Where are all the Cowboys?


As a kid growing up in the late 60’s through the 70’s I used to hurry home from school to watch all of the western TV shows I could watch. Seemed to always be a show on, with the good guys vs the bandits. Bonanza, The Big Valley, The High Chaparral, Gunsmoke and my personal favorite,  The VirginianBefore these came to be, you had The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Rawhide, Cheyenne and Maverick.

That is a lot of westerns in a time that was simpler. You idolized the stars of the TV shows because they did everything they could to do the right thing. Were there people shot? Yes. Were there fights? Yes. But you always knew that at the end of the show, the good guy was going to win. As kids we went outside and played cowboys and indians, or cowboys and bandits, and no one thought twice about it. You had side kicks like Tonto, Gabby Hayes, and Festus, who were always there to help out when needed, even when outnumbered.

That was a long time ago, but it has always stuck in my mind. It always taught me that there was a right way and a wrong way and if you were a bandit, you were going to get caught.

Nowadays, kids have no westerns, no heroes to look up to. They are either watching the Kardashians, Jersey Shore or some other moralless show that allows the public to watch people who do not care that kids watch, and have no regard for decency.

Now there are a few movies out there that uphold the rules for a good western, with my personal favorite being Tombstone which is based on a true story. Again, the good guys come out on top and the criminals are either arrested or shot. Yeah it was a rough time in those days, but that is how it had to be. Another favorite, is Pure Country where there were no guns, a little fighting, but had a moral to the story. In my haste to remember all of the great western movies, I would be remiss to not mention Tom Selleck as being one of the best for bringing authenticity to a movie. In the movie Monte Walsh William Devane had a great moment explaining what being a cowboy really meant:

 

Western movies are few and far apart these days, but there are a few that worth watching.

Because we as a culture have lost our way, forgot our past (except when convenient for political reasons) we tend to not talk about or teach our kids how history shapes things. The many movies made about The Alamo are all my favorites as well, as it told the way that we as Americans fought for what we believed in, even outnumbered by 6000. Heroes of the day, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and all those at the Alamo fought along side of 200 others against the Mexican Army of over 6000 and held them off for 13 days.

Those are the real heroes, those who fought against all odds!

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It would be nice to come home at night and once again be able to sit down with our family and cheer for the cowboy to beat the bad guys once again.

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of the reasons I have decided to try and build my dream around an old west town, and ranch. Because I think that not only will it be fun, but also bring back the heroes from the old west.

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Maybe just maybe the simple life will come back!

Via Con Dios, My friend!

 

 

 

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When TV Shows Were Good


A few months ago I happened across a satellite TV station that caught my eye. I was scrolling through my Dish Network listings and I saw “The Six Million Dollar Man” was on. Being a child of the late 60’s and 70’s I turned to it to see Steve Austin crash his special plane and the narrator saying “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster.” Right then it took me back to when I was about 12 years old and running into the living room to watch Col. Austin’s latest mission every week. Then of course they introduced “The Bionic Woman!” Well again, I could not keep from watching that every week too. Watching each one of their individual shows was only topped by watching one or the other’s show where they guest starred on each other’s show. I would head outside after each show and make sounds and act like I was running in slow motion. I even got a Steve Austin action figure that you pushed a button on his back and you could move his arm as you picked up a toy truck, or something else that I would imagine weighed 1000 pounds. It even had a electronic (plastic) chip in his arm that you could take out and pretend you were going to repair him.

I was always a fan of Lee Majors when he was on The Big Valley, even before he played Col. Austin, and Lindsay Wagner as The Bionic Woman was one of my first celebrity crushes.

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I can honestly say that The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman was used as a bargaining chip to make sure I did my chores and homework or I was not allowed to watch them. It worked most of the time!

Those were the days, TV was about using your imagination, pushing kids to think and push themselves to run faster, be stronger and be an honest person. While those shows were my favorites, Family Entertainment Television (FETV) has more shows that were hits at the time, like Charlie’s Angles, Hart to Hart, Marcus  Welby, M.D. and some 80’s hits like Magnum PI and Knight Rider! All shows about good people vs. bad people, with  the good always winning.

Then, I realized that in the afternoon, they had shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Roy Rogers Show and The Lone Ranger (the original). I found myself turning on FETV and watching all the shows from 4pm until 11pm every night and remembering what it was like when television was decent and didn’t have all the reality trash shows they have now. Even though the special effects of the day are not even close to what they are today, I honestly would rather watch these shows than what is on TV now.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some shows today that I do like, and many of the old shows they are remaking them to fit the current time, but I just can’t help but love the honest way TV shows were presented back in the old days. To be honest, there is no way anyone can come close to the original actors in these shows.

Even in black and white I begin to imagine riding a white stallion, chasing the bad guys and leaving a silver bullet behind before riding off into the sunset with Tonto and giving a mighty “Hi Yo Silver, Away!”

FETV can be found on Dish Network channel 82. Unfortunately, Direct TV does not carry this channel.