New & Notable: Dan Jenkins’ memoir

Posted Sunday, Mar. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir

by Dan Jenkins

Doubleday, $26.95

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Dan Jenkins is on Twitter now (@danjenkinsgd), but you can practically hear the click-click of an old newsroom typewriter through the pages of His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir, out Tuesday.

The native Texan, 84, spent his formative years in Fort Worth (he writes that he still has a big button — “I Am for Slingin’ Sam Baugh and the Fighting Frogs” — as a childhood memento from TCU’s big win over the Rice Owls on Nov. 23, 1935). He went to Paschal (where he wrote the name-dropping column “Purely Accidental” for The Pantherette) and had his first sports byline in the Fort Worth Press before he started his studies at TCU. He learned the “bidness” sitting at the feet of Press sports editor Blackie Sherrod, including the distinction between writing for AM and PM editions and this bit of wisdom: “Don’t write me anything that rhymes.”

His journalism journey has taken him, in order, to jobs at the Press, Dallas Times Herald, Sports Illustrated, Playboy and Golf Digest (where he still writes regularly — and tweets from tournaments). He’s written bestselling and beloved books and flirted with Hollywood. All are lovingly covered in that distinctive voice, along with lots of luminaries, railing against political correctness and anecdotes (did you know the novel Baja Oklahoma was written as a love letter to Fort Worth?) about friends, family and the games people play and watch our ownselves.

— Celeste Williams

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