JOHN E. HOOVER
Cowboy Western Artist, Author, Actor
Bone Town: An Odyssey of Honor
"It is a great thrill to come across a fine new talent in the western novel. John Hoover creates in Bone Town a story that is compelling in its imagery, both of the real world and the world of imagination. The characters are finely drawn and each character, even the smallest, is important to the story. Nathan Black, the reluctant hero has a core of integrity that informs us of the triumph of good over evil, and captures the reader from the first page. You feel the sweat and the strain, and the bone-numbing, back breaking effort of his odyssey of honor, every step of the way. The dream sequences are fascinating and are woven like a soft blanket around the story itself, augmenting and embellishing our understanding. The horse training sequences are as real, true and palpable as the fine dust rising in a round corral. The fine strain of romance is lovely in its simplicity and inevitability. Bone Town took me out of myself and into the lives of it's characters and allowed me to share their hopes and dreams. There is no higher praise."
His own character is as big as some of the characters he paints. He has his own stories to tell of days working cattle and horses or being on movie locations and shares those stories with friends and acquaintances on a regular basis. He also interprets those stories though his colorful Western art works which are on display in his studio in Houston that could double as "a museum of the old west," It is filled with his western artifacts, movie gear and adorned with Mr. Hoover's original compositions.
John Hoover's real life experiences as a cowboy, actor, and stuntman provide him with a unique practical working knowledge of his subject matter that is reflected throughout his original paintings. His portraiture and landscapes showcase his historical knowledge through careful attention to period detail, as do some of his short stories and other writings.
COWBOYS AND MOVIE STARSIn the not so distant past, Hoover worked training horses and wrangling dudes on the legendary LH7 Ranch which held the nation's finest and purest herds of authentic longhorns. The Historic LH7 was owned by Miss Maudeen Marks, whom Hoover quite obviously held in high esteem and considered a close personal friend. In 1985, the Texas Historical Commission designated the LH7 Ranch a state archeological landmark.
Hoover appeared in two feature films, one called "Ride with the Devil" (1999), directed by Ang Lee. The film starred Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, and folk/pop singer Jewel and in "Instinct" (1999) with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Donald Sutherland, and Cuba Gooding Jr. He also was in two made for TV westerns, "The Rough Riders" (1997) and "Two for Texas" (1998), both for TNT. Hoover also worked on episode 6, "Mare Tranquilitatis" of "From Earth to the Moon" (1998), the Emmy award-winning 13 episode HBO mini-series. As well as acting in a pilot for a TV series, and numerous TV commercials.
Hoover performed for twenty years as a western cowboy gunfighter. The first five or six years he was in a group known as the 1869 Cowboy Company, after which he started his own group known as Hoover's Rangers Wild West Show & Revue performing for conventions, festivals, company parties and television commercials. Hoover's Rangers also appeared at the Houston Livestock show and rodeo and the first ever Texas Ranger re-enactment which was held at Ft. Martin Scott in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Hoover wrote the shows his cowboys performed, as well as wearing the hats of Director, stunt co-coordinator, set/location designer and builder. Supplying the period style weapons, tents, wagons, horses and saddles needed at their various performances.
Hoover states, "When I worked with the movie cavalry, it was for a gentleman by the name of Mr. Riley Flynn. As one of his crew, we were expected to supply our own wardrobe, weapons and gear for the time period of the piece, for both ourselves as well as our horses. We were each picked and paid because of our historical dedication as well as the proficiency we had with our weapons and horses."
One of Hoover's larger paintings is an acrylic on board; it is of a Native American named He Dog. The paining is approximately 3' x 4'. This painting's colorful mauve and white tones provide a distinct western feel and the weathered face of the subject implores the viewer to ponder the old Chief's life story.
About He Dog:
- He Dog was born in 1840 near the Black Hills. In the 1860s, He Dog and his brothers started a small band of Oglala Lakota known as the Soreback Band.
- In 1876, He Dog married a woman named Rock and with the Soreback Band, stopped briefly in Wyoming Territory. That spring, a group of troops under Colonel Joseph Reynolds attacked the band, essentially starting the Great Sioux War.
- During the summer of 1876, He Dog took part in the Sioux War of 1876 including the Battle of Little Bighorn. He eventually surrendered to American troops at the Red Cloud Agency with Crazy Horse in the spring of 1877. After Crazy Horse was killed, He Dog accompanied the Oglala to Washington, D.C. as a delegate to meet the President.
- He Dog left the Red Cloud Agency after its relocation to the Missouri River during the winter of 1877. He joined Sitting Bull in Canadian exile over the next two years. He Dog and the northern Oglala were ultimately transferred to the Pine Ridge Reservation in the spring of 1882, where he lived the rest of his life. He Dog died in 1936.