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The Western

Story ID:9408
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Coona CA UA
Person:Chelsea Kanas, Kid
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If you have ever gone to a "Western" you know that the guy in the White hat always wins, and in the end they (the cowboy and his girl that he hasn't kissed) ride off into the sunset. Now is this where the story ends or where it begins? Do they get married? If they do, do they have 10 children? Does the cowboy end up farming or ranching? How do they live? Do they build a log cabin? With only a horse and gun and saddle do they prosper or do they starve to death? Maybe he can steal enough cattle and horses to live but isn't this what he fought against while he was cleaning up DODGE? Even then, the women were the breadwinners. The gal was nine times out of ten a schoolmarm and was the only working part of the duo. Did they find a school with two or three students and settle down to teaching while the cowboy worked for the mean old rancher.

Think of it, they rode off on a horse, you cannot get very much furniture on a horse with two riders. I know that a slab of bacon, and coffee and a couple of matches would not go very far if it were Shirley. I forgot the beans and flour. How do you cook if the wind is blowing and maybe raining my-my riding off into the sunset must have been fun?

Yeah I know that they had two blankets and a saddle for a pillow. This works for one but what about the woman where does she lay her head. That saddle was not very wide and I'm sure the cowboy will share his saddle.?. Did they have safe sex? Dr Ruth wasn't born yet and couldn't help them so did they have a planned family or one that was unplanned?

I must say I have seen some beautiful sunsets but you can't eat them, what did they eat? Probably curried coyote, roasted rabbit, broasted buffalo or maybe the horse? Now this cowboy always seemed to me not to be to smart because he was cleaning up DODGE for a pittance. All he did was to play with his six-shooters and strum that damned guitar. I never saw one of them get paid.

The crooks always were paid and paid well.
All the time that the cowboy is cleaning up DODGE, he is singing about “git a long little doggies”, or something about the Red River Valley. In those days, a gig in a roadhouse didn't pay very well so as an entertainer he was also a bust.
I don't want you to think that I am against OATERS but they are so darn predictable that at my age of seventy-one I cannot enjoy them anymore. Besides Gene now owns the ANGELS, Roy Rogers is at the "Gold Mine in the Sky," and we do not have any more good cowboys left to entertain us.

When Gene rode off into the sunset he bought the Angel baseball team and made a bundle. Roy started a museum in Victorville and made a bundle. Monty Montana wasn't a singer but he was sure good at the rope tricks and that saved him more that once. Ken Maynard's hat was not the regular 10-gallon hat but was a 15-gallon hat and it was hard for him to ride through the trees, that is why he was always seen on the country roads.

Back then they always hung the bad man now they either make him the President of the USA or elect him to the House
or the Senate, you do not see any of them wearing a white hat and that ought to tell you something.

I can just see sitting around the campfire in a driving rain, While strumming that damned guitar, after the meal is cooked and the dishes are washed. The bill-o-fare for their first supper was:
Rump of Rabbit
Weed of Sour Dock salad, with wild onions Desert coffee flavored Grasshoppers and Root of cactus juice as an aperitif.

You may think ugh--but I think that all this was good for the system. Did you ever see or hear of a cowboy with a cold, flu, tooth trouble, stomach problems, always there was gas because beans were one of the staples of the day but they (the cowboys) were always healthy.

I could never figure how the good guy always got shot in the shoulder, never in the heart or between the eyes. The good guy always shot the gun out of the gunman's hand and never drew blood from the hand that held the gun. When the good guy got shot of course he always had a high fever and there was always some beautiful woman that was tending to him. I wonder if they used bed pans back then? I saw one onetime that had Jane Russell in it and she got into the sickbed to bring down the cowboy's fever if Jane Russell got into my sickbed I'm afraid that my fever would get worse. Well that's me.

Now that I have made fun of the cowboy movies, I have to tell you that I never missed one when I was a kid.

Saturday afternoon I could see a shoot-em-up and later when

I was doing my CHORES I would practice my quick draw and try to hop onto the pony. When I would try to jump on my pony's back she always moved and I landed on the ground.

Cowboys and Indians was the game of the day and we took no prisoners. Out of all the shots that were fired nobody got killed, nobody was injured, and we did not have to eat Curried-Coyote for supper.

Yes those were the good-old days, but since I lived through it, I wouldn't want to go back. Ten Spot, my pony, has long ago gone to the"Great Grassy Plain in the Sky." She will be remembered fondly until I try my running jump on her back, when we meet on that grassy plain and we can play cowboys and Indians again.
8-6-98 Monte L. Manka