Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 8-12-13 | TheFencePost.com

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 8-12-13

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Yep, my ole cowboy cartoonist mentor "Boots" Reynolds has crossed the divide and I would surely bet he has made a zillion friends on the other side. What a guy!

Boots was born in a mental hospital in Oklahoma where his mother had a severe case of Alzheimer's disease. What a way to get a start in life. Boots was raised by his cowboy dad and lived and worked on ranches all over the country. He also was a jockey and a rodeo clown.

Boots was a funny, funny guy. He most certainly had a cowboy cartoonist brain that qualified one to draw cowboy cartoons. He was a great painter having some of his cartoons favor the cover of Western Horseman and many rodeo programs. In 1996 Boots was voted "Cowboy Cartoonist of The Year," by the Academy of Western Artist in Fort Worth, Texas.

Boots always had a booth at the Cowboy Christmas Show in Las Vegas during the National Finals Rodeo and I bet you have "laffed" at one of his cartoons. He also had many, many Leanin' Tree Greeting cards wherever they are being sold. Boots put out a hard back book called "Boots N Beans" and it featured recipes of some famous hombres and some not so famous, myself included. Boots most accurately portrayed the horse, the cowboy and the cow in a real way that put you directly in front of that old wild cow or leavin' the seat of a well used saddle while being catapulted over the head of a roman nosed, pig eyed spay footed bronc.

Boots knew his subjects well and that's what all cowboy cartoonist and western artist strive for.

Boots and his wife Becky traveled with a pot bellied pig. At first glance one might think that ole Boots was somehow kin to that pig and I say that lovingly. They stopped once to spend the night with "Little" Miss Martha and I and Boots had hoped that the pig could stay in the house with him. Not a chance!! The poor pig had to sleep in the van instead of wandering around our house at night. That was just Boots being Boots.

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He was different, he was ornery, he was funny and he was respected not only as a great artist but a wonderful contributor to western art and humor. I've always said that "laffin" is good for your soul and it's better than chicken soup in my estimation.

Boots, we miss you but you have left a legacy that will endure the test of time.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I'll c ya'll, all y'all. Remember to honor our flag and raise your voice for freedom. ❖