The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Although I subscribe to the American Cowboy magazine, I'm about as far from being a real cowboy as you can be. I only rode a horse once, on a vacation at a dude ranch, and that experience was enough to make me a comic legend in my family. To elict guffaws at any gathering, you only have to mention my name and the word "horse" in the same sentence and immediately the laughter starts as we remember the rhythmically repeating and humongous space between my butt and the saddle on that ill fated ride. I couldn't walk straight for a week after that and my wife had to drive us all home.

But I think I have a little cowboy in my soul. It probably comes from the late forties when I went to Saturday Cowboy movie matinees and later galloped all over the neighborhood with my friends on our stick horses, chasing down bad guys, righting wrongs, and rescuing damsels in distress. Some of it may have come in my teens and twenties when I saw reruns of the classic westerns (to be distinguished from the matinee or "B" westerns) on TV, epic westerns like John Ford's "Stagecoach." Those movies seemed to embody the American spirit.

Most Americans used to have a little Cowboy in their soul. But it's slipped so far away over the years that when we had an actual President from Texas who could ride a horse, the Cowboy label was applied to him with laughter and derision.

If memory serves me right, Buck at Exile in Portales recently had a post on the Amazing Rhythm Aces. (I searched your site for it Buck, but couldn't find it; tell me I'm not misremembering here!) That post reminded me of a couple of their Cowboy songs that my wife and I used to listen to on long automobile trips: "The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Song)" and "The King of the Cowboys."

The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Song)

The video on this one is static, just one pic, but listen to the lyrics.
(King of the Cowboys)


  1. You didn't misremember, Dan. It's here.

    And yup... I was one hella cowboy when I was young,too. Hopalong Cassidy was my idol and my parents nearly went to the poor house buying me Hopalong stuff. I MIGHT have an old picture laying around in the pixel bin that I could post. Another interesting (?) thing... the base theatres used to do free "kiddie" matinees on Saturdays back in my childhood, which consisted solely of old B-movie cowboy reels, and when I say "old," I mean like from the '30s (this was in the early to mid-50s). Starring people you'd never heard of, but that didn't matter. We loved 'em.

  2. Buck, I liked Hoppy too. And Gene. I also liked those B guys, Lash Larue, Red Ryder, Rex Allen, etc. When I was 9 (1949), Roy Rogers came to Nashville for some promotions. He was in a big parade that passed on Gallatin Road not more than 2 miles from our house. Every kid on the block got in the huge crowd that lined the road. It was a memorable experience. His tan though, even to a nine year old, looked a little artificial.