writing but never published themselves. Gregorio Mora-Torres has now rescued them from obscurity and presents their voices in English translation (with annotations) and in the original Spanish on facing pages. This bilingual edition will be of great interest to historians of the West, California, and Mexican American studies. “This book presents a very convincing and interesting narrative about Mexican California. Its frankness and honesty are refreshing.”–Richard Griswold del Castillo, San Diego State University
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Date: April 15, 2005
Creator: Gregorio Mora-Torres

Contested Policy: The Rise and Fall of Federal Bilingual Education in the United States, 1960-2001

Description: Bilingual education is one of the most contentious and misunderstood educational programs in the country. It raises significant questions about this country’s national identity, the nature of federalism, power, ethnicity, and pedagogy. In Contested Policy , Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., studies the origins, evolution, and consequences of federal bilingual education policy from 1960 to 2001, with particular attention to the activist years after 1978, when bilingual policy was heatedly contested. Traditionally, those in favor of bilingual education are language specialists, Mexican American activists, newly enfranchised civil rights advocates, language minorities, intellectuals, teachers, and students. They are ideologically opposed to the assimilationist philosophy in the schools, to the structural exclusion and institutional discrimination of minority groups, and to limited school reform. On the other hand, the opponents of bilingual education, comprised at different points in time of conservative journalists, politicians, federal bureaucrats, Anglo parent groups, school officials, administrators, and special-interest groups (such as U.S. English), favor assimilationism, the structural exclusion and discrimination of ethnic minorities, and limited school reform. In the 1990s a resurgence of opposition to bilingual education succeeded in repealing bilingual legislation with an English-only piece of legislation. San Miguel deftly provides a history of these clashing groups and how they impacted bilingual educational policy over the years. Rounding out this history is an extensive, annotated bibliography on federal bilingual policy that can be used to enhance further study.
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Date: March 15, 2004
Creator: San Miguel, Guadalupe, Jr.

Three Decades of Engendering History: Selected Works of Antonia I. Castañeda

Description: Three Decades of Engendering History collects ten of Antonia I. Castañeda's best articles, including the widely circulated article "Engendering the History of Alta California, 1769-1848," in which Castañeda took a direct and honest look at sex and gender relations in colonial California, exposing stories of violence against women as well as stories of survival and resistance. Other articles included are the prize-winning "Women of Color and the Rewriting of Western History," and two recent articles, "Lullabies y Canciones de Cuna" and "La Despedida." The latter two represent Castañeda’s most recent work excavating, mapping, and bringing forth the long and strong post-WWII history of Tejanas. Finally, the volume includes three interviews with Antonia Castañeda that contribute the important narrative of her lived experience—the "theory in the flesh" and politics of necessity that fueled her commitment to transformative scholarship that highlights gender and Chicanas as a legitimate line of inquiry.
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Date: 2014
Creator: Heidenreich, Linda; Castañeda, Antonia I.; Gordillo, Luz María & González, Deena J.

Through Time and the Valley

Description: The isolated Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle stretched before John Erickson and Bill Ellzey as they began a journey through time and what the locals call “the valley.” They went on horseback, as they might have traveled it a century before. Everywhere they went they talked, worked, and swapped stories with the people of the valley, piecing together a picture of what life has been like there for a hundred years. Through Time and the Valley is their story of the river—its history, its lore, its colorful characters, the comedies and tragedies that valley people have spun yarns about for generations. Outlaws, frontier wives, Indian warriors, cowboys, craftsmen, dance-hall girls, moonshiners, inventors, ranchers—all are part of the Canadian River country heritage that gives this book its vitality. “Through Time and the Valley is the finest non-scholarly account of the history, culture, and people of this region. . . . What I did notice was humor, pathos, strong characterization, crisp dialogue, and such a sense of place as to bring a lump to my throat.” — Roundup Magazine
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Date: February 15, 2013
Creator: Erickson, John R.

