Dance Hall or Honky Tonk

If you’re a Texan you’ve been to Gruene Hall, or any other number of infamous dance halls.  Music is big in Texas, especially country music.  Stroll down 6th street in Austin, the live music capital of the world.

There are legendary dance halls all over Texas.  The one that was in Longview was a legendary Honky-Tonk by reputation, I never went. 

According to “Texas Dance Hall Preservation Inc.” you dance with your wife at a dance hall and dance with somebody elses wife at a honky-tonk.

I have been to quite a few dance halls including the oldest continuously operating hall, in Gruene, Texas.  My wife tells a story about one time when they were really busy and I decided to help serve beer from behind the bar and was asked to leave.

Texas Dance Hall Preservation is out to save all that are left.  Sounds like my kind of  charity to me.  They are a 501( c )3 .

Goodbye Dandy Don Meredith

Dandy Don Meredith was a “Cowboy” from Mount Vernon Texas 100 miles east of Dallas.  Not much happens in Mount Vernon so an All American football player is a big deal.  Just 15 miles up the road from my place, it makes this loss more personal. 

Watching Meredith quarterback the cowboys in the 60’s was mostly frustrating.  My best friend was a Green Bay fan and the NFL title games in 66 and the “Ice Bowl” in 67 were disasters.  I like to remember him for Monday Night Football that debuted my senior year of High School in 1970.

Watching Monday Night Football, he made you feel like you were watching the game with a buddy and he won an Emmy for sports broadcasting on ABC’s Monday Night Football, as a result.  Don Meredith, Howard Cosell, and Frank Gifford got the week off to a good start.  We learned to dislike Cosell and love Dandy Don.

Meredith looked and sounded like a Texas country boy, but as we say in Texas, “he didn’t come to town in a turnip wagon”; he caught Cosell off guard plenty of times.  We all remember that when the game was won, Don would sing Willie Nelson’s, “Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over”  December 5th, 2010.

Stetson Cowboy Hat

Creation of the original felt cowboy hat was initially attributed to John Stetson. The unique conditions on the trail made a hat constructed from water-resistant fur felt very useful. However, unless you are a genuine cowboy riding fence, there is not much need in purchasing a water-resistant beaver or muskrat fur felt hat. And even for a cowboy a $700.00 100X hat used to work in, might be a little excessive. (100x is 100% beaver fur)
A 10x hat that is 50% beaver fur, might be a better choice.

John B. Stetson amused his pals by demonstrating to them how he could make material out of fur without having to weave. Stetson created a hat using a big brim to shade the wearer from sun and rain. Stetson made the decision to wear the hat during the hunting excursion, and it performed so well that he persisted wearing it on his trips throughout the West. In 1865, he begun to produce the first of his fantastic hats in volume. The original Stetson hat sold for 5 dollars.

Stetson is now owned by Hatco a hat company consolidator. They also own Resistol Cowboy Hats.

Justin Boots

Today Justin Boot has evolved into a boot consolidator under the Justin Brands label.

Justin started as a boot repair shop in 1879 by H.J. “Daddy Joe” Justin.   Joe came to Texas in 1879.  He settled in Spanish Fort, on the Texas-Oklahoma border and also located on the old Chisholm Trail.

The business was started as a boot repair shop repairing boots for the cowboys who rode the Chisholm Trail.
Justin Boot Company relocated to Ft. Worth TX in 1925.

Nocona Boot was started in 1925 by a member of the Justin family. The shop was located in Nocona Texas.  Nocona Boot merged with Justin Boot in 1981, bringing the book making of the family back together.

Tony Lama Boot Co. is now also owned by Justin Brands

Barrel Racing Saddle

Racing implies performance and as few pounds as possible in the saddle. As a result this is the lightest of saddles, under 30 lbs.

An additional characteristic is a flat seat permitting a rider effortless positioning to help balance the mount in turns. The fenders are free swinging to provide extra balance. The cantle and also pommel are usually higher to provide the rider a secure and safe ride. The horn is usually taller for a quick dismount.

Stirrups have a slim tread for a more secure grip on the boot as well as rawhide trim which increases resilience when coming in contact with the barrel.

Purchasing Barrel Saddles
Barrel Saddles are speed saddles and as a result are a customized piece of equipment. Any type of racing will be affected by weight, although it is probably not a decisive factor other than in the highest levels of competition.

