Doc Turk

  Doc Turk


    Mike Capron


Doc Turk was a couple generations older than me, but lived in the same part of the world as I do now. Back in his day he was a very popular man from Sheffield to the Rio Grande River. Zane Turk introduced me to the story that inspired the painting above. The story was written in the Sanderson Texas news paper and a book called “The Longhorns” by J. Frank Dobie, I think some time shortly after World War II.  I don’t have the Sanderson newspaper article, but I do have a copy of J. Frank Dobie’s book and the story is found on page 322. 

The brush hand is a brute for punishment. Cool-headed in directing his own skill, at the same time, once he hits a hot trail, he becomes oblivious to all else. 

One time while Doc Turk and some other brush poppers were in swimming, their saddled horses standing on the bank, they glimpsed an outlaw steer crossing the open creek bed just below the water hole. Without hesitating a moment, Doc Turk leaped out of the water, and stark naked as the was, mounted his snorting horse and tore through the bushes after the steer. He roped him and tied him down. Scratches and bruises meant no more to him than a gash to a dog smelling the breath of his prey. They say that on many a cold morning his comrades have literally lifted Doc Turk into the saddle, stiff and “stove up” from punishment administered by the brush. He knew and his comrades knew that, once the chase was started, he would limper up.

This story is in the chapter “Moulded by Horn and Thorn” .  Lots of good stories about the brush poppers of South Texas in this Chapter……..


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