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Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy + Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet: More Commentary by NPR's Cowboy Poet & Former Large Animal Veterinarian + Lessons from a Desperado Poet: How To Find Your Way When You Don'T Have A Map, How To Win The Game When You Don'T Know The Rules, And When Someone ... What They Really Mean Is They Can'T Do It.
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Baxter Black, a veterinarian turned writer/troubadour/raconteur and periodic commentator on National Public Radio, has produced a collection of his best anecdotes, songs, poems, and wisdom from the range. "My world is one in which people have lots of wrecks," he reports in Cactus Tracks. "Cow wrecks; horse wrecks; financial wrecks; flood, fire, and drought wrecks. Laughing at our 'wrecks' seems to make the tribulations of our lifestyle easier to handle." Here is the complete collection of his commentaries from NPR's Morning Edition. With subjects ranging from naked wrangling to life lessons ("When our opinions get as immovable as a granite outhouse, God has a way of shaking the foundation"), Baxter drops his reader-listener right into the prickly heart of things. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?A new source for students who rebel at poetry assignments. Black, known as a "cowboy poet," has gathered together his popular broadcasts on National Public Radio. His prose and poetry are rich in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of the ranch, prairie, and high country. According to the author, cowboy life dangles "between humor and tragedy" and laughter helps one to get through the tough times. Some of the selections grab the heart, too, including a Christmas poem, "Joe and Maria, The First Christmas...Cowboy Style." Black has a way with words. A hard rain is a "fish-drownin', hat-soakin', slicker-testin' downpour." Older chickens are "blue-haired layers that had lost their bloom." YAs who dream of living the life of a real, honest-to-John (Wayne) cowboy will hoot and holler at this book, and be inspired to try their own unique way of tellin' a tale.?Judy Sokoll, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140276831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140276831
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David M. Garrett on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
A few years ago I awoke to National Public Radio's Morning Edition and to the voice of some easy going, homespun cowboy reading a poem that had me in stitches by the third verse. As I read "Cactus Trails..." I could hear Black's easy voice utter each word. While his departure from veterinary medicine is a loss to that community, it is a clear gain for easy going, common sense, sanity seeking people caught in the cross hairs of our cell phone, pager, eEVERYTHING society. Thanks to Baxter Black's commentary and writings we have an excuse to slow down a bit each day and get in touch with the basics. Will Rogers would love this guy!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Baxter has done it again. He manages to mix humor with social commentary, kind'a makes you think and belly laugh at the same time. Some of this book is politically incorrect--well, good for it! this country takes itself far too seriously, and it needs a good makin'-fun-of, and Baxter is the man for the job. You don't have to be a buckaroo or farmer, or vet to "get" these poems and short stories. It helps to be human, and not one encased in a shell of narrow-minded political correctness! One story in particular, about the frozen septic tank lid, had me laughing so hard I thought I was going to have a conniption. Moments of side-splitting laughter are intertwined with real stories of real people that are touchingly poignant. Bax hits the mark here. Great job!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A joy to read. Full of cowboy poetry & short stories. Some you could see as vividly as if you were there when it happened. It brings back alot of memories of incidents that have happened to me, or I've been witness to. A must for any cowboy or cowgirl.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pipercomanche@msn.com on December 20, 1997
Format: Hardcover
From the first page this is a great book. Since I am a horse person and my husband is a pilot certain stories really hit the mark. It is a wonderful book to just have sitting around. Many times friends of mine will just pick it up to thumb through it and end up asking to take it home. I really recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sakuteiki on July 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
One of our friends can quote Baxter Black poetry from memory. Our friend raises longhorn cattle. This morning about 100 of us gathered at his ranch for a work day: chainsaw and splitting logs, mucking out the barn, weed whacking around the fences. One girl brought her western band and serenaded us from the top of a flatbed truck. Fortunately it was only 80 degrees today, and how many groups of friends do you think could come up with 5 log splitters, 4 John Deere front end loaders, a tractor trailer to haul dirt to redress the corrals, and 15 chainsaws large enough to cut 2 1/2 foot diameter trunks into disks of firewood length?

After we all ate home made apple pie, marionberry cobbler, hamburgers, bratwurst, his home grown corn, our friend started spouting Baxter Black's cowboy poetry from memory. It was hilarious. Truly what happens in the country is funnier than anyone could ever make up.

If you want to laugh out loud (yes longhorn jump metal fences leaving them bent and ram American pickups leaving humungous dents) this is the book for you.

Also view Temple Grandin a woman whose life became forever intermixed with animals through her loving pushy mother. Re-view DVD listening to the voiceover by Temple Grandin herself, the director, writer. Animals as healing.
Nell woman clean, healthy, well loved and cared for by her mother in Carolina woods in isolation. Listen to commentary by Jodi Foster.

...Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Pigs, Politicians,Chickens, sheep, all have a good goin' over by the Bax. Shows the true "Attitude" of a workin' cowpuncher, and an example of how someone can get their tie re-arranged.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have loved poetry of all kinds (with the exception of the so-called garbage modern free verse) most of my life. Even though my favorite poetry form is haiku and other short poetry, I have grown to also love western cowboy poetry. To me, this poetry form is much more meaningful than what is pretending to be "modern poetry" today. In fact, this is why I no longer subscribe to any poetry journal at this time. This (Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy by Baxter Black) volume contains some excellent short essays and poetry that most people will like and enjoy. It is pure Americana. If you have never read any Cowboy poetry or essays in the past, this is a good place to start.

This 276 page paperback has more than 100 short stories from the author's vast experience. Some of these essays made me laugh out loud, but I throughly enjoyed reading the entire book. I also loved most of the poems in this collection. The following are just a small sample of the great stories in this volume: All I want for Christmas, Runnin Wild Horses, A lesson in Life, A love Story, Range Fire, Chauvinist? Who me? Women, Caught in the Act, The Consultant, Just Friends, Triggernometry, The Cowboy's Guide to Vegetarians, A vegetarians, My kinda Truck, Buffalo Tracks, Political Correctness, Cowboy time, Chicago's Bratwurst, Cowboy Mentality and The Romantic Cowboy. This book is loaded with amusing and humorous stories from a writer who is pure American Cowboy.

In conclusion, if you love poetry and real-life stories about a true American Cowboy, who is by the way, highly educated as well, you will enjoy reading this book. It sure beats the hell out of reading the so-called modern poetry; which so many University pseudo-intellectuals seem to praise today.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
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