Monday, July 25, 2011

Boots and a Book

Thunder and lightening last night but no rain. Early morning was overcast and cooler. Amazing weather. It was like finally having a flashlight turned off after someone shining it directly in your eyes for an extended time. You can’t focus on that fact you can see again…or in this case, not still be burning to a crisp. However, the air is heating up once more, and now it feels like a steamy sauna outside.

First of all today I want to welcome Lou Turner as a new follower. Visit Lou at where she writes about cowboys, Indians, and old fashioned westerns! It seems to me the westerns are coming back some. Let’s see where this goes in movies and publishing! I grew up in those good old days of westerns playing all over the television and at the theaters. It was also years that my grandparents belonged to a riding club, attending shodeos, rodeos, and riding in parades.

The group wore matching shirts and pants, and they all rode horses with saddle blankets showing lime and brown pom poms. Every Saturday night, we all ended the week with a new episode of Gunsmoke. Ah, the days of Mister Dillon and Miss Kitty!

Twyla, my cowgirl Granny!

As a kid I wore fringed jackets and pants, topped with felt cowboy hats tied under my chin. I had guns and holsters just as I had dolls. I tied a rope onto my bike for a “horse” mount. I wore cowboy boots, often with my dresses. Now this was before it was country cool for gals to do so. Only Dale Evans and I wore boots with skirts!

When I “graduated” from eighth grade, my grandfather wanted to buy me something special. He never went further than the 8th grade himself so this was a special occasion to him. He wanted to buy me a pair of boots that cost $100. My mother threw a fit, and a small family riff rocked things for a while. I wanted those boots, but mom said it was too much money when I needed so many other things. Besides it was a waste of money since I should be dressing like a young lady. To this day, I can not remember any gift I received then, only the one I did not.

I am reading the September selection for my book club, Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. It is a cowboy and Indian story with the emphasis on the Indians since it is the story of Quanah Parker, born of a white mother and a Comanche father. Cynthia Parker was captured when she was nine years old in Texas during a Comanche raid. She later married one of the tribe and produced three children; her oldest son Quanah became the last chief of the Comanches.

The book is more than their story though. It is a tale of how Texas was settled, how the Texas Rangers were formed, the invention of the Colt pistol, how fighting strategies changed in the West, and how the fierce Comanches lost their power hold on the southern prairies. The book is fascinating reading, but it is violent and gruesome, just as Manifest Destiny was for many folks.


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Sounds like a great book. I'll put it on my list. Sorry about your boots...

Susan said...

Oh Bookie, your post today brought back so many memories. When I was about 7, my godmother, who was childless, asked me what I wanted for my birthday. She said I could have "anything your little heart desires."

Well, my little heart desired a cowgirl outfit, with hat and boots. My Mom threw a fit and said to tell my aunt I wanted a new skirt and blouse. Well, I did, but I was heartbroken. My godmother must have known because, guess what? She got me the cowgirl outfit! I was THRILLED.

The book you are reading sounds really good, too. Bookie, thanks for all your visits to my blog and for commenting,too. Always glad to see you visited. Susan