When you are in the market for a saddle, bring your horse with you. You would usually shop and try  many hats on before you make a buying decision and saddles are no different. Take your own horse and get feedback from several saddle stores. You will learn a lot in the process. Work out for yourself what is important in a saddle for you. Know the following terminology as well as it’s significance before you go shopping.

Pay attention to weight, ability to move in the seat, breast collars, higher cantle and pommel, slender stirrups, durable tree and modest skirt.

The saddle needs to fit your horse, but it also needs to fit you. Try it on for size to determine a good fit.

The barrel horse works at high-speed and can make tight turns. The saddle should be built with skirt rigging to keep everything tight and provide close contact from horse and rider.

Texas Best Regional Robotics

If you search for Texas Best you will get the other Texas Best at North Texas in Denton.  The purpose of Texas BEST – which stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology – is to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM-related fields, through participation in a fun, sports-like competition.

 More than 1,200 middle and high school students from across Texas and New Mexico will gather at the University of North Texas this week to compete in the Texas BEST Regional Robotics Competition, hosted by the UNT College of Engineering.

Trail Saddle Fit

The Trail Saddle is on your horse for extended periods.  Proper fit is essential.

Frequently we hear discussion that when a saddle does not fit, just try out a variety of pads. This way of thinking is bothersome for many reasons.

  • Whenever a saddle is truly too narrow for the horse, a larger pad will simply cause the problem to get worse. If the saddle is actually too narrow , there is no special pad, breast collar, or even a increased tight cinch that will ensure fit.
  • The saddle that’s too narrow may slip sideways, producing pressure spots in front and back of the saddle.  This uneven pressure will also cause the horse irritation. The saddle is not in position to perform its function by equally disbursing rider weight. It is forced to concentrate weight in small points forward and back.
  • Whenever a saddle is just too broad for a horse, the rider may be sitting right on the horse’s backbone rather than utilizing the bars to distribute the bodyweight.  The saddle is going to rest too low on the horse’s withers and may push up in the back. Additionally since there is no standardization for the terms “semi Quarter horse bars” and “full Quarter horse bars”. A full Quarter horse bar for one brand of saddle will fit differently than another brand saddle. This is especially true with regards to saddles with specialized trees.

Several techniques to test your Trail Saddle and see if your saddle fits:

1) The saddle remains in place when you ride without a breast collar and the cinch does not cut into your horse.

2) The perspiration pattern beneath the saddle is even without dry areas.

3) The horse does not have whitened spots or rubbed-away hair.

4) The saddle looks even and not tilted forward or popping up in the rear. The saddle is not sitting low on the withers. There is sufficient width in between the withers as well as the gullet.

5) Place the saddle on the horse without a saddle blanket. Feel underneath the saddle. Is there is contact all the way around the horse’s back?

 If your horse has gained weight, the saddle will not fit the same. In the event the saddle was tailored to your horse while young, his shape has changed as he has aged.  The saddle will fit differently. Always be aware of changes and saddle fit.

Cowboy Hat Style

Cowboy hat style is a personal decision.  A lot of factors are involved including function such as keeping the sun and rain out of your face or off your neck. 

For most of us however it’s not the function, it’s what the hat says.  The major differences are the brim size and shape and the crown crease.  In Texas, for me, it’s the cowboy individualism and independence.


•             Cattleman.  Most people would consider this the classic style cowboy hat.  George W. Bush wears this style.

•             Open Road.  Real cattlemen.  If you go down to the sale barn you will see the older gentlemen, buying cows, wearing LBJ (Open Road) style hats.

•             Open.  The first Stetson was “The Boss of the Plains”.  Very traditional.  The crown of an open cowboy hat can be 5″- 6″ tall and the brim 4.5″ – 5″ wide

•             Gus.  Also traditional is a Stetson with a “Carlsbad” crease.  Known today as the Gus Crease.

•             Cattleman.  Fort Worth .  The old “Fort Worth” crease seen on a cowboy hat normally has a 3.5″ brim and a “cow kick” in the front and a “cow kick” in the back.


•             Bull rider, RCA or Canadian Crease

•             Tycoon… Another pinch front style.

•             Cutter.  Modified Cattleman with more room.  Cutter Horse riders.  1970’s


•             Team Roper

•             Montana

•             Salem

•             Ridge Top

Roper Cowboy Boots

Roper style cowboy boots are distinguished by the low shaft (boot top) and a low walking heel. Regular cowboy boots have a high heel designed to keep the boot in the stirrup.

John Justin is credited with introducing the “Roper” in 1954, however, I never saw a pair of Ropers until the 1990’s and didn’t own a pair until a few years ago. They were a gift.

