Going Texan Book - Promotional Photo

Today is Go Texan Day in Houston. This annual event is ushered in with trail riders on horseback in a symbolic ride from points north, south, east, and west. These trail rides, which last from days to weeks, all converge in Houston's Memorial Park today.

The trail riders and their parade through downtown Saturday, along with the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at Reliant Park, kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a celebration of Western heritage and culture that officially starts March 2nd and will run through March 21st.

When I was a kid in elementary school, we used to get Fat Stock Day as a holiday from school. That's how big a deal it was. They don't do that these days, but many folks still dress Western for work on this day, wearing their jeans, boots, and cowboy hats.

Enough of that... this is about ephemera and, accordingly, I have a piece of ephemera related to the appropriate book for the occasion, Going Texan: The Days of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, by photographer Geoff Winningham (published by Mavis P. Kelsey, Jr., 1972).

The jacket's picture runs from front flap to rear flap and is reproduced for the promotional piece I'm exhibiting here today. This is a panoramic view of the 1930 Southwestern Championship Rodeo in Houston, Texas, May 10-18, 1930. The rodeo was produced by W.T. Johnson and Joe D. Hughes out of San Antonio. The next year, Houston started its own rodeo and livestock show--the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition, which evolved into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, as it's known today. But this promotional photo for the Winningham's book depicts what is likely the genesis for the big rodeo and livestock shows in Houston.

This promotional copy of the photo is much larger than the jacket, measuring 7 3/4 by 39 inches. I have no idea where such a Texas size ad was displayed for the book's publication, or maybe it never was displayed. The dealer I bought it from had a whole batch of them from an estate sale and threw in some extras with my purchase. I'm not even sure what to call this other than a promotional photographic print for Winningham's book. It's not a broadside, though it is very broad. It's just an interesting piece to have, connected with a book that celebrates this important event in Houston, Texas, and southwestern culture.

And here it is in sections from left to right:


  1. I didn't know about this book! Great photos!

    Here is my 1950's version I'm working on:


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  3. Thanks! They are very interesting, particularly, I would suspect, to a native Houstonian, or anyone such as yourself who has experienced it up close the way you did. More interesting to me is the treasure trove of photos you possess... Wow! That would certainly be a fun project, going through all those and designing a book for them. Best of luck to you with that and I'd love to hear updates. Also, would you like a copy of the promotional photo in my blog post about the Going Texan book? I have a duplicate. Contact me at chuckwhiting at gmail dot com. Thanks again for reading my blog and taking time to comment. -Chuck

  4. any idea where in Houston this photo was taken? from which street or perspective of the city?

  5. In the panoramic photo above, the long building near the far left side was the 1928 Democratic Convention Center, or Sam Houston Hall. It's where the Hobby Center is today. That should help get you oriented to the scenery/location in the rest of the photo.

    Check these sites out for additional information:




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