True Tales From the Oil Field
Would you like to know about the noble men who risked everything to make Texas the oil capital of America?
Well find another book, because this one's about gambling, pimps, prostitutes, crooked officials, hard drinking, liquor fueled brawling and the roughnecks at the center of it all...real life in Texas oil boomtowns.
"On all sides of me persons, to all appearances lunatics,could chatter about only one thing, and that thing: oil."
In 1901, George Parker Stoker was twenty-three and a newly hatched MD seeking his fortune. He stepped off the train at Beaumont into a world of mud and mayhem.
Within a day he was at the Spindletop field and had inherited the only medical practice in town from an old doc who wanted to "go on a drunk" for a few months.
Stoker spent the next few years patching up the inmates of this oil patch asylum. He worked at Spindletop, Batson Prairie and Saratoga. This was no tea-sipping engagement. The work was as hard as the men, who risked death in ways that Edgar Allen Poe couldn't have dreamed up. But boy were they paid!
All that idle cash made saloons pop up like toadstools, tacked together from pine planks. Roofs leaked and there were no doors...because they never closed.
It was also a magnet for gamblers, swindlers, thugs, pimps and prostitutes. You couldn't call them ladies of the evening, because more than a few worked the day shift.
"Pimps, professional gamblers, drillers, gun-men and business men stood at the bar, drinking, arguing, swearing and telling filthy stories...half-dressed prostitutes stood with their arms around drunken men, sat in their laps or danced with them in vulgar postures."
The "Kid Doctor," as Stoker was called because of his youthful appearance, saw it all. He treated them all too, giving each the best care he could in that carnival of contusion and contagion.
He set bones and treated gruesome burns. He dealt with as many gunshots and stab wounds as a battlefield surgeon. And he delivered babies galore.
"One of the gamblers drew a long knife, reached over and with a quick slash let the old man's bowels out through the walls of his belly. 'Doc,' he cried, 'my guts are cut out. Do something for me quick!'"
These are his true recollections, written in 1948; tales of those wild boomtown days, told in gaudy detail and pleasing prose. Dr. Stoker had a gift for description and a style like Charles Dickens. The man could write.
You'll read about gushers and gamblers, explosions and epidemics, drillers and delinquents - and lawlessness so bad the Texas Rangers were called in.
About this Limited Edition
This special edition is limited to just 254 copies, one for each county in Texas. That's not many books. Every single one of them could be packed in an old cedar chest.
Your copy will be hand-numbered and the jacket personalized with your name (or the name of your gift recipient...this is a gift that will score you big points.)
The personalization on the jacket reads:
They're selling out fast, so now is the time to order.
And while you're at it, get one for a somebody you like. You'll have a lot of laughs talking together about these stories. Plus, you'll both have an heirloom volume of Texana.
Like all our limited editions, we will gladly buy it back if you decide you don't want it. There is no time limit on that.