The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Book Reviews

afternoon bullfights in the countries to the south. Now we have be-
come just as violent and just as sanguine, and just as commercial.
It all reminds me of Shirley Jackson's story The Lottery, in which
the peaceful villagers hold a lottery once a year in which the winner
is put to death. This satisfies their blood lust for the nonce, and back
they go to being peaceful villagers and farmers for another year. Pro-
fessional football is the closest means we have, legally, to joining the
lynch mob, and I am afraid that I am irrevocably a part of that mob.
All that aside, we have in this book is a solid, fascinating, and even
profound analysis of a Texas success story of the 196o's. Like good
coaches the authors have concentrated on the fundamentals and as a
result have produced a winner.
University of Texas, Austin JOE B. FRANTZ
Gowpokes, Nesters, & So Forth. By Judge Orland L. Sims. (Austin:
The Encino Press, 1970. Pp. xii + 297. $8.50.)
In his preface, Judge Sims quotes J. Frank Dobie who, confronted
by a new book on cowboys, exclaimed, "My Gawd, not another one."
Unfortunately, Dobie's outrage has been no deterrent to continued
publication of equine debris. The judge's acknowledgment of Dobie's
implied injunction does not acquit him of guilt. In the section -de-
voted to "Cowpokes" he has contributed nothing new and has monot-
onously rehashed every saddle-worn bit of lore. My Calvinistic ethic
does not construe admitted awareness of sin as a license to commit it.
If anything can exonerate Judge Sims, it is the fact that the title of
his book is misleading. He includes very little about "cowpokes" and
even less about "nesters." The book should have been called r So
Forth. It is almost entirely composed of rambling, anecdotal trivia
about sheep-shearers, truckers, railroaders, oil men, bankers, politi-
cians, sawbones, and parsons, narrated, according to Barry Scobee's
foreword, "in Orland Sims' very own, individualistic, purely 'Orland-
ish' lively and picturesque style." On this level, the book is also
disappointing.
Sims is a university graduate simulating the style of a yokel. The
salty phrases and bucolic bigotries intruded as folkish "asides" do not
come through. Not only do they ring false, but they are irritatingly
hackneyed and one-dimensional. Trite expressions, repeated over and
over, make a sensitive reader wince. The ghastly "westernisms" are

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed August 23, 2014.