GLEN ROSE — For 6-year-old Jeffery Pruitt, Bull Adams — and the legendary stories that followed him — were larger than life.
“He was bigger than you could ever imagine a man to be,” said Pruitt, a 1970 graduate of Glen Rose High School. “His life and stories were so great, and he made such an impact on the people here in Glen Rose by the way he lived his life as well as by his example.”
When Pruitt first met “This Man Called …Bull”, which is also the title of his book, while singing Christmas carols with his mother’s Sunday school class, Adams was only the shell of the man he once was. All his stories were trapped in his mind because of a stroke that left him unable to speak.
“I can remember his hands being big, but he had shrunk because he had had a stroke,” he said. “We were so scared to go in the house because of all the stories we had heard about him. He’s not an ordinary man; he wasn’t.”
Pruitt said Adams, the first Rhodes Scholar ever at Baylor University, just sat in his chair — speed-reading a book — while the children sang to him and his wife, Mabel Wayland. Some 50 years after that incident, Pruitt has captured a portion of the stories that followed Ernest T. Adams, who weighed 12 pounds at birth.
“I wrote the book because as a boy, I heard all these stories about Bull Adams from different people,” he said. “I’m glad I saved his story. I kept waiting on a writer to write it, and it wasn’t going to happen, and these people were dying off who had the first-hand stories. I interviewed them, and most of them now have passed away.”
After graduating from high school, Pruitt went to Texas Tech for two years before being accepted into veterinarian school at Texas A&M, and he has practiced for some 43 years in Dallas. While juggling his practice, he was a minister for a Methodist congregation in Sherman.
All the while, the desire to write a book about Adams’ life stories stayed on his mind. Although Adams was long since dead by the time he began writing the book, Pruitt interviewed many people who once knew Bull.
“I did save his stories, and that’s what I am happy about,” Pruitt said about his first book. “I saved his stories so other generations can read them and know the man he was.”
When Pruitt first approached Adams’ daughter with the manuscript, she slammed the door in his face, he recalled. Nearly a decade later around the time the book was published in 2011, he approached her again, but this time he was well-received.
“She read it and said, ‘This is the first time I knew my father and the man he was,’” Pruitt said. “It made it all worth it. I healed a broken heart — an 80 years broken heart.”
He’s happy he could leave something for Glen Rose about one of its own who traveled the world, spoke eight languages, including all the Indian dialects in Texas, and loved mother Earth.
“I thought he was an incredible man with an incredible story,” Pruitt said.