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Ox In The Culvert by Gerald Brence is a historical fiction novel about the true Wild (Old) West.

The American frontier, also known as the Wild West or the Old West, encompasses the history, geography, culture, and folklore associated with the forward wave of American augmentation in mainland North America. This started with European colonial settlements in the prime of 17th century and ended with the recognition of the ancient western territories as states in 1912. The historical events, legends, and folklore of the American frontier have impressed themselves into the culture of the United States, very much that the Wild West, and the media’s Western genre specifically, has become one of the defining times of American national identity. 

The above statement is where the Ox In The Culvert fiction story travels from. The significant western expansion of America was accomplished by both the bad and the good. It was a time that had not received its proper respect.  

A Snippet: Ox In The Culvert

Texas Ranger Ray Andrews was sapped of hearing about the California gold rush. His fellow Ranger and best friend, Tom Jenkins, continually badgered him. Tom wanted to leave the Rangers and head west, but Ray was not interested. And so their lives altered forever the day they entered a shooting competition in Austin. 

On the other hand, Samuel Colt had just erupted the new Colt Navy revolver. He sponsored a contest to promote his product. And Ray won the game while Tom finished fourth. As one of the prices, the top ten Ranger shooters received a new revolver each. Also, they were tasked to guard a payroll wagon into the Indian country, deep in Southwest Texas. When they entered the contest, Ray and Tom did not know about the payroll mission. A ruthless outlaw named Sores Aguilar was lurking. Dressed as a friendly observer, Sores gained all the information about the payroll wagon. He was already making a master plan to rob it. Ox in the Culvert is a historical fiction novel about the true Wild West. The story travels from Central Texas through the great Southwest and into California. It continues to Hong Kong and then back to San Francisco. 

In the middle of the significant Western expansion, people felt so stoked about the gold rush happening in California. Rangers left and right has been talking about the gold that could grant them instantaneous wealth. The California gold rush in Brence’s book was an example of the effect of that desire for instant success. The book deals with particular issues of the Wild West and highlights each character’s journey and how they carved their path.

Fast Talk: The California Gold Rush

In 1846, around ten thousand Californios (Hispanics) lived in California, primarily on the Los Angeles area cattle ranches. A few hundred foreigners were dispersed in the northern districts, including some Americans. With the war outbreak with Mexico in 1846, the United States sent in Frémont and U.S. Army units, as well as naval forces, quickly took control. Gold was discovered in the north after the war ended, and the word soon spread worldwide.

The gold rush drastically changed the California economy. It brought in an array of professionals, including merchants, precious metal specialists, attorneys, and doctors, who added to the population of saloon keepers, miners, prostitutes, and gamblers. Over 250,000 miners found more than $200 million in gold in the five (5) years of the California Gold Rush. As thousands arrived, however, fewer and fewer miners struck their fortuity, and most ended up exhausted and broke.

Who Is Gerald Brence?

Gerald Brence has written three books. The 70-30 Split is a nonfiction novel about high school football. The book Ox In The Culvert is a historical fiction novel on the great California Gold Rush. Agent 49 is another historical fiction novel by Brence about the early days of the Cold War.   

On the other hand, Brence taught high school English for nine (9) years. During that time, much of his focus centered on teaching high school students many of the classic American novels. He became the head football coach at Plano Senior High School for sixteen (16) years. The Wildcats won the Texas 5A State Championship in 1994. Brence was doing very well in his coaching career that he was named the Texas Coach of the Year in 1993 and 2005.

He is the District Athletic Director for the Plano Independent School District. He resides in Plano, Texas, with his wife, Elizabeth.