The Ranch That Was UsFrom the land of LBJ, a brash and beautiful story of a legendary Texas Hill Country ranch and the family who cherished its rugged land and lifestyle
Braiding strands of earthen insight with uproarious storytelling, Texas Hill Country legendary author Becky Patterson recreates the history of the Steiler Hill Ranch in twenty-four anecdotal chapters interspersed with original artwork. The result is a mixture of memoir and montage, treasure chest and tableau vivant of a world that’s beautiful, ...
Foreman and general cowboy guru Raymond Kuhlmann tells stories of the Goat King and German drinking songs, the buzzard traps and Mexican corridos that filled the nighttime pastures. First-person accounts and vivid historical narratives evoke the ranch’s past, overlaid with Patterson’s breathless personal histories of afternoons spent rescuing a doe in a nightgown, or saving a porcupine from a pack of dogs.
This is a book that will connect you to whatever patch of earth you hold dear. It is poignant reminder of the landscapes we’ve forgotten to keep close, of the land that does not belong to us but simply is who we are. The Ranch That Was Us is an affectionate reminder to go outside and touch the earth that is you.
“For us non-native Texans it would be impossible to understand the Nachfolge of Hondo’s Texas without the tales of our old schoolmate from St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. In the late 50’s and early 60’s there were still miles of lonely caliche roads, cattlemen sparring with sheepherders, and endless hills of mesquite, cedar, and oak trees before the sprawling of civilization erased nature’s own. Today, thanks to Becky’s breezy charm and piercing honesty, we sit quietly and remember or imagine what once was.”— Alexandra and Terrence Malick
“Becky Crouch Patterson, daughter of Hill Country legend Hondo Crouch and the indomitable Shatzie, has beautifully recounted her life growing up on the ranch of her larger-than-life grandfather, Adolf Stieler, ‘the goat king of Texas.’ An artist by profession, the author is also gifted with words, chronicling lives of her ancestors, family members, hired hands, and farm animals that have been significant in her life. The Ranch That Was Us is a remarkable and compelling treasury of anecdotes and memories.”— Elroy Bode
“It must be a very special feeling to know that you belong to a piece of land that several generations of your forbearers have fought to keep and have cared for and improved just for you. You know for certain that that piece of land made you what you are. There is a major difference between people who own land and landed people. Becky Patterson is a landed person. She belongs to the land, and what a beautiful piece of God’s handiwork it is. Great job, Becky!”— Red Steagall
“The Ranch That Was Us is well worth the blood, sweat and tears invested in it.”— The San Antonio Express-News
“Becky Crouch Patterson’s lyrical testimony imparts a hidden epic history of the magical Texas Hill Country, a stirring matriarchal saga that I guarantee you’ve never read before in Dobie, Bedichek, or Webb. Becky’s family tale of pioneering souls taming land and livestock with rough-hewn artistry, amid scenes of boundless mirth and unendurable grief, ultimately makes this story a staggering chronicle of the power of filial love to conquer hardship. It remains with you, poignant and uplifting.”— John Phillip Santos
“Those familiar with the Texas Hill Country will be familiar with the name of Hondo Crouch, a folk hero best known as the self-proclaimed mayor of Luckenbach. So it’s not surprising that Willie Nelson, who once sang on the country music classic “Luckenbach, Texas,” wrote the foreword to this book by Crouch’s daughter, Becky Crouch Patterson.”— Cowboys and Indians