The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 124
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tone of this work. Replete with adjectives, If I Can Do It Horse-
back brings to mind the sights, smells, and tastes that go with
ranching. Roundups, anecdotes, old-timers' reunions-even a rec-
ipe for barbecue sauce and instructions for cooking red beans-
flavor the narrative so that it comes out pure cow country.
John Hendrix was well-qualified to write about the closing
years of the open range, for he lived them. Born in 1887 in Gaines-
ville, Texas, Hendrix grew up working cattle in Oklahoma and
Texas, and at the age of twenty-one bought his own spread near
Quanah. Despite the fact that later in life he opened automobile
agencies and did promotional work for various organizations, he
never lost his love of the cattle industry. In the early 1930's, he
began to write about his experiences and acquaintances, and over
a period of twenty years these appeared in The Cattleman, the
publication of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Asso-
Hendrix died in 1952, but his stories have lived on and have
been pulled together in one volume. A "Publisher's Foreword"
informs the reader that the articles were edited "to form a unified
book." The editorial work, however, was poorly done. At times
the transition between topics is rough, jumping from one story
to another with unbelievable abruptness. Although the cattle in-
dustry actually invented little that was new, building instead on
ranching techniques developed in Spain, Mexico, and South
Texas over a number of centuries, Hendrix can be forgiven the
statement that the open range cattle industry "had no precedents,
had inherited no standards." Harder to forgive is the failure of
the editors to avoid such mistakes as allowing at one point in the
book a discussion of "Chisum's ranches" (p. 45), and at another
point a reference to the "land of John Chisholm and the Jingle
Bob" (p. 252) Both men are one and the same person.
Such minor flaws, however, should not deter the reader from
approaching If I Can Do It Horseback. It is an enjoyable work,
one well worth the time it takes to read-which will be about one
evening's task for most people. They will not be able to put it
down until they have finished it. ODIE B. FAULK
The University of Arizona
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/148/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.