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When City-Boys Trailed Cowboys

Mör’s Christmas Cookies
December 21, 2021
The Cowboy Way
January 4, 2022

From time to time I wander off to pondering, what life-role I might have dream-pursued if my birth hadn't coincided with that of television. That phenomenon of horses galloping black and white through my living room at night, bad guys always getting their due after I finished dinner and the determined, always-successful, pursuit of 'right' was repeatedly displayed behind glass for my nightly entertainment - and my dream-building! What if I hadn't grown up familiar with such exclamations as "Whoa Nellybelle!", "Hi-Yo Silver!" and, "Get-'em-up-Scout!"? But, my birth was simultaneous with television's then-recent availability which set me up to be heavily influenced by "The Tube". I was born at a time when I could watch Dennis Weaver play a partial cripple - a western "Sancho" - serving his righteous champion and mine. I was weaned on James Garner consistently charming the ladies and always having spare cash at the ready inside his coat lining and Chuck Connors modeling fair and honest behavior to his son (Johnny Crawford) who adoringly called him, "Paw". William Boyd had a longhorn-steer neckerchief-slide and I wanted one. I wanted a horse to be my friend with a name like Joker, Champion, Trigger, Buckshot, Diablo or Scout. Maybe I'd have me a trusty side-kick like Pancho, Jingles or Tonto and a dog named Bullet or Rin-Tin-Tin. Westerns were a dime-a-dozen on TV back then; every channel had them every night. There were dozens and dozens over those years, each having its own twist but all promoting the same consistent goodness-laced adventure. Young, impressionable minds absorb such fantasies before they are confronted, restricted actually, by realities of adult-born, practical considerations. For some of us, it seems, that grownup-delivered impediment got waylaid so the pursuit of the accompanying virtues, adventures and romance just never ceased.


When City-Boys Trailed Cowboys


Today boys want to be famous athletes
Or maybe astronauts space travellin'
Times were different in my childhood
My youth was quite a different unravelin'


Growin' up as I did in the fifties
Seems every kid wanted to be a Cowboy
Of course we didn't really understand
The Hollywood version was only a decoy


Yet, even back as a very young pup
I had sense enough to perceive
Them Cowboy actors were firing blanks
The silver screen was just make believe


But wide brim hats and boots tall
And horses and shootin' irons bangin’
Just felt a fit I naturally belonged to
I’ve always been cowboy-speak slangin’


Armed with a cap pistol and bandana
I'd straddle my trusty stick-steed
Chasing after injuns or outlaws
Or rescuing a tied-up lass in need


Proverbs 22:6 spells it out right clear
Raise up a child on the right road
My folks put me on the Cowboy path
It’s a hankerin’ that never has slowed


I remember clearly the visit
When my folks took my brother and I
To visit and play at Corriganville
It was a rootin’ tootin’ childhood high


If my memory serves me right
It was right around Christmas-time
My brother and I got deputized and
Arrested Crash for some heinous crime


Of course it wasn’t really loaded
But it was the first real gun I ever held
Still I remember it was dang-sure heavy
And towards my future it surely impelled


Maybe that steered me to star-packin’
Arrestin’ real bad guys for my pay
In later years as fate would have it
I'd be a real Deputy Sheriff one day


I grew up on Hopalong and Roy
Crash Corrigan and The Duke
I wanted to be just like 'em
So gettin' close ain't been no fluke


Though he made lotsa' B-westerns
Some may not remember ol’ Crash
His fame wasn't so long lasting
As his peers who made a bigger smash


I did my stint as a Hollywood actor
Though I never played a cowboy part
But I packed a six-gun in "The Rainmaker"
Perfectin' my fast-draw art


I've never questioned why
I was always drawn to cowboyin'
Come on! What's to wonder
About horses, boots and hogleg toyin'?


So, yep, Santa done real good that year
I got to straddle a horse
Wear a badge, tote a gun
Even make an arrest in due course


As to my life on The Cowboy Fringe
This story is just one more piece
Of my ongoing quest for Cowboyin’
And the desire that will never cease


by Rik Goodell

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