West Texas Tales

by david on March 27, 2014

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One of the first things many West Texans do when they walk into anyplace away from home is to look around and see who they might know.  I’ve observed this peculiarity from West Texans while visiting in Austin, New York City, Cozumel, and probably in your hometown.  We know each other out here in West Texas and it would not surprise me in the least to walk into someplace in Austin or anywhere around the Great State and see Mike Cox.

The West Texas newspaper man turned spokesman and author just might be researching a new book wherever he is.  He knows San Angelo as good as he does Austin and most points in between.  I don’t ever remember not knowing Mike Cox. He is the winner of the 2010 A. C. Greene Award given to a distinguished Texas author.  He has written 19 books, most of them dealing with Texas history, particularly Texas Rangers and lawmen and outlaws. He also writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column called Texas Tales, accessible online at TexasEscapes.com.

Mike Cox has been in the writing business as long as I can remember and he graduated from newspapers to state agencies having worked as the official spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Transportation and after a brief retirement, he is now spokesperson for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

However, in all those stints as an official spokesperson, he has never given up his writing and just keeps on adding to his growing list of published books.

His latest book is called West Texas Tales and you can find it in bookshops everywhere as well as on Amazon.  It is $19.95 and well worth the money if you like tales from West Texas.  You can find stories from all parts of the state and you probably know some of the principal characters involved in those stories.  You can even find my name in the book if you look hard enough.

Cox’s folks were both newspaper reporters and they started off in Sweetwater.  His first book was called Red Rooster Country and the subject was the area in and around San Angelo.  {Side note:  Rain is a big deal out here in what I call Real Texas and the San Angelo Standard-Times always prints a large Red Rooster superimposed on the front page whenever we got a good general rain in West Texas.  Although the Rooster is not printed as large on the front page the days, they do still put him there as part of the tradition.  At least I think they do.  It hasn’t rained in so long I don’t remember if they still follow that tradition.  The Rooster is aptly named “General Rainz.”}

Each of his stories are in the 800 word range and very readable.  There are 51 tales in this book and I’ll bet he has 251 more in his head.  One of the stories in the book is about an early day West Texas school marm who flew through the air on her bed during a tornado.  Another story is about old 3 toe, a wolf who tore off his toe to escape a trap and became the most hunted wolf in West Texas.

Once you read Mike Cox’ West Texas Tales, you will be interested in his Texas Ranger Tales and more.

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