Thursday, July 15, 2010

Call Me Annie Oakley

Just read that Roy Roger's stuffed horse, Trigger, was sold at auction for $266,500.  A Nebraska cable t.v. network was highest bidder.  Man, did that bring back memories of the old Westerns we baby boomers grew up watching.  I can still hear Roy and his wife, Dale Evans, singing "Happy Trails to You Until We Meet Again."

Richard Boone was the cool dude that played Paladin in "Have Gun Will Travel" and I'm pretty sure I wanted to marry him and keep him for my own.  He wore black and would aim his gun at the audience when the show started.  I can't say for sure, but Richard Boone was supposedly related to Daniel Boone and was a cousin to the singer, Pat Boone.  But, those sorts of rumors can be fact or fiction, depending on the day.  Remember Paladin's business card?  It had a white knight chess piece on it, and so did his gun holster.  Why was that?

And, "Rawhide" starring Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates, the young ramrod, and Gil Favor who was the head of the cattle drive.  Wishbone was the old fellow who did the cooking for these cowboys.  The words to this show's theme song are embedded in my brain, too.  "Rollin, Rollin, Rollin.  Though the streams are swollen.  Keep them doggies rollin.  Rawhide."

Bat Masterson was a handsome one, as well, wearing his natty vested suit and carrying the fancy cane that he used to get his point across.  I wanted him, too.  His presence was commanding, especially in saloon settings where bar fights were common in the Old West.  Most westerns had the swinging-door saloon, round wooden tables where cowboys played poker and drank shots of straight whiskey, and girls in can-can dresses flounced down the stairs and sat on the cowboys' laps.  Ultimately a fight would break out, chairs would topple over, and gun shots and fist fights would break whiskey bottles and smash up the entire bar setting.

One of my all-time faves was the early "Wagon Train" series with Ward Bond who played the wagon master, Major Seth Adams, and Robert Horton who played the part of Flint McCullough, the trail scout.  Flint would ride ahead to see what danger lied ahead of them, and then he'd come flying in on his horse with the warnings.  Charlie Wooster was the goofy cook.   The wagon train guided ordinary families through Indian territory out west where they sought a new and better life.  When there was trouble, the wagon master would put the wagons in a circle, and the whole shebang would get their guns ready.  Families lived in covered wagons during these adventures, and once in awhile a love affair would start blooming between the characters, and a new episode would be born. 

I think I could go on and on forever yacking about these old classic westerns, because they influenced us kids who grew up in the 50s.  I miss westerns, and the new programming of the 21st century just doesn't get me all that enthused.  It's another good example of generational gapping.  The human spirit changes and molds each generation differently.  There is a purpose for that, although sometimes it's hard to understand.  Most of the things that I privately criticized my parents for doing when I was a kid, well, I find myself doing them myself now.  I kind of chuckle to myself, especially when I can't stand loud music.  If one thinks about it, balance is needed to keep everything in sync.  So, it only stands to reason that there would be a generational balancing act, as well.  Hmmmmm.

As I've blogged before, I'm on this rampage of downsizing our stuff here at home.  When I say that, I have to highlight that I'm going at a snail's pace.  But, nevertheless getting rid of stuff we've collected during our lifetimes.  Anyway, going through a dresser drawer the other day, guess what I found?  Yup, my silver pistol with pearl handle that I toted in my holster when I fought the Indians in grampa's grove of evergreens.  The pearl handle is taped together with several bands of adhesive tape.  Don't laugh, cuz  I wouldn't be here if it wouldn't have been for that pistol.  I had to be a fast draw to stay alive against my boy cousin who thought he was faster than me.  When I drew my gun and pulled the hammer back, hey, the bad guys shook in their boots.  Once in a great while I purposely fell to the ground, holding my chest, crying out in pain pretending that he "got me" but then both of us would bust out laughing, get on our invisible horses, and ride away to some other canyon.

Our childhood was one of pretend.  We pretended to be anything we could think up.  Having had more boys in the family, I got involved in some pretty down and dirty battles.  I always figured, there ain't no boy gonna double-dog dare me to do anything that I couldn't do. 

I can't close without mentioning that I had one boy cousin who was my very best buddy growing up.  He and I would get to stay overnight with gramma and grampa together, and our families knew we were a match made in heaven.  We played in the grove of trees, we played in the sandbox made out of a big old tractor tire, and we'd talk, and we'd wonder and we'd explore.  Our world of two was safe, and we could trust our lives to one another.  To this day, I love him dearly and the few times we do see each other we revisit those days and laugh until we both start wiping our eyes.  Up until we were about 9 years old we shared the same bed at grampa's house.  Then came the awful day when we were told to sit down for a little talk, and our grandparents told us we could no longer sleep together.  What?  What did we do wrong to deserve this?  From that point on I would sleep with gramma, and he would sleep with grampa.  We were just innocent kids that loved each other but knew not a thing about any of the grown-up business.  Years later we understood why they separated us like that, but we remember our sadness more than anything.  We just wanted to be together.  That was all.

Isn't it amazing how we are born as babies and our days of life turn into years, and we meet others that affect us so much that they stay tucked away in the locket of our hearts forever?  Our Creator was kind when he gave us the ability to remember the times that brought us such intense true happiness.  With that ability, we never lose that happiness.  We can push the replay button and live those times over and over, and maybe add a dash of salt here and a sprinkle of pepper there.  Now, how neat is that!