That allure captivated Bob and Ann Henderson like many others. Ann was 18 when Bob asked her to marry him in 1950 in their hometown near Fort Worth. He was only two years older than her and newly hired as a land surveyor for the Continental Oil Company. Ann said yes, and Bob brought her out to a life roaming town to town in the desert, where they had five children in seven years.
Wherever Conoco drilled in the West Texas oil patch, Bob was on the crew that measured the land. Within a ten year span Conoco moved the family twenty times to almost as many towns. Bob and Ann fell in love with West Texas as they fell deeper in love with each other. Today they speak fondly of those years, those towns, that desert and mountains and canyons they visited on vacations. They were living an adventure.
Throughout that adventure, Bob and Ann carried an Argus C3, the iconic best-selling 35mm camera of the 40s and 50s. They made over 800 photos of their family in West Texas—snapshots of their children, of Bob at work in the survey field, of the desert horizon stretching for a million miles. Those photo slides are a documentary of an era gone by and of a young family growing up under the wide-open sky of a landscape so vast and majestic.
West Texas Interlude by Rebecca Henderson is a nonfiction book featuring Bob and Ann Henderson’s vintage photos and tales from their years of living the West Texas adventure.
Research and photo compilation for the book is taking place now, and the initial digital version will be available summer 2012. A fundraising campaign for West Texas Interlude is running on Kickstarter through September 30. On a website featuring art and music projects mostly from big cities on the east and west coasts, Pecos-based West Texas Interlude is holding its own in popularity.
Video and photos from West Texas Interlude, along with information on how to support the book and get your copy, can be found on the project’s Kickstarter page.