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20ogBook Reviews555 equine program that some readers may not know about, such as die Maldonados' breeding and raising of one famous thoroughbred called Assault, winner of the 1946 Kentucky Derby. Other horses trained by the Maldonados were sold to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. In chapters four and five, various members of the Maldonado family describe their memorable experiences on the ranch, including daily activities, family interactions , leisure time, women's roles, Christmas celebrations, and working relations with ranch owners, and chapter six focuses on the Maldonados' notable personal achievements. While the seventh chapter assesses the significance of the ranch on revitalizing the local economy of the neighboring city of Kingsville, the final chapter gives an overview of the Maldonado family today. The book features numerous family photographs and reprints of a few small documents such as Beto and Librado 's business receipts. The appendices include data on individuals interviewed and referenced for the project and list the Maldonados' extensive family tree and traditional family food recipes. Overall, Master Showmen ofthe King Ranch vividly portrays the lives of Beto and Librado Maldonado, who were among the numerous kineƱos who played a key role in transforming the King Ranch into a highly productive and world-renowned catde enterprise in the twentieth century. This book is a major contribution to the literature on the King Ranch because it commemorates the remarkable legacy of Beto and Librado Maldonado as an important part ofTexas history. South Texas College, McAllenJames B. Barrera OneMan's Music: The Life and Times ofTexas Songwriter Vince Bell. By Vince Bell, foreword by Kathleen Hudson. (Denton: University ofNorth Texas Press, 2009. Pp. 274. Illustrations, index. ISBN 9781574412666, $29.95 cloth.) Sometime in 1998, Vince Bell took a Greyhound to New York City tojoin LyIe Lovett, Guy Clark, and Willis Alan Ramsey for a show featuring some of the Texas songwriters whose tunes Lovett had just covered on his Step Inside This House CD. Nothing better illustrates Vince's credentials as an honored member of this circle of Texas musicians. His story begins in Houston around 1970, where at age nineteen he lived on the screened-in second story of a Montrose house and began his career playing every conceivable local club. Among these were one ofTownes Van Zandt's haunts, the legendary Old Quarter, on the seediest part of Congress Avenue , and the venerable Anderson Fair, where the performers sustained themselves on tips, spaghetti, and beer. We learn about Vince's years on the coffeehouse circuit and his jobs in between gigs selling fireworks, doing yard work, distributing circulars, and whatever was necessary "to keep my authorship alive" (48). Vince teaches much about the songwriter's craft: sometimes the music comes first, sometimes the lyrics; he also remarks on the importance of the spaces between the words. His professional successes were modest by any standard, but he built a fan base and a respected place in the local community of artists and musicians. In the early morning hours of December 21, 1982, Vince and his wife were 556Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril homeward bound from an Austin recording session when at Riverside Drive and I35 , they were broadsided by a drunken driver going sixty-five miles per hour. Their injuries were devastating, with the Austin American-Statesman actually announcing Vince's death in that day's earliest edition. Doctors at Brackinridge Hospital saved him, and he emerged from a coma a week later with brain and spinal cord damage , a mangled right arm, and partial vocal-cord paralysis inflicted by his tracheotomy . Years of lonely rehab followed as Vince struggled to regain himself. He had to cope with anger, depression, and the breakup of his marriage as well as excruciating physical pain. Vince turned part of his home space into "Music School," where he worked to relearn guitar, to remember the songs he had written, to recover a singing voice, and even to start composing again. He enrolled at Austin Community College where he got a two-year degree in commercial art, graduating "magna cum-later than most" (159). He worked at Goodwill for a period and sought day labor on Second Street, not getting hired but picking...


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