Friday, October 16, 2009

Earl Thollander's BACK ROADS OF TEXAS

I bought my copy of Earl Thollander's Back Roads of Texas book in the late 80's. It was priced in pencil on the inside cover at 1.00, and I either bought it at one of several half price book stores or a garage sale. Even back then, I was on the lookout for books about Texas and Texas history.

Anyway, I bought this book somewhere used and have always enjoyed the back road trips that Thollander did. An artist as well, Thollander's book is full of sketches of various locales along some of the routes. Here's an Amazon link to his book, not because I'm promoting Amazon, but because it does have some copies of this long out of print book for sale. I'm sure other online and real bookstores might have it as well.

There's a review of the book from 2000 at that link which quite accurately describes it better than I can. Scroll to the bottom of that link page for the review.

A nice bio on this artist and author can be found, of all places, on a U.S. Congressman's website

Well, the power of the "internets" is that I just discovered this fellow wrote a whole bunch of books about back roads in other places, like San Francisco and California.
As his bio indicates, he had an interesting life.

Funny thing is, from the amount of knowledge about the areas his road trip routes passed through are full of all kinds of facts. So much detail, in fact, that I had him pegged for a native Texas artist who was in love with Texas and Texas back roads. Obviously, he was very well traveled and quite a talent, so we should be flattered that of all the places he visited and felt compelled to write a book and work of art about our Great State.

I hope he enjoyed his time here, driving our roads and meeting our people. Published in 1980, he took the trips on these Texas back roads before life had radically changed in the small towns he passes through. It was a nice time with nice places, back in the day.


  1. hi, thank you for the wonderful appreciation of my father, earl thollander's backroads of texas book. he would of loved it. yes, he traveled and drew prolifically and did a number of other books as well. we hope to have a web site soon for others like you that wish to know more about about this modest but talented artist who died way before his time. sincerely, kristie thollander, yountville, california

  2. Ms. Thollander: Thank you for your comment. Please keep me posted on your website's progress, and when up send me an email at my profile address, which is elfishingmusician at yahoo dot com.

    I have not yet gotten your Father's books about other places, but it's on the short list of things to get for this year. Cash has been tight this year, but I heartily recommend this book and likely any book written by the late Mr. Thollander to anyone with an appreciation for road trips and great artwork.

  3. Earl Thollander died August 8, 2001