31 August 2013

American Exceptionalism & The American Cowboy

The American Cowboy was an eclectic group of men. As noted in the PBS series, The West:
They were a mixed group: former Confederate cavalry men and immigrants who had only recently learned to ride; there were Indian cowboys and African-Americans -- and Mexican vaqueros, whose ancestors had introduced cattle to the West centuries earlier. A cowboy, one westerner observed, is "just a plain bowlegged human who smelled very horsey at times." "In person the cowboys were mostly medium-sized men... quick and wiry, and as a rule very good-natured; in fact, it did not pay to be anything else. In character, their like never was or will be again." 
The first image below is an image of my youngest son in a bull riding competition. The bull's name is "A Few Dollars More." My son was a Virginia state champion a few years ago. Thankfully, he's gotten wiser with age and no longer rides. Several broken bones also contributed to his decision to "retire." He first expressed a desire to be a cowboy when he was seven years old. That desire never left him. He, along with his wife and children, have several horses and today he works and shoes horses for a living. He's the epitome of living the American Dream and entrepreneur. American Exceptionalism personified. The second image is of him at work.

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