Thursday, May 24, 2012

Desperados Waiting For A Train (To Stop!)

May 24, 2012

   Working on finishing our train issue. I have a pet peeve about horseback riders attacking a train, as they invariably do in the movies (think Shanghai Noon where Owen Wilson channels Led Zeppelin and rides down a hill with other outlaws to rob a train). Most horses hate trains and want nothing to do with riding up next to them, EVEN when they're standing still! Think about it: the train is made of metal. The engineer can duck down. They don't have to pull over.

   The reality of robbing trains in the Old West was to get on the train at a station, sneak up on the engineer by crawling over the coal car and at gunpoint making him stop the train, or, to put obstacles on the track, or derail the train. In my humble estimation, the absolute best portrayal of this, on film, is a Western that was a box office disaster. Can you name it?

   I have spent some time studying the Old Vaqueros. I love their look and regret their current assimilation into the mainstream North American Cowboy Look.

"Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard."

—Old Vauqero Saying