Ropers make a lot of sense from a comfort and style point of view, if you don’t use them for riding.
Cowboys are particular about their boots, so it is unwise to surprise a cowboy with a pair of “Ropers”. Check first or make sure they can be returned.

Texas Bootmakers List

4 Square Leather
Terry Glueck
1079 Dry Creek Road
Waco, TX 76705
(254) 829-2816

Allen Boot Company
Kenneth Allen
202 CR 286
Bronte, TX 76933
(325) 786-4346?

Ammons Boots
Rodney Ammons
1477 Lomaland St, C-9
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 595-2100

Ammons Boots
Rodney Ammons
SAKS Fifth Ave
13550 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75240
(972) 716-5234

Angelo Boot Shop
37 West Twohig St
San Angelo, TX 76903-6434
(325) 486-9544

Armando’s Boot Company
Armando Duarte
169 N. 7th
Raymondville, TX 78580
(956) 689-3521

B&D Custom Boots & Leather
HCR 4, Box 1200
Burnet, TX 78611
(512) 756-1772

Beaver Creek Boot & Saddle Shop
Blake Sladek
416 N Spruce Street
Stratford, TX 79084

Beck Cowboy Boots
Harry Beck
723 S Georgia St
Amarillo, TX 79106-8913
(806) 373-1600

Bell Custom Boots
Alan Bell
2118 N. Treadaway Blvd.
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-0632

Boden Custom Boots
Len Boden
1912 E. Broadway
Sweetwater, TX 79556
(325) 669-9533

Boot & Saddle Shop
Mike Allred
102 3rd Street
Whitesboro, TX 76273
(903) 564-5300

Boot Heel & Saddle Up
Bob Garner
1215 N. Velasco
Angleton, TX 77515
(979) 849-5514

Boots from the Ranch Factory
2137 Mills Ave
El Paso, TX 79901
Open 5 days a week. The bootmakers will measure your feet and help you design your own custom boot.

Bramhall’s Boot Company
Jeff Bramhall
1610 Alspaugh Lane
Grand Prairie, TX 75052
(214) 435-7390

Brian Thomas Boots
Brian Thomas
363 East S 11th
Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 672-2344

Buck’s Boots
Buck Glenn
PO Box 701
Marble Falls, TX 78654
(830) 693-8486

Burk Boot Shop
Armando Dominguez
206 E Third
Burkburnett, TX 76354
(940) 228-6366

C.T. Boot Shop
Carl Chappell
105 S Main
Saint Jo, TX 76265
(940) 995-2901
Mr. Chappell teaches bootmaking. See also Trail Town Custom Leather.

Capitol Saddlery
Mike Slover
8910 Research Blvd
Ste F2
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 478-9309

Carlos Boot Shop
10844 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77042-3202
(713) 977-6347

Carmack’s Custom Boots
Greg Carmack
6020 North Hwy 6
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 848-2078
Now sells a line of hand made, stock sized boots to compliment his line of custom boots.

Carman Allen Custom Boots
Carman Allen
8616 Quebec Dr
Ft. Worth, TX 76108
(817) 367-7976

Carmargo’s of Mercedes
Henry Carmargo
710 Hwy 83
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-6457

Cavazos Boot Factory
302 2nd St
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-0753

Champion Attitude Boots / Caboots
Joey Sanchez
2100 Wyoming
El Paso, TX 79903
(915) 544-1855

Chism Boots
403 E Tarrant
Llano, TX 78643-1723
(325) 247-4258

Cobbler Stone Boots
Mike Haggard
4311 Little Rd
Arlington, TX 76016
(817) 516-7551

Cottle’s Boots
Dennis Cottle
2803 Wolfin
Amarillo, TX 79109
(806) 352-8821
Not taking new customers.

Cunningham’s Lone Star Boots
Gary Cunningham
4606 Mimosa Ln
Wichita Falls, TX 76310

Custom Boots by Morado
James Morado
402 Frisco St
Houston, TX 77022-5435
(713) 694-7571

Dalhart Custom Boot
Jesse Dawkins
318 Denrock Ave
Dalhart, TX 79022-2626
(806) 249-8138

Daly Boots
Glenderson Daly
7358 Reindeer Trail
San Antonio, TX 78238
(210) 682-6668
NOTE: Fitting by appointment only.

