Baxter Black: Lookin’ for cowboys
So there I was, changing planes in the DFW Texas airport. A twenty-something lady looked up and said, “Well, it’s good to see a cowboy again.”
“Where have you been? I asked.
“Arizona,” she said.
I said, “There’s cowboys in Arizona.
“Not that I saw,” she said. “I was in Tucson.”
They call’em a vanishing breed,
Take pictures like they’re all dyin’ out.
Like dinosaurs goin’ to seed,
But that’s my friends they’re talkin’ about.
“Yer right,” I said, “Tucson isn’t the best place to look for cowboys.”
“I thought you were a Texan,” she said.
“Well, there’s plenty of cowboys in Texas,” I said, “But dang few in Dallas, unless you count Tomy Romo and the football team.”
“That’s right, I guess,” she said.
“But,” I offered, “There’s plenty of cowboys most places you go. When you’re flyin’ over the country you see square miles of open space between airports, look down. Some of it’s green, or brown of yellow. In the Appalachians, Great Plains, Rockies, the Bread Basket, the Bible Belt and the Wild West.
“The open space you see between metroplexes is probably being used for cattle grazing. In that vast expanse are waterholes, windmills, corrals, isolated ranch houses, cabins in the woods, in the palmetto or forest there are cowboys who know every water tank, draw, canyon, bluff, fence, gate, and arroyo as well as you know your way to the refrigerator in the middle of the night.
“Granted, they are often spread thin but from 30,000 feet in the air you will see long dirt roads goin’ somewhere. And if you watch long enough you’ll see a pickup and stock trailer kickin’ up dust.
“So, if you’re lookin’ for cowboys in Tucson or Dallas, the odds are against you. If you want to a see a cowboy in real life, you’re gonna have to get outta town.”
Some say they’re endangered species,
Destined to fade into footnotes like ropes that never get throwed.
To that I reply ‘bull feces,’
They’re just hard to see from the road!
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