Let me take you on a trip to Amarillo, Texas.
The last time I went through Amarillo their welcoming sign coming into the city had the two L’s in Amarillo replaced by cowboy boots. Amarillo has always been proud to be called a “cowtown.” There is a significant wealth in the Amarillo area that comes from agriculture and yes, lots of livestock.
The American Quarter Horse Association is located in Amarillo. Almost every businessman in Amarillo owns at least one pair of cowboy boots if not several and guess what? They wear them A LOT! There is a certain amount of respect that goes with the word “cowboy.” In the panhandle of Texas there are sure “nuff” cowboys as there are in other parts of this great country where livestock is appreciated, admired and considered many times as part of the family. “My cows,” you will hear that a lot around a ranching community.
In the Amarillo area as well as Fort Worth, Houston, and other large and small cities in Texas the local car dealer will be sporting a cowboy hat, boots jeans that he or she wears while advertizing their products. They most likely are also involved with cutting horses or something that relates to horses as well as their car dealership. That’s just part of Texas and the “cowboy culture.” How many times have you seen a politician, retired TV or movie celebrity doing a commercial leaning up against a corral fence with a mountain vista behind him or her while wearing a denim shirt with sleeves rolled up or a denim sheep skin lined jacket? They do it because it works! Folks want to identify with people of the “cowboy culture.” They want to feel as if they also have a great deal of common sense and the toughness that’s required to be a part of what I might refer to as “Western Identity.”
I am somewhat dismayed to see many of the up and coming C&W singers dressed like Clem Kaddlehopper (Red Skelton’s character”) Ripped jeans, shirt tails out, baseball caps on backwards and too many tattoos!! That’s one reason a feller (a good Texan) like Geroge Straight remains so popular among folks of all ages. He’s got class. I realize that styles change sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Look through any retail catalogue like Penny’s, Kholes, or whatever and you will find sloppy looking young men and even pre teens that might appear to be on their way to a soup kitchen. I think it reflects our society as a whole. Somewhat reckless, unmotivated, lazy, expectant and “just throw caution to the wind.”
Take time if you have time to go somewhere to a “ranch rodeo” and to the dance afterward and observe real cowboys and the real cowboy culture. I am always happy to see the Salazar brothers from Colorado (both politicians) with their cowboy hats and boots on. I may not agree with every thing that they might have said or done, but I do agree with the way they are proud of their upbringing and their “cowboy culture.” Kudos gentlemen.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, be proud to be an American (I CAN) and live in the West! I’ll c y’all, all y’all. ❖