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AUCTION 19

Doc Green’s Last Trail Drive Through Downtown Dallas
With Joe Beeler’s Signed Art Work

44. GREEN, Ben K[ing]. The Last Trail Drive through Downtown Dallas. Flagstaff: Northland Press, [1971]. [8], 73 [1] pp., text illustrations by Joe Beeler. Oblong 4to, original half tan leather over brown cloth, spine gilt lettered, author’s name printed in black on upper board.  Publisher’s original tan slipcase with Green’s veterinarian logo in brown on upper panel.  Except for two minor bumps to slipcase, very fine.  This limited edition with original art work by Beeler is rare in commerce. 

     First edition, limited edition (#8 of 100 copies, signed by Green and with artist Beeler’s signed ink and wash drawing of a hobbled stallion grazing in a field with a barn and windmill in background). Dobie & Dykes, 44 & 44 #50. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 15; Fifty Great Western Illustrators (Beeler 41); Western High Spots, p. 64 (“High Spots of Western Illustrating” #174): “Delightful tale.” Reese, Six Score 49: “The story of the author’s early venture as a horse trader, driving a herd of horses from West Texas to Bossier City, La., selling along the way.” Wilson 16.

     Green (1912-1974), writer, rancher, and veterinarian, loved horses from boyhood and lived most of his life as a cowboy. A chance encounter late in life with publisher Alfred A. Knopf led to Green’s secondary career as a writer of best-selling books and a permanent place in the literature of Western America. We worked with A. C. Greene in his latter days, and A. C. shared with us his observations on many Texas books and authors.  Of this title, A. C. commented:
Ben told me this story long before it was published and I wrote a column about it in the Dallas Times Herald. Bob Wilson [Ben Green’s bibliographer] missed it. Ben was being interviewed by Barbara Walters on national television and told the story of the last trail drive through Dallas but made a reference to “th’ little nigger boy” who helped him on the drive. Ms. Walters, of course, hit the ceiling and Ben never got on network tv again-or any other television, to my knowledge. He was cussing out Barbara Walters for being too thin skinned (political correctness hadn’t been invented) but I told him he should have known better.  He protested that he’d never been a racist and had worked with Negroes all his life, etc., but I still insisted; I wasn’t defending Barbara Walters, I was simply saying Ben should have known better. I think the whole episode truly puzzled Ben.

Joe Beeler (1931-2006), part Cherokee, studied art at the University of Tulsa before doing service in the Korean War.  He subsequently moved onto Native American land in Oklahoma to work in art, depicting Western subjects.  His one-man show in 1960 catapulted him into prominence.  ($1,000-1,500)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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