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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hail to the Cowboy & Westerns!

Few images of American history pose pure masculinity like the cowboy. His rugged, stoic bravery stood tall in the saddle as he headed across dangerous territory facing nature's sprawling, treeless plains or mountainous terrain and humanity's outlaws. He donned boots, spurs and a cowboy hat, the boots being proudly laced with humility and a sense of arrogance, the spurs singing their familiar "jingle, jangle, jingle", and the hat paying homage to the unparalleled John B.

American cowboy, circa 1888
Fact vs. Fiction: The cowboy, an icon of the American West, is filled with half-real, half-mythical symbolism. The cowboy is depicted as being tough-as-nails with a stoic romanticism inspiring envy. His constant companion—his six-gun! His best friend—his mustang - horse,  of course! His home—the open range.
Cattle roundup, before barbed wire times
What about the name...COW paired with BOY? Is it the cattle roundup that earned the 'COW' in his name? What about 'BOY'? All descriptors/historical records portray the cowboy as being anything but a boy. The title lends itself to visions of both cattle/cattle-tending work and age factors. Interestingly enough, the origin of the word in the English language is very old securing a place in recorded history prior to the year 1000. In antiquity, herding of sheep, cattle and goats was often the job of minors, and still is a task for young people in various third world cultures [Source: en.wikipedia.org].

The American cowboy has captured the hearts, minds and souls of millions of people. He has earned many names, including buckaroo, cowpoke, cowhand, cowpuncher, to name a few. His place in American history does not simply include recognition in history books but being immortalized within the senses of cinema. Keeping in tune with the Westerns (movies) think about how many times you have heard a cowboy pray. Did you know there's a whole category of prayers set aside only for cowboys? It's true. You don't have to take my word for it, simply click HERE...

Hail to the cowboy and Western movies!

"Shane! Come back!" "Shane" (1953) Little Joey cries out these words as Shane (Alan Ladd) rides off into the sunset. Sure, the mother seems to be interested in him, the father wants him to stay, and the kid has made him his idol, but Shane’s done what he needed to and, even though all he wanted to do was settle down, he has to move on. We see this theme of the gunslinger who can never escape his fate in dealing death many times in the Western genre.
Best line: “A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

Of course, let us not leave the discussion of the cowboy and Westerns without mention of the American Indian. After all, the theme of all Western movies includes cowboys vs. Indians! Some films project the image of the calvary Westerns, while others focus primarily on the classic Westerns. Both offer the viewer insight into the hostile and friendly Indian persona. Then, there is the famous duo, the cowboy and the Indian companion. Once such renown pair is The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

To Johnny Depp - Way TOO much eyeliner! At least if Jay Silverheels invited you over for dinner, there would be no worry as to what's in the soup!

Head on over to Serendipity. You MUST read Marilyn's post about the new Lone Ranger when the movie was first released. FUN-NEE but holds a lot of truth! Westerns are just not what they use to be. Unless you grew up during the era of the classic Western, you just won't understand.

Related Articles:
Are we there yet? 
Reviewing the Oldies: Along Came Jones (1945)
Do you have a favorite cowboy, movie line, Western movie? Share it here. We would all love to hear from you!