The Modern Cowboy

Description: “The American cowboy is a mythical character who refuses to die,” says author John R. Erickson. On the one hand he is a common man: a laborer, a hired hand who works for wages. Yet in his lonely struggle against nature and animal cunning, he becomes larger than life. Who is this cowboy? Where did he come from and where is he today? Erickson addresses these questions based on firsthand observation and experience in Texas and Oklahoma. And in the process of describing and defining the modern working cowboy—his work, his tools and equipment, his horse, his roping technique, his style of dress, his relationships with his wife and his employer—Erickson gives a thorough description of modern ranching, the economic milieu in which the cowboy operates. The first edition of this book was published in 1981. For this second edition Erickson has thoroughly revised and expanded the book to discuss recent developments in cowboy culture, making The Modern Cowboy the most up-to-date source on cowboy and ranch life today. “We meet the modern cowboy (his dress depends on weather, chores, and vanity) and follow him through the year: spring roundup, branding and ‘working’ the calves; spotting problem animals and cutting them from the herd; repairing windmills and mending fences; fall roundup, and feeding animals in winter. . . . This is a lively portrait, sure to appeal to all Western buffs.”— Publishers Weekly
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Date: June 15, 2004
Creator: Erickson, John R.

Life in Laredo: a Documentary History From the Laredo Archives

Description: Based on documents from the Laredo Archives, Life in Laredo shows the evolution and development of daily life in a town under the flags of Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Isolated on the northern frontier of New Spain and often forgotten by authorities far away, the people of Laredo became as grand as the river that flowed by their town and left an enduring legacy in a world of challenges and changes. Because of its documentary nature, Life in Laredo offers in sights into the nitty-gritty of the comings and goings of its early citizens not to be found elsewhere. Robert D. Wood, S.M., presents the first one hundred years of history and culture in Laredo up to the mid-nineteenth century, illuminating--with primary source evidence--the citizens' beliefs, cultural values, efforts to make a living, political seesawing, petty quarreling, and constant struggles against local Indians. He also details rebellious military and invading foreigners among the early settlers and later townspeople. Scholars and students of Texas and Mexican American history, as well as the Laredoans celebrating the 250th anniversary (in 2005) of Laredo's founding, will welcome this volume. "Although there have been a number of books on the history of Laredo, this particular study is far more thorough than any previous work. Life in Laredo is imaginatively organized, exceptionally well researched, and well written. No individual knows the Laredo Archives as well as Robert Wood, and his knowledge and understanding are readily evident. This book will be of interest to anyone studying the history of the Texas-Mexico border, Texas colonial history, or just Texas history in general."--Jerry D. Thompson, author of A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border and Laredo: A Pictorial History
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Date: March 15, 2004
Creator: Wood, Robert D.

The Roots of Latino Urban Agency

Description: The 2010 U.S. Census data showed that over the last decade the Latino population grew from 35.3 million to 50.5 million, accounting for more than half of the nation’s population growth. The editors of The Roots of Latino Urban Agency, Sharon Navarro and Rodolfo Rosales, have collected essays that examine this phenomenal growth. The greatest demographic expansion of communities of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans seeking political inclusion and access has been observed in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and San Antonio. Three premises guide this study. The first premise holds that in order to understand the Latino community in all its diversity, the analysis has to begin at the grassroots level. The second premise maintains that the political future of the Latino community in the United States in the twenty-first century will be largely determined by the various roles they have played in the major urban centers across the nation. The third premise argues that across the urban political landscape the Latino community has experienced different political formations, strategies and ultimately political outcomes in their various urban settings. These essays collectively suggest that political agency can encompass everything from voting, lobbying, networking, grassroots organizing, and mobilization, to dramatic protest. Latinos are in fact gaining access to the same political institutions that worked so hard to marginalize them.
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Date: November 15, 2013
Creator: Navarro, Sharon A. & Rosales, Rodolfo

