Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 1-14-13 |

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 1-14-13

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, this morning while listening to talk radio there was some discussion of a problem with some peace officers in our area and their general behavior. “They are acting like a bunch of cowboys!” one caller described the situation.

Seems like we hear that phrase fairly often when someone in a responsible position goes off course it’s always, “they are acting like a bunch of cowboys.” Of course I take offense to that because the everyday working ranch cowboy or feedlot cowboy as a general rule does not act like an idiot in his comings and goings of his job or in his community. Maybe some do on a Saturday night if they are young and single and consume to many spirits.

In certain states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and others there are always cowboys that stand head and shoulders above their peers. It’s a badge of honor to be called a “cowboy” in these states if you are sure “nuff” a ranch cowboy.

It’s even better to be called a “good hand” and the best of all is to be called a “cowboy’s cowboy.” That is top of the shelf when it comes to being complimented or praised as someone special in your field. Many years ago a group called the Sons of the San Joaquin from California included your’s truly in the title song of their latest C.D. I had no knowledge of it until a woman approached me at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and ask me if I knew I was named in their title song called “Whence Came the Cowboy?” I didn’t. The song was a historic account of the evolution of the cowboy and they named cowboys from the Spaniards to present day cowboys.

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I along with four other fellers were named as representatives of today’s (20 years ago) cowboy. I got in touch with the leader of the group and thanked him for my part in the song but out of curiosity, I asked “why me?” He replied that they ask cowboys every time they went to do a performance at a cowboy poetry gathering or a concert, who, to you, represents today’s cowboy. Your name always came up so we put it in our song. Folks, I deserved that compliment about as much as our President deserved to win the Nobel Peace prize!

Certainly I felt honored but for sure, I didn’t feel like I was entitled to such recognition. I have never been called a “cowboy’s cowboy” by someone that I knew was a “cowboy’s cowboy.” I am not a “cowboy’s cowboy.” Never have I been nor will I ever be. I just don’t have the skills for that title and didn’t have when I was a’horseback all of those years. Cowboys in West Texas and the panhandle of Texas that work those big ranches down there are “cowboys.” They are respected and looked up to just as the above mentioned cowboys from those other states. I do wish cowboys were not tossed into the same salad as some peace officer who has screwed up in one way or another. So much for that from an old cowboy.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all. ❖