Monday, November 11, 2013

Texas Hill Country & Ace Reid, Cowboy Cartoonist

New CK header

Recently Hubby and I visited friends in Kerrville, in the heart of the famed Texas Hill Country, a twenty-five county area of central and south Texas.

Texas Hill Country map

Texas Hill Country; Wikipedia Commons

This is a land of rugged hills topped by mountain cedar and green valleys (when not in a drought condition.) The Hill Country includes Enchanted Rock, the second largest granite dome in the U.S., and extends into San Antonio’s northern suburbs and the west side of Austin.

Bandera County

Hill Country, Bandera County; Wikipedia Commons

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock; pink granite, 1825 ft. above sea level; Wikipedia Commons

Kerrville, a city of over 22,000, is named after Major James Kerr, a veteran of the Texas War for Independence from Mexico in 1836. Kerr was a friend of early settler Joshua Brown, who set up a shingle-making camp in the area in the 1850s. Kerr County was formed in 1856. That same year, Brown donated the town site from his extensive acreage along the Guadalupe River, which runs through Kerrville.

Kerrville around 1900

Kerrville around 1900; Wikipedia Commons

Ace Reid

Kerrville was also the longtime home of cowboy humorist Ace Reid (1925 – 1991), creator of the cartoon Cowpokes which, at one time, ran in over 400 weekly newspapers. He produced many popular cartoon books and calendars during his lifetime.

Reid was raised in Electra, Texas, near the state’s northern border, where he lived the life of a cowboy. He served in World War II as a machinist’s mate in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. During his time at sea, he drew a cartoon called "The Sorry Salt" for his ship's newspaper. After the War, "The Sorry Salt" became "Jake," his main character in Cowpokes.

On September 11, 1949, Ace married Madge Parmley, daughter of the doctor in Electra, his home town. The couple moved to Kerrville in 1952. Ace’s first cartoon appeared in West Texas Livestock Weekly that same year. Two years later, their son and only child, Stan, was born.

Ace Reid achieved fame with his earthy characters, who spoke the language of farmers and ranchers, chronicling their trials and tribulations with honesty and humor. He died on November 10, 1991. His widow, Madge, still lives in Kerrville and has kept Cowpokes going ever since Ace's death.


The Museum of Western Art

While in Kerrville, we visited the Museum of Western Art, a beautiful showplace filled with paintings, prints and sculpture produced by western artists. In October, when we were there, the museum featured a large display of Ace Reid’s work. Fantastic!

Thanks to our friends, who are closely acquainted with Madge Reid, we were honored to meet her. I purchased three of her husband’s books and, with Madge’s kind permission, I’m posting one recipe from Cowpokes Cookbook and Cartoons.

And one remedy from Cowpokes Home Remedies.

                 Cowpokes Cookbook           Cowpokes Home Remedies

From Cowpokes Cookbook and Cartoons:

“When the ‘southerners’ came West they found the Mexicans had their own version of ‘Cornbread’ and the ‘hands’ on the frontier ranches such as those around Albany, Texas liked it too.”

1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal                              1 cup chopped onion

3 tsp. baking powder                                          1 cup or 8 1/2 oz. can cream style corn

1/2 tsp. salt                                                         5 or 6 jalapenos -- cut up

(Little sugar if you are for it. I don't.)                1 package commercial sour cream

1 cup grated yellow cheese

Mix all dry ingredients; then others. Beat well. Bake well. Bake in greased pan at 400 degrees 15 to 25 minutes, or until it cracks a little on top. [Pan size not specified]

From Cowpokes Home Remedies: WARNING: I DO NOT recommend you try this!


“When me and mama moved from up on the divide to Luckenbach on Grape Creek it seemed as the kids all the time had sore throats, weakly eyes and snotty noses. And they would cry.

The local remedy for the sore throat was to collect wild chili-p-teens and grind them plum up fine with powdered prickly ash leaves. We’d stick a straw or turkey quill in that mess and blow it down their sore throats. And they would cry.

They wouldn’t have the same kind of sore throat anymore.

We only did this to the younguns because the biguns learned to fight us.

Learnin’ is growin’ up and, then, to home remedies, kids grew up mity fast in Luckenbach.”

---Hondo Crouch

Ha! I’d fight this remedy too, wouldn’t you? Now, are you in the mood for a sweet, short Christmas romance? How about a scrumptious cookie recipe? Come take a taste of:

Christmas Cookies for Tristan

Happy Turkey Day and Joyous Noel!


Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Fun post, Lyn!! I tweeted.

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

I'd fight that sore throat remedy, too! :-D

Lyn Horner said...

Thanks, Ella. You're the best!

Lyn Horner said...

Kathleen, don't you pity the poor kiddos who suffered such "remedies"? I sure do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Caroline Clemmons said...

I wonder about the throat remedy. I think I'll stick with my over-the-counter cough syrup. Great post, Lyn.

Lyn Horner said...

I agree, Caroline. I'll stick with something I know is safe.

Lana Williams said...

We still have a Cowpokes book or two! So funny! Thanks for sharing, Lyn. I tweeted as well!

Lyn Horner said...

Thanks, Lana. Tweets are great!

Carole St-Laurent said...

Great post, Lyn, very informative.

Lyn Horner said...

Thanks for popping in, carole. I'm glad you liked the post.

Ciara Gold said...

Too fun, Lyn. I have a whole stack of Ace Reid prints that were left by the previous art teacher. I drag them out on occasion and get a real chuckle.

John said...

Hi my name is john and I live in tn I came accross 2 cowpoke ink plates that Madge never seen . I sent her pic of plates and signiture . What a great find.Madge said she had all the rest but never seen the plates I have. Such a great find

John said...

Hi im glad to see you left my post from the ink plates made by ace reid. Im pretty sure these plates were made on the destroyer he was on when he was just doing art for the ship newspaper. I Know its hard to prove? Maybe some of his ship mates will read this and we can add life to his original art plates made by him as he was a machinist on ship around 4

John said...

If this site would like to see a pic of the original ace Reid cowpoke plates I have I would love to share the plates that I have of the first Jake cowpoke. This is art plate never seen because it was art done on destroyer ace was on in navy in 1944 1945 as a machinist. Not only is this history of our famous artist but also Famous artist that fought for our country. I just felt its information that everyone who loved his work should know and see. As I said I have shared pics of plates with aces wife she said this is Jake and it did look just like his signature. Long live ace Reid. Thank you for Reading post Lets keep ace Reid alive. Thanks john