What I Learned on the Ranch
And Other Stories from a West Texas Childhood
Texana
5 x 7, 160 pp.
5 B&W Photographs.
Pub Date: 12/09/2003
Texas Heritage Series
  cloth
Price:        $18.00

978-1-893114-43-2

Published by State House Press

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A 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award finalist; Southwest Book of the Year, Best Reading for 2004.

What I Learned on the Ranch

And Other Stories from a West Texas Childhood

James Bruce Frazier
Foreword by Donald S. Frazier

Despite the Depression, James Bruce Frazier spent the best years of his childhood on the Cross Ell Ranch just west of Big Spring. Years later, as he reflected on those days, he began writing down the experiences he had, the people he met, and the lessons he learned.

The stories were passed along to his children and then to his grandchildren and then his great-grandchildren. Frazier died in 1989 at the age of sixty-five, but his stories are as vivid and fresh and colorful as the day he wrote them. His stories touch all the emotions, making the reader laugh out loud one moment as Frazier recalls his first haircut and fight back tears as Frazier tells about his pet riding calf.

The author proves himself to be more than just a good storyteller. He finds in the experiences important truths, morals, and meanings that are as valid today as they were then.

We asked the great Western author Elmer Kelton to look over this volume, and he was exuberant in his praise. "I thoroughly enjoyed the Frazier book," he said. "I read it all the way through yesterday afternoon and evening, something I don't always do with manuscripts people send me. I found many parallels with my own experience."

As a child, JAMES BRUCE FRAZIER lived on the Cross Ell Ranch, just west of Big Spring from 1927 until 1935, but it would hold a place in his heart for all of his sixty-five years. Frazier died in 1989.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Occasionally a book comes along that is hard to put down. . . . If you want a charming little book to enjoy over and over, get a copy. It would make a great book for a young reader or for someone who wants to read a good story." --Jerry Turner

". . . not only heartwarming, but . . . enjoyable." --Southwest BookViews

". . . a delightful collection . . . Frazier has created a compilation of narratives that are both endearing and humorous for the reader. . . . For those interested in pursuing research of children in the West, this book offers up interesting tidbits of information from the types of games they played, to their daily routines, to the roles that each child had within the family as well as within the ranching and farming community. Frazier pulls the reader in from the first mention of the Cross Ell Ranch to the final page." --West Texas Historical Association Year Book

". . . enchanting." --East Texas Historical Journal

". . . simply wonderful reading from start to finish, from first page to last." --Midwest Book Review

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