Texas has been home to so many colorful characters, out-of-staters might wonder if any normal people live here. And it's true that the "Texian" desire to act out sometimes overcomes even the most sober citizens—which makes it a real challenge for the genuine eccentrics to distinguish themselves from the rest of us. Fortunately, though, many maverick Texans have risen to the test, and in this book, Gene Fowler introduces us to a gallery of Texas eccentrics from the worlds of oil, ranching, real estate, politics, rodeo, metaphysics, showbiz, art, and folklore.
Mavericks rounds up dozens of Fowler's favorite Texas characters, folks like the Trinity River prophet Commodore Basil Muse Hatfield; the colorful poet-politician Cyclone Davis Jr.; Big Bend tourist attraction Bobcat Carter; and the dynamic chief executive of the East Texas Oil Field Governor Willie. Fowler persuasively argues that many of these characters should be viewed as folk performance artists who created "happenings" long before the modern art world took up that practice in the 1960s. Other featured mavericks run the demographic gamut from inspirational connoisseurs of the region's native quirkiness to creative con artists and carnival oddities. But, artist or poser, all of the eccentrics in Mavericks completely embody the style and spirit that makes Texas so interesting, entertaining, and culturally unique.