Running With the Big Dogs
From Fred Gipson’s fictional Old Yeller to A&M mascot Reveille and Lyndon Johnson’s beleaguered beagles, dogs have always reigned as Texans’ pets of choice. The long line of distinguished dog lovers includes John Graves of Glen Rose, Texas’ writer emeritus, and acclaimed Beaumont photographer Keith Carter, who joined forces for this issue’s canine tribute, “Paw Prints”. The 76-year-old Graves and 48-year-old Carter met for the first time in October, when both were honored by Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos: Graves for a just-published collection of essays and fiction, A John Graves Reader (The University of Texas Press, $34.95), under the imprint of that campus’s Southwestern Writers Collection Series, and Carter for his many contributions to the school’s brand-new Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography. During a celebratory dinner, Texas-born actor G.W. Bailey read a poignant passage from Graves’s “Blue and Some Other Dogs,” about the loss of his beloved hound. Over audible sniffles throughout the dining room, Carter realized he had found a kindred spirit. Subsequently Graves agreed to write the text that accompanies our selection of photos from Carter’s latest project, Bones (Chronicle Books, $35). Like Graves’s new reader, it’s destined to be dog-eared.