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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Book Reviews

looking the First Battle of Adobe Walls, for lack of ample details on the
buffalo slaughter, the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, and the Battle of Palo
Duro Canyon, for the tagging of Jesse Chishblm as a cowman rather than
as a trader, and for such slips as misspelling the last name of those emin-
ent cowmen, Dudley and John Snyder.
This is grassroots history that catches the spirit of the frontier and sets
down many colorful details that stodgy writers might have missed. Of
early towns in the area, Mrs. Lewis notes that Tascosa was the capital of
the free-grass country, Mobeetie was the home of frontier law, and Claren-
don reflected a religious motivation. The book chronicles well the advance
of civilization into the Panhandle plains.
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
Crazy Women in the Rafters: Memories of a Texas Boyhood. By Paul Pat-
terson. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976. Pp. vii+ 242.
Preface, epilogue. $8.95.)
Now in his late sixties, Paul Patterson, a frustrated cowboy turned farm-
er turned school teacher, has already penned several works on Texas, in-
cluding Pecos Tales. In Crazy Women in the Rafters (the origin of the
title is explained in lengthy detail on page 9), he has found time to write
of his early experiences growing up in West Texas. The work is a family
biography which includes a detailed account of the author's father, J. D.
Patterson, and his brood-a hard-working wife and seven children. The
book focuses on the family's hard years which began in I913 when father
Patterson lost his job as a state cattle inspector. After losing his position, he
began a twenty-year odyssey during which he worked as an itinerant cow-
hand, carpenter, fence-builder, freighter, and odd-job man and which
forced his family to endure a series of thirty-six moves by wagon and to
suffer much deprivation while searching for better times.
A master story-teller, Patterson presents a narrative humorous yet di-
vulging much about life in West Texas in the first quarter of the twentieth
century. He tells of Pedro Martinez, a cowboy who once predicted the
end of the world. In the course of a few days, Martinez gave away all his
personal possessions (including his burro), ate all his food (including his
chickens), and confessed all his sins (including the most heinous). Then he
put on a long nightshirt and went to the top of the biggest hill on the out-
skirts of Rankin, Texas, to await the Lord. When nothing happened, J. D.
Patterson, then a deputy sheriff, arrested Martinez for "false predicting."
After spending three days with the Patterson family, who roomed above


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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