Durham, Alvin 1972-08-16

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Alvin Durham, saddlemaker and former Matador cowboy, recalls his work with the Matador Ranch in a transition period from older to modern ranching. He also provides valuable details on leathercraft and saddlemaking.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Alvin Durham

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: August 16, 1972

Location: Near Roaring Springs, Texas

Interviewer: Jeff Townsend

Length: 1 hour


Tape 1, Side 1: Background and early life reviewed, Worked with Matador Ranch--1943-1960, Use of motor vehicles explained, Worked at Matador line camp, Electricity and water supply discussed, Matador labor shortage noted, Killed mesquites in late 1940s, Rodeo and cowboy unions recalled, Rodeo performer and ranch cowboy role contrasted, Cowboy discipline at the wagon and bunkhouse, Describes Guthrie's liquor election, Modern cowboy characterized, Cites influence of feedlots and decline of ranching technique, Cowboys described, Reflects on increasing cowboy wages

Tape 1, Side 2: Matador food purchase and distribution examined, Anecdote about Pitchfork Ranch chuckwagon, John Mackenzie recalled, Owned saddle and leather shop, Learning the saddle business, Saddlemaking craft described, Hand-tooling and craftsmanship, Saddlemaker's clients listed, Definition of a "journeyman saddlemaker", Different saddlemakers mentioned, Business problems outlined

Range Dates: 1943-1960

Bulk Dates: 1943-1960

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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