Frank Hamer book

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The Annoyed Man
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Frank Hamer book

#1

Post by The Annoyed Man » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:32 am

After having watched the recent Netflix production, "The Highwaymen", TWICE, I decided to get a book or two on the life of Frank Hamer to learn more about the man. He was a complex character, with a rigid ethical sense, and operating in a time and place when law enforcement was often not on the side of the law. But other than his fame as the man who tracked down Bonnie & Clyde, I knew very little about his personal history.

Anyway, one of the two books I bought (for Kindle) is "Texas Ranger: the Epic Life of Frank Hamer, the Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde" by John Boesseneker. Holy cow! If only half of it is true, Hamer is a character worthy of a Homeric epic. However, the author provides plenty of eyewitness and documentary evidence to show that most or all of it is true. Where Hamer himself debunked parts of his legend, the author agrees and says why. He presents Hamer as a flawed man, with nearly iron control over his flaws - his principle flaw being anger. Not that he was angry all the time....he was not. In fact, he generally kept a very cool head, was easy-going and forgiving of the flaws of others in his personal life, and was not a man given to angry diatribes. But, he was also a man who held his personal honor dearly, and who was apt to respond with violence when his honor was impugned. Throughout the book so far (I haven’t finished it yet), Hamer ends up paying several court fines for having pistol-whipped men who drew his ire.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying reading this book, and thought I’d pass the recommendation on to others.
Last edited by The Annoyed Man on Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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joe817
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Re: Frank Hamer book

#2

Post by joe817 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:05 am

Thanks TAM for the link. I'm definitely getting this book to read when we go on vacation. Sounds fascinating.
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ELB
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Re: Frank Hamer book

#3

Post by ELB » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:27 am

I have been reading that book off and on for awhile now, and skipped ahead to the Bonnie & Clyde section in preparation for watching The Highwaymen.

It is a very good read, and I learned a lot about Hamer. Well worth buying and reading.
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Re: Frank Hamer book

#4

Post by The Annoyed Man » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:54 am

Well, I found a personal connection the the story!

After Hamer was wounded at the conclusion of the Johnson-Sims feud, the book says:
"Frank [Hamer] was brought home to the Snyder ranch to recover from his wounds. Within two weeks, his strength and toughness enabled him to get about on crutches. He spent the Christmas holidays with Gladys’s [Hamer's wife's] family and recovered quickly. Billy Johnson [Hamer's father in law] owned a summer home in Altadena, California, just north of Los Angeles. Touring by motorcar was all the rage, and early in 1918 Frank and Gladys decided to make a long drive to California. Gladys was pregnant, and they both sorely needed to escape the danger, stress, and recrimination in Scurry County. Frank may have also seen an opportunity to get Gladys away from her dysfunctional family. With Trix and Beverly, they headed west in a brand-new touring car. It was likely a wedding gift from Billy Johnson, since Hamer could never have afforded such a luxury on his meager pay. The journey was a long one on rutted dirt highways through New Mexico and Arizona, but they arrived in Southern California without incident. The Hamers spent more than six months in California, where Frank rapidly recovered his strength. On April 11, 1918, Gladys gave birth to their first son, Frank A. Hamer Jr., in Pasadena Hospital. He would always maintain that he was the only Hamer not born in Texas."
I lived in Altadena for a number of years, and it lies up against the mountains just north of Pasadena, having a common city limits with that city. My last home in California was in Pasadena. And "Pasadena Hospital" was the early name of what is now known as Huntington Memorial Hospital, where I worked for 6 six years in the ER. Small world.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
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bblhd672
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Re: Frank Hamer book

#5

Post by bblhd672 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:41 am

It took me several weeks to get through, just finished reading the book. There were some dark days in the history of Texas with a great deal of evil men and women doing evil things to other people. The Texas Rangers were not exempt from this behavior.
Interesting story of one Ranger's journey through that period of Texas history. Ranger Hamer was a unique character, strong yet flawed in many ways like all of us. He had the strength of will to overcome many of his flaws, and learned from his mistakes.
The left lies about everything. Truth is a liberal value, and truth is a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value. People on the left say whatever advances their immediate agenda. Power is their moral lodestar; therefore, truth is always subservient to it. - Dennis Prager

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Re: Frank Hamer book

#6

Post by joe817 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:38 am

TAM, based on your review/recommendation, I bought this book to read when we go on vacation at the end of July. I can't wait to get started on it. Thanks!
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LTUME1978
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Re: Frank Hamer book

#7

Post by LTUME1978 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:03 pm

TAM,

Based on your recommendation, I checked this book out from the public library and read it. It was a very enjoyable read. I skipped to the last chapter first to read up on Hamer's run in with LBJ. It was interesting and not a surprise that LBJ was so dishonest.

What do you have next up for a recommendation to read?


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Re: Frank Hamer book

#8

Post by mdubtx » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:10 pm

I read this book last year after someone had recommended it here on the forum. Best read I have had in a long time and I have recommended it to several myself. I am not exactly a big read but I flew through this one.
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