Sunday, November 12, 2023

Dude Spotting: it's Harder to Spot Real Cowboys Than You Might Think

 November 12, 2023

   Think you can spot a real cowboy? Let's find out.

   So, is this a real cowboy?

Yes. This Is A Real Montana Cowboy

   On this one we all agree. This was taken in Sturgis, Dakota Territory in 1888 and his gear is just about perfect.

    How about this guy?

   Goofy gear and overposed. Looks like studio props and he seems a little boyish to be an authentic cowboy. Still, I wouldn't say positively he isn't a real cowboy because, my Kingman cowboy cousin, Billy Hamilton told me the best cowboy he ever saw wore farmer overalls and a gimme cap.

   How about this guy?

   Yes, this is Larry McMurtry who grew up on a cattle ranch near Archer City, Texas. I know what you're thinking: he's not really a working cowboy. Well, he lived the life of a cowboy as a kid and he wrote about the life, so what about that disqualifies him as a "real cowboy"?

   And yes, he left the ranch to write books, like "Last Picture Show" and the beloved "Lonesome Dove." He wrote about the classic cowboy period in a very authentic way, so how does this make him a "dude"? On the other hand, one of the cowboys who claimed to have worked with McMurtry on his dad's ranch said, after Last Picture Show came out, "He wasn't no cowboy."

   Okay, is this a real cowboy?

   No, this is a fake cowboy! This is some damn cartoonist who dresses up like a fake cowboy for the fun of it. This guy gives dudes a bad name.

   Most Westerners, expect a cowboy to be wearing what they deem to be authentic clothing, you know, like this guy.

Real Cowboy?

   Not really. This guy is actually a long haul trucker back in the day.

A Trucker Wearing Cowboy Clothes & Hat

   This perhaps illustrates the old, coarse joke: why do some cowboys have their name stitched on the back of their leather belts? So truckers will know who they are making love to.

   So, as you can see, looks are deceiving, especially in the cowboy zone.

"I see by your outfit you want to be a cowboy."

—Old City Slicker Lament

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