I never, ever doubted that my mother was being truthful. She never lied. And it was no different when she promised me that if Dad bought me a horse, she would provide the cowgirl outfit. I’m absolutely certain she would have, too. But she knew what I did not: that there wasn’t a chance in hell that Dad was going to get me a horse. By the time I fully realised that there was never gonna be a horse in my pasture, I had mostly lost interest anyway. Truth was, it was more about the whole cowgirl thing than the horse, and of course I outgrew that fairly early.
So, that was one of my childhood dreams–an unrealised childhood dream. I mention it in case it might help you to understand my recent purchases. I wrote earlier about buying three very handsome cowboy hats a couple weeks ago, and…well… this week I bought some rather nice cowboy boots. I love my new acquisitions, but I realise there may be those who are slightly bemused by them. And those of you who have been paying attention will be wondering about the purchase of cowboy boots while I have one foot firmly ensconced in an open-toed knee-high ski boot (AKA: orthopaedic cast). Well, you are right to wonder. It was awkward. (In case my surgeon is reading this, let me just say, I never considered trying a boot on over the broken ankle.) The awkward part was wrestling with the crutches all the time and having to have others running around finding boots for me. But my helpers were brilliant, and eventually found the perfect boot(s) for me. I feel confident that the left boot will fit My Left Foot once the ankle has healed. I should add, just in case any of this gets back to my grandsons, that these boots are unsuitable for line dancing. There will be no boot-scootin’…
I’m not suggesting that I’ve had a lifelong ambition to have three cowboy hats, or even cowboy boots, but it does add a little context–call it continuity–to the story. As a kid I was a huge fan of The Lone Ranger, and his trusty sidekick, Tonto, and, of course, Silver (Hi-yo, Silver. Away!). I also liked Hopalong Cassidy and The Cisco Kid, but Gene Autry and Roy Rogers–not so much. Even as a child I had well-developed antennae to detect phonies, charlatans, and especially the ‘just too, too saccharin.’ I always felt like Roy, Dale, and Gene were just one step away from being TV evangelists, who tended to make me puke, even as a child. Couldn’t stand Liberace or Lawrence Welk for that reason.
Anyway, back to The Lone Ranger, Hopalong, and Cisco… I mostly remember listening to them on the radio, though later on I watched the T.V. series. Apart from Dale Evans, I can’t remember any real cowgirls. Dale was only really just Roy’s wife, dressed up like a cowgirl, so she never actually counted. I didn’t know about Calamity Jane until some years later, so the only interesting women in the westerns were the ubiquitous ‘bar girls’ that hung around the saloons, wearing fancy dresses and lace-up boots. I reckon Mom and Dad ought to have been glad I wanted to be a cowgirl, under the circumstances. MM