Books & Prints

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Cover of Hard Heads and Half Gales

Hard Heads and Half Gales; Tales from Tarpon Texas, by the late Jim Wiggins, revisits Port Aransas between WWII and the early 70s. Life was pretty laid back in those days, when the streets were oyster shell and dogs ran free.

Hard Heads and Half Gales: Tales from Tarpon, Texas, made its public debut during the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association’s annual fundraising dinner and auction. A special leather bound edition, book #1, presented in a custom wooden box built out of wood from the Farley tarpon fishing boat Manny, raised $7500 for the Museum and Farley Boat Works during the live auction.

This is the second book published by PAPHA, the first being The Mercer Logs: Pioneer times on Mustang Island, Texas that was presented at last year’s event. Like the Mercer Logs, Hard Heads and Half Gales gives us a look at an earlier Port Aransas. With this book, however, many readers might find themselves reflecting on their own memories of life on this barrier island as they turn the pages.

In Hard Heads and Half Gales, Jim Wiggins presents a delightful look at the strong, self-reliant, and often eccentric folk who make up this small, island community in the years between WWII and the 1970s. In lovely vignettes, he reflects on how the forces of nature, from the amazing beauty and bounty of the surrounding bays and gulf to the powerful forces of wind and water, sculpted the landscape, the town, and the people who live there.

Mr. Wiggins commissioned Ivan McDougal to paint 10 beautiful watercolors to illustrate this fine collection of tales about his favorite place in the world to spend time with those he loved.

Read a review by Corpus Christi Outdoor Columnist David Sikes (PDF).

Printed in the U.S.A. $49.95

The Mercer Logs

The Mercer Logs: Pioneer Times on Mustang Island is the highly acclaimed historical journal compiled by the Robert Mercer family while living on Mustang Island from 1866 through 1877. Called the Mercer Logs, this remarkable collection consisting of thousands of daily entries is the only known record of life and times on 19th century Mustang Island.

Having worked closely with the logs, local historian Guthrie Ford wanted others interested in Mustang Island history to have an opportunity to read them. The problem was that publication of the thousands of entries was not realistic, so Ford selected a sample of about 240 logs. He chose the logs based on their historical merit, the history they told, or their human interest value. Many of the entries speak of the day to day life on Mustang Island.

After approval by the PAPHA Board, The Mercer Logs: Pioneer Times on Mustang Island was published. In addition to the logs, the book contains historical contexts written by Ford along with 28 photographs, maps, and images pertinent to the period when the Mercer Logs were written.

The first copy of The Mercer Logs: Pioneer Times on Mustang Island, a special leather bound edition housed in a custom made rosewood box, sold at auction on Saturday, March 3, for $10,000 during the museum’s annual fundraiser.

Printed in the U.S.A. $49.95

Tina line drawings

The tarpon skiff Tina is the jewel of the Farley Boat Works collection. This 18” x 24” line drawing, printed w/archival inks on archival grade paper, is suitable for framing. Unframed. $25

Painting of museum

Own a signed and numbered print of the lovely watercolor, Port Aransas Museum, by Lee Ricks. Printed on archival paper with archival inks. When matted, the 10” x 14.5” print fits 16” x 20”. Unframed. $25