The Ranch That Barbed Wire Built

Neighbor, it's been a long time. The longest time, really, between issues to have intruded into the slightly-more-than-a-year that I've been e-publishing Something Solid. Thanks for being patient. I've been busy! You may have noticed already that two new endeavors now occupy my time: the editor's role at...

VIDEO: Steve White, Renderbrook Manager

This video is the first part of a two-parter interview with Steve White, manager of the Renderbrook Spade Ranch, Colorado City, Texas. For more on the ranch, see the "Under the Spades Brand" article on this site, or view other videos under the VIDEOS tab,...

VIDEO: John Welch / The Ranch That Barbed Wire Built

The accompanying video is a chat with John Welch of Spade Ranches, at the historic Renderbrook Spade Ranch south of Colorado City, Texas. Filmed near the springhouse at ranch headquarters. Renderbrook is known as "the Ranch That Barbed Wire Built," so called because its founder in 1889 was I.L. Ellwood, one...

Souvenirs of a Cowboy Journalist

  Just Sayin's... ~ What I'm calling "souvenirs" are just some original sayings I concocted over the years. This is what you get when you spend that much time around cowboys and country people. ~ Does the Lord love a cowboy? Well, we know this much: when His Son was born, herdsmen were the first folks...

Under the Spade Brand

By Jesse Mullins, editor and publisher, Something Solid [Editor’s Note: As my May cover story on the Spade Ranch for Texas Co-op Power Magazine hits their readers (1.2 million strong), I am posting some Spade Ranch coverage of my own. Further below I will share a link to take you to the TCP article. What...

John R. Erickson: Story Crafter

“What we choose to see, hear, and read matters greatly. People need good stories just as they need home-cooked meals, clean water, spiritual peace, and love. A good story is part of that process. It affirms divine order in the universe and justice in human affairs—and it makes people better than they...

John R. Erickson, in the words of those who know him

This discussion is a sidebar to an in-depth personality profile of author John R. Erickson, creator of the "Hank the Cowdog" series of books and audios. Click here to be taken to the profile. If you have arrived here from the profile, or are following up on a search query, please read on: George Clay: On the...

Real Ranch, Real Rancher: John R. Erickson

To most who are familiar with the tabletop flatness of much of the Texas panhandle, the ruggedness of the Canadian River Valley would seem a departure. This decidedly un-panhandle-like terrain is home to John and Kris Erickson and their M-Cross Ranch, aka the “Ranch that Hank Built.” Situated some 30...

Inside Hank the Cowdog

John R. Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog series, includes among his many talents the ability to take you inside the mind of a dog—which, oddly, is a kinda-bizarre-kinda-sane place to be. And he is a master of the running gag. In each of the stories, there is always some doggy quirkishness going...

John R. Erickson on Popular Culture

This discussion is a sidebar to an in-depth personality profile of author John R. Erickson, creator of the “Hank the Cowdog” series of books and audios. Click here to be taken to the profile. If you have arrived here from the profile, or are following up on a search query, please read on: John R....

Nature’s Amazing Ways: Toad vs. Tarantula

Not many people know this about me, but I am such a nature lover - and always have been - that I pursued and obtained a degree in Wildlife Ecology for my Bachelor's. I was blessed to be raised on a country place (60 acres) that had about every ecosystem one could expect to encounter in southern Oklahoma...

Wonders Never Cease: The Great Daylight Fireball and Other Sights I’ve Seen

Time and Chance Probably the most amazing physical phenomenon I have ever witnessed—and ever will—occurred on Aug. 10, 1972, when I was yet a teenager and was working as a horse wrangler on the Heart Six Guest Ranch in northwestern Wyoming, a few miles from the settlement of Moran. I witnessed what has...