Davis Custom Boots
1209 E 11th St
Quanah, TX 79252
(940) 839-6537

Dew’s Custom Handmade Boots
D.E. Westover
1819 Pease
Vernon, TX 76384
(940) 552-9288

Don Atkinson Custom Boots
Don Atkinson
229 C Old Ingram Loop
Ingram, TX 78028
(830) 367-5400

Double P Custom Boots & Leather
Trevor Powe
1272 CR 195
Dublin, TX 76446
(254) 965-5530

Duck Menzies Bootmaker
Duck Menzies
1636 W FM 93
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 933-2485

El Toro Boot Shop
7604 Acapulco Ave
El Paso, TX 79915
(915) 591-3508

El Vaquero Boot Mfg.
Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez
722 E. Norman
Raymondville, TX 78580
(956) 689-3469

Erwin Saddlery
Roy Erwin
11154 FM 1190
Sanger, TX 76266
(940) 458-4171

Glenderson Daly (SAS Shoemakers)
San Antonio, TX
(210) 682-6668

Guevara’s Boots & Shoe Repair
Sixto Guevara
555 Uvalde Rd
Houston, TX 77015
(713) 451-4919

H3 Boot Company
Harry Henze
4250 Five Points Rd #11
Corpus Christi, TX 78410

Henry Jennings Enterprise
Henry Jennings
311Grove Ave
Stinnett, TX 79083
(806) 878-3210

Higdon Boots
John Higdon
5605 W 41st
Amarillo, TX 79109-5213
(806) 584-5099

John Holick
College Station, TX 77840
(409) 846-6721

Houston Custom Boots
José Lozano
1135 Du Barry Lane
Houston, TX 77018
(832) 880-2529

J. M. Karnes, Bootmaker
Mike Karnes
2109 W. Sherman Hwy.
Aubrey, TX 76227
(940) 390-4211

J.B. Hill Boot Company
Dr. Jim Hill
335 N Clark Dr
El Paso, TX 79905
(915) 599-1551

J.L. Mercer Boots
Lindsay Cranek
224 South Chadbourne
San Angelo, TX 76903
(325) 658-7634

Jackson’s Boots
Fred McBride
10733 Leopard
Corpus Christi, TX 78410
(361) 241-2628

Jacky Heflin Custom Boots
Jacky Heflin
3625 Thompson Rd.
Keller, TX 76248
(817) 992-3969

James Leddy Boot Company
Glen & Deb Meeks
1602 N Treadaway
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-7811

James Owens Boots
James Owens
PO Box 776
Clarendon, TX 79226-0776
(806) 874-9812

Jason Carpenter Custom Boots
Jason Carpenter
200 E Dickinson
Ft. Stockton, TX 79735
(915) 336-9141

Jass Boot Shop (John)
John Jass
501 B South Key Ave
Lampasas, TX 76550
(512) 556-2729

Jass Boot Shop (Pablo)
Pablo Jass
803 E Ave G
Lampasas, TX 76550
(512) 525-4165

Jesse’s Custom Boots
Jesse Guevara
607-A College
South Houston, TX 77587
(713) 944-9019

Jim Anz Custom Boots
Jim Anz
HC 51 Box 56B
Olney, TX 76374
(940) 873-4541

Jimmy’s Boot Shop
Jimmy Pope
211 E Tyler St
Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-5038

Kimmel Boots
Eddie Kimmel
2080 CR 304
Comanche, TX 76442
(325) 356-3197

KM Custom Handmade Boots
Kyle Mobley
Hwy 25 W
Archer City, TX 76351
(940) 636-4965

L.M. Easterling Custom Boot Company
Lloyd Easterling
107 N. Adams Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(888) 811-8980

Leonard Green Custom Boots
Leonard Green
224 N Main
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 594-5445

Little’s Boots
Dave Little
110 Division Ave
San Antonio, TX 78214
(210) 923-2221

M.L. Leddy Boot & Saddlery
2200 Beauregard
San Angelo, TX 76901
(325) 942-7655

M.L. Leddy’s
2455 N. Main St.
Ft. Worth, TX 76106
(817) 624-3149

Maida’s Black Jack Boot Company
Sal Maida
3740 Westheimer St
Houston, TX 77027-5222
(713) 961-4538

Mandujano Western Boots
Andres Mandujano
809 N. Texas Blvd.
Weslaco, TX 78596
(956) 973-0155

Mercedes Boot Company, Inc
Debby Farr
2440 White Settlement Rd
Ft. Worth, TX 76107
(817) 332-2668

Meyer Custom Boots
Mark Meyer
1230 W 21st St
Houston, TX 77008-3324
(713) 864-3808