Stray Home: Poems

Description: With poems that combine the self-scrutiny of Philip Larkin with the measure of Elizabeth Bishop, Amy M. Clark burnishes her first collection, Stray Home, with exquisite understatement and formal control. Sweeter than Larkin and more intimate than Bishop, these poems address the suppressed pain and shame of living as a childless woman in a world of mothers, the dissociation attendant on depression and fraught family relationships, and the search for a sense of belonging in the face of dislocation. Stray Home cuts deeply to discover the buried emotions and insights universal to all suffering and compassionate human beings. “Clark is able to imbue our small, usually overlooked moments with unexpected grandeur. A quiet humor is employed in service of her twin gifts, imagination and metaphor. This is an accomplished, deft, and important debut.”—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Tender Hooks and judge
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Date: April 15, 2010
Creator: Clark, Amy M.

Mister Martini: Poems

Description: Spare yet evocative, the poems in Mister Martini pair explorations of a father-son relationship with haiku-like martini recipes. The martini becomes a daring metaphor for this relationship as it moves from the son’s childhood to the father’s death. Each poem is a strong drink in its own right, and together they form a potent narrative of alienation and love between a father and son struggling to communicate. “This is a truly original book. There’s nothing extra: sharp and clear and astonishing. Viva!” —Naomi Shihab Nye, judge and author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle
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Date: April 15, 2008
Creator: Carr, Richard

The Big Thicket Guidebook: Exploring the Backroads and History of Southeast Texas

Description: Start your engines and follow the backroads, the historical paths, and the scenic landscape that were fashioned by geologic Ice Ages and traveled by Big Thicket explorers as well as contemporary park advocates—all as diverse as the Big Thicket itself. From Spanish missionaries to Jayhawkers, and from timber barons to public officials, you will meet some unusual characters who inhabited an exceptional region. The Big Thicket and its National Preserve contain plants and animals from deserts and swamps and ecosystems in between, all together in one amazing Biological Crossroad. The fifteen tours included with maps will take you through them all. Visitors curious about a legendary area will find this book an essential companion in their cars. Libraries will use the book as a reference to locate information on ghost towns, historic events, and National Preserve features. “A result of a prodigious amount of local research as well as a great deal of driving and tramping around, this book might end up as a classic.”—Thad Sitton, author of Backwoodsmen: Stockmen and Hunters along a Big Thicket River Valley
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Date: October 15, 2011
Creator: Bonney, Lorraine G.

Reflections on the Neches: a Naturalist's Odyssey Along the Big Thicket's Snow River

Description: When Geraldine Watson’s father was a teenager around the turn of the last century, he spent a summer floating down the Neches River, called Snow River by the Indians. Watson grew up hearing his tales of the steamboats, log rafts, and the flora and fauna of East Texas. So when she was sixty-three years old, she decided to repeat his odyssey in her own backwater boat. Reflections on the Neches is both the story of her journey retracing her father’s steps and a natural and social history of the Neches region of the Big Thicket. The Neches, one of the last “wild” rivers in Texas, is now being subjected to dams. Watson’s story captures the wildness of the river and imparts a detailed history of its people and wildlife. Profusely illustrated with drawings by the author and including maps of her journey, Reflections on the Neches will appeal to all those interested in the Big Thicket region and those indulging a feeling of wanderlust–and float trips–down the river.
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Date: May 15, 2003
Creator: Watson, Geraldine Ellis

Big Thicket Legacy

Description: In Big Thicket Legacy, Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller present the stories of people living in the Big Thicket of southeast Texas. Many of the storytellers were close to one hundred years old when interviewed, with some being the great-grandchildren of the first settlers. Here are tales about robbing a bee tree, hunting wild boar, plowing all day and dancing all night, wading five miles to church through a cypress brake, and making soap using hickory ashes. "The book is a storehouse of history, down-to-earth information, good humor, leg-pulling spoofs, tall tales and all kinds of serendipitous gems . . . Readers inclined to fantasy might like to think of two giant Texas folklorists of the past, J. Frank Dobie and Mody Boatright, nodding and winking their approval of Big Thicket Legacy."—Smithsonian
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Date: January 15, 2002
Creator: Loughmiller, Campbell & Loughmiller, Lynn

