Sunday, September 22, 2013

Old Man Reminiscing

"Old Jake Hanlon", "Hoss Thief Jake Hanlon", or plain "Jake Hanlon" is old, decrepit, cantankerous, shifty, connivin', and near useless in this novel by Jack Schaefer, author of Shane, originally published by Dell in 1967 and printed again by Laurel Leaf Library in 1974.

Old Jake has been practically banished from his town in New Mexico and is spending his last days at an old, abandoned ranch house of the Triple X where he worked for years before it folded. His old boss, Harper, delivers some supplies to Jake about once a month, but Jake has nothing but time to re-live his life in memories. He sits on the edge of the mesa and ganders at the the new four-lane highway passing through the country and recalls some of his experiences and loathes the passing of the old ways.

The author captures the end-of-life of this old cowboy who loved the wild mustangs more than life itself in this interesting story. That's why he is living in the old, broken down, adobe ranch house with the partial roof and sagging window frames with no front door hanging on the frame, a reflection of himself in it. The mustangs got him in trouble with the law and he was driven out to the ranch to spend his final days instead of going to jail.

"A magnificent tribute to a vanishing breed of men and horses" says one reviewer on the back cover and I have to agree with that. It is 155 pages long and illustrated by Lorence Borklund.

Oh, yes, the name of it is Mavericks.



  1. Think I might try this one, I have always wanted to see my life story in print. At least the part about the old man seems to ring true.

    1. You may get some good hints on how to go about it.

  2. Sounds like how I'm feeling right about now. Maybe I need to read it.

    1. I feel that way quite a bit as I get older.

  3. Hi Oscar!

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  4. I need to read more Jack Schaefer. Thanks for the review.