John Graves, author of the classic “Goodbye to a River”, passed away Tuesday in his Glen Rose home of Hard Scrabble. He was 92.

Graves wrote several books about rural life in Texas and the state’s natural beauty. “Goodbye to a River”, published in 1960, was a detailed account of a 1957 canoe trip along the Brazos River at a time when the river was set to be permanently altered by dams and encroaching urbanization.

Graves was born in Forth Worth in 1920. After serving as a Marine and moving about, living in places like New York and Spain, Graves returned to Texas in 1957 to care for his cancer-stricken father.

Hard Scrabble Farm House - YouTube

In 1970, he and his family settled in an old farm house just outside of Glen Rose. Graves christened the house Hard Scrabble and wrote a book detailing its restoration and offering observations on life in rural Texas. The book, “Hard Scrabble: Observations on a Patch of Land”, is just one of several Graves would write about his home while contributing to Texas Monthly, Atlantic, Esquire and even the New Yorker.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, and two daughters, Helen and Sally.