Mike Vaughn Handmade Boots
Mike Vaughn
2390 Orchard Road
Bowie, TX 76230
(940) 872-6935

Mingo Boot Company
George Jauregui
6966 Alameda
El Paso, TX 79915
(915) 779-7681

Montana Boots
114 S. Main St
Henrietta, TX 76365
(940) 538-5691

Olsen-Stelzer Boot Co.
114 South Main Street
Henrietta, TX 76365-3417
(940) 538-5691

Pasadena Custom Boots
Jesus Cisneros
2715 Shaver
Pasadena, TX 77506
(713) 943-1800

Ponder Boot Company
Georgia Linam
2358 North Main
Ft. Worth, TX 76106
(817) 626-3523

Ponder Boot Company
Georgia Linam
Ponder Bank Building
P.O. Box 277
Ponder, TX 76259
(940) 479-2611

Raul Torres
Lyford, TX
(956) 689-1478 (after 5 PM)

Redman’s Custom Boots
James Redman
2009 Sherwood Loop
Mertzon, TX 76941
(325) 370-3762

Ricca Boot Shop
Ryan Selman
103 W. Main St.
Tomball, TX 77375
(281) 225-6067

Richard Cook Custom Boots
Richard Cook
9150 FM 1101
Seguin, TX 78155
(830) 372-4470

Rios of Mercedes
1750 E Expressway 83
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-2634
They do custom boots for those willing to make the trip to get measured.

RJ’s Boot Company
Rocky Carroll
3321 Ella Blvd.
Houston, TX 77018
(888) RJ-BOOTS

ROC ‘N’ WT Boot Company
Bill Taylor
306 East Main St
Hamilton, TX 76531
(254) 386-8881

Nevena Christi
115 S Anthony
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 541-1300

Runnin’ Hare Boot Shop
Doug Collins
12505 Old Mill Creek Rd
Brenham, TX 77833-2076
(979) 289-9301

Silverado Custom Boot Co.
Dean Dawson
106 N. Lambert
Granbury, TX 76048
(817) 219-7209

Spikes Custom Boots
Mike Spikes
1202 E Spring
Henrietta, TX 76365
(940) 538-4864

Stallion Boot Company
Pedro Muñoz
100 North Cotton St
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 532-6268

Stephanie Ferguson Custom Boots
Stephanie Ferguson
By appointment only
2112 Poe Prairie Rd
Millsap, TX 76066
(817) 341-9700
Certified pedorthist.

T.O. Stanley Boots
T.O. Stanley
8317 Parade Lane
El Paso, TX 79925
(915) 588-5419
Custom boot design is still an important part of their business.

Taylor’s Custom Boots
Raymond Taylor
1406 Early Blvd
Early, TX 76802
(325) 646-7752

Tejas Custom Boots
Mike Kuykendahl
208 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 524-9860

Tex Robin Boots
Tex Robin
2081 Sayles Blvd
Abilene, TX 79605
(325) 691-5700
NOTE: Mr Robin also teaches bootmaking.

Texas Custom Boots
Noel Escobar Jr.
1601 South First Street
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 442-0926

Texas Traditions Boots by Lee Miller
Lee Miller
2222 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 443-4447
(Formerly known as, Texas Traditions)

Tom Smith Custom Boots
Tom Smith
PO Box 482
Aspermont, TX 79502
(940) 989-3385

Trail Town Custom Boots
P.O. Box 322
Saint Jo, TX 76265
(940) 995-2600
NOTE: …patterns made by C.T. Chappell.

Tres Outlaws
Scott Emmerich
421 S Cotton St
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 544-2727

Vargas Boot Shop
Luis Vargas
201 S Dick Dowling St
San Benito, TX 78586
(956) 399-2216

Walkup Leather Shop
305 Ave H NW
Childress, TX 79201-3034
(940) 937-2788

Weinkauf Boots & Leatherworks
John Weinkauf
By appointment only
P.O. Box 291846
Kerrville, TX 78029
(830) 257- 4242

Western Leather Craft Boot Shop
Charles Ross
1950 Civic Circle
Amarillo, TX 79109-1812
(806) 355-0174

Wheeler Boot Company
Dave Wheeler
4115 Willowbend
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 665-0224

Wild Bill’s Western Store
Bill Dewbre
603 Munger St
West End Marketplace Ste 111
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 954-1050

Young’s Custom Boots
Terry Young
808 Backus
Paducah, TX 79248
(806) 492-3103