Big Thicket Plant Ecology: an Introduction

Description: Originally published in 1979, Geraldine Ellis Watson’s Big Thicket Plant Ecology is now back in print. This updated edition explores the plant biology, ecology, geology, and environmental regions of the Big Thicket National Preserve. After decades of research on the Big Thicket, Watson concluded that the Big Thicket was unique for its biological diversity, due mainly to interactions of geology and climate. A visitor in the Big Thicket could look in four different directions from one spot and view scenes typical of the Appalachians, the Florida Everglades, a southwestern desert, or the pine barrens of the Carolinas. Watson covers the ecological and geological history of the Big Thicket and introduces its plant life, from longleaf pines and tupelo swamps to savannah wetlands and hardwood flats. “This is the work on the plant biology of the Big Thicket.”—Pete A.Y. Gunter, author of The Big Thicket
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Date: October 15, 2006
Creator: Watson, Geraldine Ellis

Traqueros: Mexican Railroad Workers in the United States, 1870 to 1930

Description: Perhaps no other industrial technology changed the course of Mexican history in the United States—and Mexico—than did the coming of the railroads. Tens of thousands of Mexicans worked for the railroads in the United States, especially in the Southwest and Midwest. Extensive Mexican American settlements appeared throughout the lower and upper Midwest as the result of the railroad. Only agricultural work surpassed railroad work in terms of employment of Mexicans. In Traqueros, Jeffrey Marcos Garcílazo mined numerous archives and other sources to provide the first and only comprehensive history of Mexican railroad workers across the United States, with particular attention to the Midwest. He first explores the origins and process of Mexican labor recruitment and immigration and then describes the areas of work performed. He reconstructs the workers’ daily lives and explores not only what the workers did on the job but also what they did at home and how they accommodated and/or resisted Americanization. Boxcar communities, strike organizations, and “traquero culture” finally receive historical acknowledgment. Integral to his study is the importance of family settlement in shaping working class communities and consciousness throughout the Midwest.
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Date: December 15, 2012
Creator: Garcilazo, Jeffrey Marcos

Morning Comes To Elk Mountain Dispatches From The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Description: Organized as a series of monthly journal entries, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is Lantz’s response to ten years of exploring the rough and unexpected beauty of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. A combination of memoir, natural history, Native American history, and geology, this book is enriched by 20 color photos and a map to appeal to the seasoned visitor as well as the newcomer to the refuge. The national wildlife refuge that’s the focus of the book was among the first established by President Theodore Roosevelt. He helped save the Wichitas from miners and land speculators, and instead the harsh yet scenic area became the nation’s first bison refuge, established to keep this American icon from slipping into extinction. Today the refuge hosts more than a million visitors a year, most of them coming to hike the trails, climb the rocks, photograph bison and prairie dogs, or simply commune with a beautiful, wild area that remains a spiritual landscape for the Kiowa and Comanche Indians who call it home.
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Date: October 15, 2013
Creator: Lantz, Gary

A Day for Dancing: The Life and Music of Lloyd Pfautsch

Description: After earning his theology degree from Union Seminary in New York, Lloyd Pfautsch (1921–2003) found his true calling in church music. He was invited to Southern Methodist University in 1958 to start their graduate program in sacred music and remained there for 34 years. Outside the university, he formed the Dallas Civic Chorus and led it for 25 years. He was nationally known for his conducting and the quality of the musicians he produced as well as for his compositions, many of which are illustrated here with his handwritten notations. This is the first biography of this important figure, and it is told from the viewpoint of a longtime colleague and friend. Aligned with the biography, Hart analyzes some of Pfautsch's hundreds of compositions. This is the definitive work on one of the most influential American choral musicians of the twentieth century.
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Date: 2014
Creator: Hart, Kenneth W.

