We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Tío Cowboy

Juan Salinas, Rodeo Roper and Horseman

By Ricardo D. Palacios

Publication Year: 2008

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Fronteras Series, sponsored by Texas A&M International University


pdf iconDownload PDF (59.3 KB)
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF (55.7 KB)
pp. ix-x

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (102.1 KB)
pp. xi-xx

This is the story of Juan Light Salinas, a South Texas cowboy born and raised in the Brush Country who became a superb calf roper, joined the ranks of the best rodeo performers in the United States, and thus the world, and went where no Mexican had ever been before—and few have gone since. ...

read more

1 Webb County, Texas

pdf iconDownload PDF (116.6 KB)
pp. 1-6

Webb County, Texas, lies on the north bank of the Rio Grande, the boundary between the United States and Mexico. Th e county is in deep southwest Texas, 150 miles south of San Antonio on Interstate Highway 35, and 150 miles due west from Corpus Christi. Laredo is the county seat of Webb County, which is the sixth largest county in the state of Texas and part of what many call the South Texas Brush Country. ...

read more

2 The Antonio Salinas Family of Webb County, Texas

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 7-26

One of the descendants of Spaniards who became a prominent citizen of Laredo was Bartolome Garcia, the great-great-grandchild of Don Tomas Sanchez, the city’s founder. Bartolome, sometimes also referred to as Bartolo, married Maria del Carmen Benavides in 1833. One of Bartolome’s largest contributions—literally—to the growth of Laredo was the fact that he had twelve children. ...

read more

3 Life on the Rancho Las Blancas

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.7 KB)
pp. 27-39

Being Antonio Salinas’s son, and living on his ranch, Juan always had the best of horses, equipment, and help. Juan rode as soon as he was old enough to stay on a horse. He learned to rope as soon as he had the strength to swing the loop. He had so many animals around him that his entire day consisted of practicing his riding and roping skills. ...

read more

4 The Move to Encinal

pdf iconDownload PDF (352.7 KB)
pp. 40-48

In the early 1900s the Martin family, related by blood to the Salinases, did not have any adult males to manage their financial affairs and businesses. They relied heavily on their cousin Antonio Salinas, my grandfather (Pap

read more

5 Young Juan Takes Over and the Roping Starts in Earnest

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 49-62

One of the reasons the family moved to the Encinal area was that Papá Antonio was in failing health. He suffered a cerebral stroke about 1918, and finally succumbed from its effects in 1923. Th e young family took the death extremely hard; their strength, their means of support was gone. In reversed roles, young J. C. Martin, and John Martin, known to the Salinases respectively as Tío Jose and Tío Juanito, served as executors of Papá Antonio’s estate. ...

read more

6 Juan Goes on the National Circuit

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 63-77

Having roped in every major rodeo in Texas for several years, not to mention all the small rodeos and match ropings, Juan was encouraged by those in the know, and those around him, to take the big step and go on the national circuit. Th e year was 1936. He was reluctant. Keep in mind that he was a high school dropout. He was no dummy for sure, but he was not an educated man. ...

read more

7 Circuit Experiences

pdf iconDownload PDF (4.1 MB)
pp. 78-97

After two years of working the national rodeos, Juan still kept roping the local and area rodeos, and met up again with Toots Mansfield, whom he had beaten that one afternoon in Uvalde a couple of years earlier. Juan ran into him at all the South Texas ropings, and admired the young man. Juan could tell that he was a cut above the ...

read more

8 Anthony Salinas Destined to Be World Champion Calf Roper

pdf iconDownload PDF (680.1 KB)
pp. 98-102


read more

9 World War II Adjustments

pdf iconDownload PDF (513.8 KB)
pp. 103-106

Th e Salinas brothers were rodeo performers, but they were also cattle raisers. The cattle raising got them an exemption from the military draft during World War II. True, they spent a lot of their time traveling around the country roping and having a good time, but back home they were producing beef for the nation. ...

read more

10 After Ten Years, The Party’s Over

pdf iconDownload PDF (338.7 KB)
pp. 107-115

Time eventually takes care of everything, they say. With athletes, time means that eventually the aging process takes over and the body starts to wear out, and consequently slow down. It is a message that it is time to take it easy or quit. I know now that Tío Juan’s body did not quit on him until he was about eighty-five years of age, ten years before his death. ...

read more

11 Settling a Score at the Salinas Ranch

pdf iconDownload PDF (80.1 KB)
pp. 116-120

After he had been home several years, Tío Juan started his own ropings and rodeos at the Salinas Ranch. He told me that he had three ropings per year - one to benefit the Encinal Lion’s Club, one to benefit Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Encinal, and one for his own benefit. The ropings at the Salinas Ranch were quite amazing affairs. ...

read more

12 Leading a Cattleman’s Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (609.2 KB)
pp. 121-127

Leaving the circuit meant that Juan and Bertha were home with no travel obligations. Juan and Bertha never had children, and this had freed Bertha to go with Juan to all the rodeos. They enjoyed each other’s company, spent countless hours together, and had a good time. I can safely say that they had a great life together. ...

read more

13 A Real True Friend

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.6 KB)
pp. 128-134

When Juan was growing up at La Becerra, he made friends with all the kids his age in the area. While on the rodeo circuit, T

read more

14 Employees, Good and Bad

pdf iconDownload PDF (162.0 KB)
pp. 135-152

In his long life T

read more

15 Accolades and Kudos

pdf iconDownload PDF (953.4 KB)
pp. 153-160

After Tía Bertha’s death, we became aware of how much help Tío needed. With Bertha alive, they put on a very good front; Tío looked and acted strong and independent. With Tía Bertha gone, we found out that Juan needed help with everything he did. We learned we had to help bathe him, dress him, and help with bathroom necessities. ...

read more

16 The Last Years, Travels with Juan

pdf iconDownload PDF (519.0 KB)
pp. 161-181

The last ten years of Juan Salinas’s life were the years I came to know him well. In the first year and a half after Tía Bertha’s death, I spent an hour or so every day in the afternoon at his house, waiting for my brother Abe and his wife Angie to show up. When Abe and Angie showed up, I went home. ...

read more

17 The End and the Almost-Fight

pdf iconDownload PDF (79.6 KB)
pp. 182-186



pdf iconDownload PDF (106.7 KB)
pp. 187-196

E-ISBN-13: 9781603444033
E-ISBN-10: 1603444033
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603440790
Print-ISBN-10: 1603440798

Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 32 b&w photos. 4 line art. 1 map. 2 charts. Index.
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Fronteras Series, sponsored by Texas A&M International University