We’re over here at Opa’s German store in New Braunfels, Texas ... ground zero for the Central Texas cowboys featured in our book. One of the Wurstfest Opas just purchased a copy because he found McDonald Ranch listed in the index. Here's what W.B. Foster of San Antonio writes on p. 330: “We crossed the Washita River where the McDonald Ranch is now and crossed the Canadian River at Billie Williams’ store. That night Col. Todd and I fell out and I quit. He talked a long time to me before I would agree to stay with the outfit until he got out of Indian country.”
Stunning colorized images (carefully painted to give the illusion of color) of “Indians” or Native Americans in the 19th century, from tribal chiefs to dancers and medicine men, as they would have appeared to our Gruene cowboys.
The new owners of Texas’ largest ranch, The Waggoner Ranch, will be announced shortly. A judge ordered that the family ranch, established in 1849 and valued today at $725 million, will go up for bid to settle years of family fighting. The San Antonio Express posted images titled “The Cowboys of Waggoner Ranch.” We hope you enjoy this slideshow as much as we did.
We’ll be selling The Gruene Cowboy at Opa's German Store, 651 N. Business IH 35 in New Braunfels next Monday and Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 2-3. We'll be back on Friday, Nov. 6 just in time for Wurstfest, New Braunfels’ unique annual celebration rich in German culture (sausages and beer, y'all). Opa's imports steins for the Wurstfest. Come meet Ken Armke, kin to one of our cowboys.
Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, says livestock theft has plagued Texas ranchers since 1877. Most of the Gruene cowboys observed that, at least during roundups, everyone's honesty was impeccable and beeves were always accounted for...with the exception of “drift” cattle, who strayed down south to Galveston.
The Wurstfest, New Braunfels' annual 10-day homage to sausage, kicks off next month. From Nov. 6 - 15, tourists and heavy beer drinkers will flock to the area to 'sprechen sie fun.' For the thousands who also will mosey over to Gruene for a little sprechen sie music and perhaps buy a book from us, we offer a quote from H.D. Gruene. The son of German immigrants who helped to found New Braunfels, H.D. no doubt enjoyed sausage and beer while regaling younger generations with tails of the trail:
Unlike the discoverer of what purportedly is an amazing image of Billy the Kid, we can't purport to have the “holy grail” of any new photographs. What we do have is an amazing story by a cowboy who was ambushed in the Pecos Valley after legendary lawman Pat Garrett asked for assistance. In The Gruene Cowboy, Fred E. Sutton writes about how he, another cowboy, and Garrett approached a house where Billy and his gang were holed up. There, “we found as tough a bunch of outlaws, gunfighters, and cattle thieves as ever infested a country, or were ever congregated in a space of that size.”
See p. 34 of The Gruene Cowboy to find out how Sutton lived to reminisce about this incredible experience of historic significance.