Posted tagged ‘Buttermilk’

” It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.”

January 9, 2012

Winter is dropping by for a quick visit today: it will only be in the high 30’s. When I went to get the papers earlier, there wasn’t even the smallest breeze so it felt warmer than 36°. The 40’s will be back tomorrow and for the rest of the week. No January thaw this year. We haven’t the need for one.

I never once wanted to be a pirate or a swashbuckler. I was part of the cowboy-cowgirl generation. I wanted to ride a horse and shoot standing up on the saddle like Annie Oakley used to do. She was a hero of mine. Annie was a sheriff, and nobody seemed to mind she was a woman. They never offered to come to her rescue. Annie didn’t need it. It wasn’t until I was older I realized that Annie Oakley was an anomaly because all the other sheriffs were lawmen.

Dale Evans was also a bit of a hero even though she wasn’t a shooter. She and Buttermilk rode the west together with Roy and Trigger. Dale on Buttermilk could jump fences and ride like the wind, and she had the best outfits with all that fringe hanging from the sleeves, and she wore those really fancy leather gloves. Annie wore more utilitarian clothes: a plain skirt, a blouse and usually a vest. She also wore a holster and a gun. After all, Annie Oakley did have bad guys to catch.

I went horseback riding a few times, and I fell off a few times. It was a long way to the ground. I liked the sound the leather saddle made, sort of a creaking sound as I rode on it, and I liked the view from the saddle where I envisioned tumbleweeds and cacti and chasing bandits who had robbed the stagecoach, but I never did get the hang of riding quickly. I was a slow rider better suited for the pony section where you ride in a circle. I figured I wasn’t destined to be the new Annie Oakley.

I also wanted to be Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden. Their towns had mysteries all the time, and they always solved them. My town had none. The local paper had a section about the police calls in town, and I got to read how so and so called because she had heard loud noises in her neighborhood or because someone’s dog was barking too long in the night. Big deal! We had no missing precious paintings or lurking strangers. We just had noisy dogs.


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