The Cumberland Post

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

This song of course was Gene Autry's theme song. The successful singer, actor, and businessman was an American Cowboy Hero. I saw many of his pictures on Saturday double bills at the old Royal Theater in the small town where I lived until I was seven and then watched his TV show in the very early fifties.

When I was eight I got one thing for Christmas, a pearl handled Gene Autry gun and holster set. It was all I wanted and it made me the fastest gun on my street. His movies may seem hokey now in "Postmodern America" but they influenced millions of kids.

Autry created the Cowboy Code, or Cowboy Commandments, in response to his young radio listeners aspiring to emulate him. According to Wikipedia, under his code, the Cowboy must:
  • never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  • never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  • always tell the truth.
  • be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
  • not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  • help people in distress.
  • be a good worker.
  • keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
  • respect women, parents and his nation's laws.
  • be a patriot.
I don't know about you, but the code still resonates with me. It's in simple, straightforward language and sets some pretty high standards. Whether you're a real cowboy or just a wannabe. In all those years I spent in liberal academia many of these values were challenged. But the values in the code always stayed with me as a kind of reference point. I know I haven't lived up to all of them all the time but I've never lost sight of them. And you know what? Today, I value them more than ever.

I like this song very much too. It conveys the emotion all of us feel when we've come back to some one, some thing or some place we really love. Right now, I feel it because I've started writing again. The way I used to four or five years ago--first thing, early in the morning, while my mind is uncluttered and as clear as it can be at 69. It feels good. To be "Back in the Saddle Again."

1 comment:

  1. I used to love Gene Autrey as a kid but I didn't discover Dinah Shore until later in life. She sure was under-estimated. What a fantastic voice.