I must admit they are in my thoughts when I go to bed and when I awake. The actual life span of the “Golden Age of the American Cowboy” is listed as the years between 1867 and 1886 when a brutal winter all but destroyed the American cattle herds and the wider use of barbed wire with homesteads.
America in 1867 was still trying to recover from the lasting destruction of the civil war. Families destroyed, homes burned, what was civilization destroyed. America’s youth ventured to the call of the open skies. Their heroism is what we revere today. These are our knights in shining armor – those who wear the badge, gunslingers - our rakes, and cowgirls – our heroic ladies. The heroic efforts of the cowboy were captured on film by the likes of John Wayne, James Steward, Paul Newman, Robert Redford.
Perhaps the biggest boon in the notion of the heroic cowboy came in the 60’s with the birth of the Television cowboy. I have heard it mentioned that color TV was invented for the Cartwright’s boys so women could see the color of their eyes. I know for years my mother and her cohorts watched only the opening of Gunsmoke. They liked to see Matt Dillon step in front of the camera so they could ogle his backside. For me, it was the likes of Tim Matheson on the Virginian. Yep, I didn’t miss an episode with James Joseph Horne.
Who were your western heroes???
Did you have a favorite western movie????
This year will see me writing more westerns, both contemporary and historical. Look for something new coming this spring as I join forces with another wonderful writer to bring you a four book series in the old west.