LZ Cowboy: A Cowboy's Journal 1979-1981

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Contributor: Photographs by Kris Erickson
Hardcover Price: $24.95

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Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781574410242
Hardcover ISBN-10: 1574410245
Physical Description: 6x9. 192 pp. 35 b&w photos. Index
Publication Date: April 1997
Series: Western Life Series | Volume: 3

"The journal offers stirring insights into the strength and commitment required to raise and market cattle successfully . . . This book is rich in its description of a way of work and life that few people, even Texans, are aware of."—Clay Reynold, Dallas Morning News

"In the summer of 1979 I learned that Lawrence Ellzey was looking for a ranch hand. Lawrence and his son Tom had a cow/calf and yearling operation headquartered on Wolf Creek, some twenty-five miles southeast of Perryton, Texas, and I was interested in the job . . . There were many qualities I admired in the Ellzey family, but the one which bound us most closely together was our love of ranch life, in all its forms and expressions: the beauty of a sunset on Wolf Creek; the changes in the weather; pride in horses and horsemanship; an endless curiosity about the land and the peculiar habits of animals; and most of all, work."—John Erickson, from the Foreword

This book comes from the journals Erickson kept during his two years as an LZ cowboy. He has always kept journals of his ranch work, some of the material being used for facts and details of Panhandle Cowboy, The Modern Cowboy, and Cowboy Country. A second reading of his LZ journals after a twelve-year lapse convinced Erickson that these stories did not need to be rewritten and shouldn’t be. They are presented as the "log of a cowboy," to borrow a term from Andy Adams—how it felt to be a cowboy in the Texas Panhandle in the years 1979-1981: the snow, the mud, the cattle drives, the pranks, the accidents, the equipment, the horses, the frustrations, the triumphs.

Hank the Cowdog readers will recognize names, locations and incidents from the Hank series: Tuerto, Drover, Casey the Bronc, the machine shed, the calf shed, the sick pen, and the gas tanks. High Loper, Sally May, and Slim were originally patterned after Tom Ellzey, Janet Ellzey and Erickson himself.

About Author:

JOHN ERICKSON, raised in the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton, has ranching roots back to the 1850s. He graduated from the University of Texas, studied at the Harvard Divinity School, but made his living on horseback while pursuing his writing. In addition to Hank the Cowdog, his books include Through Time and the Valley and CatchRope: The Long Arm of the Cowboy.