By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
John Erickson, author of the well-known Hank the Cowdog series of children’s books, is visiting Patrick Henry College on November 12 to deliver one of his traditional “Hank talks.” Members of the community are welcome to attend this talk and the autograph session to follow. The presentation will begin at 7:00pm in the campus' main building, Founders Hall.
Erickson is “the embodiment of a cowboy,” according to George Clay, member of the Board of Trustees for Patrick Henry College. Before Erickson began writing the award-winning Hank the Cowdog series, says Clay, he “rode fences for a living.” Now the author lives on his personal ranch in Texas, where he prefers to remain, except when he speaks to libraries and other gatherings of booklovers—including an 8000-person audience at the yearly Texas state homeschool conference. He charms his listeners by reading straight from one of the fifty Hank the Cowdog books.
“Most people, although they love the books, haven’t heard the audio,” recalls Clay, who originally invited Erickson to the Texas homeschool conference. “As John reads, suddenly the books come alive. He does all the voices, and the audience is rolling on the floor.”
Hank the Cowdog and his dimwitted companion, Drover, are modeled after two dogs Erickson knew from his years working as a cowboy and ranch manager. Along with a host of other characters, the two canines live days of humor, occasional strife, adventure, and good-hearted common sense, as dogs do. So far they have survived fifty books’ worth of adventures, winning many awards and finding themselves acclaimed as ”the best family entertainment in years” by USA Today.
In addition, Erickson communicated by phone that he will read excerpts from an as-yet-unpublished book, Meditations on Writing.
“I’ve heard some of [Meditations],” says George Clay. “It is excellent—down-to-earth common sense, just what people need for living nowadays.”
If you or your children love the Hank series, you won’t want to miss this chance to meet an actual cowboy, John Erickson, and hear what he has to say.
“My family and I hope to get here early enough to grab front-row seats,” grins Art Cox, graphic designer for the College.