Confessions of a Horseshoer

Description: Confessions of a Horseshoer offers a close and personal look at the mind-set of a professional horseshoer (farrier) who also happens to be a college professor. The book, an ironic and playful view of the many unusual animals (and people) Ron Tatum has encountered over thirty-seven years, is nicely balanced between straightforward presentation, self-effacing humor, and lightly seasoned wisdom. It captures the day-to-day life of a somewhat cantankerous old guy, who has attitude and strong opinions. Throughout the book, Tatum ponders the causes that led him into the apparently opposing worlds of horseshoeing, with its mud, pain, and danger, and the bookish life of a college professor. He tells the reader that it is his hope that writing the book will help him understand this apparent paradox between the physical and the mental. Tatum provides a detailed description of the horseshoeing process, its history, and why horses need shoes in the first place. The reader will learn about the dangers of shoeing horses in “Injuries I Have Known,” in which Tatum describes one particular self-inflicted injury that he claims no other horseshoer has ever, or will ever, experience. “Eight Week Syndrome” demonstrates the close, often therapeutic, relationship between the horseshoer and his or her customers. Tatum relates the story of an old Wyoming cowboy who could talk with horses, and consistently cure their injuries, lameness, and other physical problems after the veterinarians had given up. The humor in the chapters on chickens and rabbits will entertain any reader, as well as the sections on various dogs, ducks, llamas, goats, flies, and a sexually disoriented pig. Readers of western life and lovers of horses will find Confessions of a Horseshoer an informative, quirky, and delightful work full of humor, attitude, and off-beat insight.
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Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Tatum, Ron

Sea La Luz: The Making of Mexican Protestantism in the American Southwest, 1829-1900

Description: Mexican Protestantism was born in the encounter between Mexican Catholics and Anglo American Protestants, after the United States ventured into the Southwest and wrested territory from Mexico in the early nineteenth century. Sea la Luz tells the story of Mexican converts and the churches they developed through the records of Protestant missionaries. Juan Francisco Martinez traces Protestant mission work among the Spanish speaking of the Southwest throughout the nineteenth century. By 1900, about 150 Spanish-speaking Protestant churches with more than five thousand adult members existed in the region. They were rejected by their own people because they were Protestants, but Anglo American Protestants did not readily accept them either because they were Mexican. In spite of the pressures from both their own community and the larger society, they forged a new religious identity in the midst of conquest.
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Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Martinez, Juan Francisco

Club Icarus: Poems

Description: With muscular language and visceral imagery, Club Icarus bears witness to the pain, the fear, and the flimsy mortality that births our humanity as well as the hope, humor, love, and joy that completes it. This book will appeal to sons and fathers, to parents and children, to those tired of poetry that makes no sense, to those who think lyric poetry is dead, to those who think the narrative poem is stale, to those who think that poetry has sealed itself off from the living world, and to those who appreciate the vernacular as the language of living and the act of living as something worth putting into language.
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Date: April 15, 2013
Creator: Miller, Matt W.

Death of a Ventriloquist: Poems

Description: This debut collection includes love songs and prayers, palinodes and pleas, short histories and tragic tales as well as a series of ventriloquist poems that track the epiphanies and consequences of speaking in a voice other than one’s own. Other poems speak to a Beloved and the highs and lows of parenthood and personhood—all with music and verve, with formal dexterity, with sadness and humor, with an intimate voice that can both whisper in our ears and grab us by the collar and implore us to listen. “What drives the poems in this wonderfully animated debut volume and prompts the reader’s pleasure in them is the patent honesty of the poet’s voice. In the ‘ventriloquist’ series itself, Fay-LeBlanc creates a remarkable refracted self-portrait, bristling with moments of unabashed illumination.”—Eamon Grennan, author of Out of Sight
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Date: April 15, 2012
Creator: Fay-LeBlanc, Gibson