Abel "Guero" Perez


May 15, 1919 - 2004
Role: Tophand, Cowhand
Nicknames: Guero
Known for: Brush Rider, Fearless

Abel “Guero” Perez was born in Beeville County. He started work as a cowhand in 1935, when, after a night of drinking and trying to milk a cow at midnight, Jim O’Connor decided he wouldn’t make a milkman. He pulled him out of the crew and put “Guero” on horseback. Except for an almost five year stint working for Frank Brooks, “Guero” has worked on the O’Connor Ranches his whole life. His first stint at the O'Connor Melon Creek Ranch was for 2½ years. Then he worked for Lawrence O’Connor for seven months. After working for Frank Brooks, the O’Connors convinced him to come back, and moved him to Quintana where he stayed 2 ½ years before they bought another place for him and built him a pen and trap for his horses. He stayed there eleven years, but the house, being old, had started to leak, so the O’Connors built him a brick house where he has been for nineteen years. Guero was one of the most extraordinary tophands in the business. He was particularly noted for being one of the most accomplished “brush hands” ever seen. This was a specialty among cowhands, as riding through thick brush at top speed on a horse took a very special kind of skill. He’s very proud that his grandsons are becoming good cowhands.

Introduction to Guero Perez

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Guero Perez
Abel Perez - I seen a many a cowboy through my lifetime. But it's just like Mr. Rusty say, "They gotta big hat and a pair of boots; they ain't nothing but a drugstore cowboy." He said, "Well, we seen a lot of that, though." Oh, you see a lot of them guys come out there with a big hat, a pair of new boots and that's it. That's all. They ain't never been around the pen. They ain't never stepped where the cow stepped. Yeah, that's like what Mr. Rusty say. He say, "Them drugstore cowboys; they ain't never seen a pen."

Clayton Isaiah - He's what you call a cowboy that came out of a book. He's a cowboy who can't get no better.

L.V. Terrell - Guerro.

Clayton Isaiah - Guerro Perez. He'd rope and run in the brush, too. He rather do everything.

L.V. Terrell - I'd rather rope a bull with him than anybody I know.

Clayton Isaiah - Yeah, he's alright.

L.V. Terrell - He's fast with a rope.

Clayton Isaiah - Uh-huh. He know what to do, too.

L.V. Terrell - Make the hair rise on your head.

Documents

“Guero's" [Abel Perez] the last of the great brush riders — there aren’t any more like him. The copters do that kind of work now.”
From an interview with E.D. "Rusty" Coward

Cryin' For Daylight: Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend

“Guero" — He's one that come outta’ the book. You can’t get no better. He make the hair stand up on your neck watchih’ him. He's a cowboy! ”
From an interview with Clayton Isaiah and L. V. Terrell

Cryin' For Daylight: Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend