Edwin "Bud" Shrake - journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter - died early Friday in Austin.
Shrake and Dan Jenkins
attended Paschal High School and TCU together before going on to careers as correspondents for Sports Illustrated and as novelists. Shrake’s 1965 SI piece about LBJ and the Hill Country, "The Once Forbidding Land"
, has been called required reading for anyone setting foot in that part of Texas.
His 1970 essay Land of the Permanent Wave"
, was about the destruction of the Big Thicket
by timber interests. SI, whose parent company Time Inc. had a major East Texas lumber company as a stockholder, rejected the piece
. Harper's Magazine ran the piece, and Harper's editor Willie Morris called it one of the two best pieces Morris ever published during his tenure at the magazine
Shrake’s novels Blessed McGill (1968) and Strange Peaches (1972) are arguably his most lasting works
. In the fall of 1963, Shrake was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News and was dating the star dancer at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club
. Strange Peaches, which features a lead character who is a TV Western star dating Jack Ruby’s star dancer, is renowned as an acidic look at Dallas in the Fall of 1963
Shrake may be best known for his three golfing guides he co-authored with legendary golf coach Harvy Penick
, including Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, a golf guide that became the best-selling sports book in publishing history
As an "as told to" biographer, he wrote autobiographies of Willie Nelson
and former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer
Shrake’s screenwriting credits
include "J.W. Coop" (1971), starring Cliff Robertson; "Kid Blue" (1973), starring Dennis Hopper; and "Tom Horn" (1980), starring Steve McQueen.
Shrake, whose archives are now part of the Southwestern Writers Collection
at Texas State University-San Marcos, is also known for his longtime friendship
with Jenkins and other Texas writers such as Larry L. King
, Billy Lee Brammer
, Gary Cartwright
, and Peter Gent
. He was also known to hang out with fellow Austinites Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Ben Crenshaw, and Tom Kite
. Shrake was the former “First Guy” of Texas
and will be buried next to his longtime companion, Gov. Ann Richards