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(September 16-25, 2011)

Isaac Martinez

Golden Room — Salón Dorado

J Pat Marse

Slade Saddle Shop

Luling, Texas, USA

September 19, 2011, 2:30 pm CST

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© 2011 J Pat Marse, All Rights Reserved.

A page of history and some authentic Texans can be found 40 miles south of Austin in the small town of Luling. The whole story begins in Uvalde, Texas, in 1883 where a man by the name of A. M. Rice started A. M. Rice Saddlery. Meanwhile, George C. Slade was learning the trade of saddle making from Tom Padgett Saddlery, in Waco, Texas, where he worked his way up to head saddle maker. George's son, Will A. Slade, learned the trade under his father at Padgett Brothers in Waco, until in 1929 Will decided to purchase A. M. Rice's saddle shop.

One of Will Slade's early customers was an old friend and schoolmate by the name of Will Rogers. Other notable characters to go down in the Slade hall of fame include former governor Dolph Briscoe, General George Patton, and Pancho Villa.

Also in 1929, Will Slade's daughter, Ruth, married Louis Paradeaux. Louis worked in the saddle shop alongside Louis Slade, before passing the trade down to his son, Will G. Paradeaux.

In 1982, Will Paradeaux sold his interest in the business to join the ministry, but regained the shop after it went bankrupt under the new management. Today, he can be found working alongside his son, Slade Paradeaux, at the Luling, Texas, location. Slade Paradeaux is the fifth generation of leather craftsmen and saddle makers at Slade Saddle Shop.
Canon 5DII, Sigma 10mm (shaved), Nodal Ninja 5, PTGUI Pro, Pano2VR

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