The cowboy is one of the most iconic American heroes of all time. I do not believe anyone personifies America more than the cowboy. The idea of working hard, thinking clean thoughts, and being courtious typifies the concept of the cowboy.
Okay, so I don’t know what cowboy they are talking about!?! While I agree with their place in history, and the good they served, they were also made up of some of the worst bandits, killers, and theives we have ever known.
They have a Code of Cowboy conduct, really.. think about it as I list their details:
Honesty and courage – okay courage yes, honesty maybe
Pride in work – being proud of what you do, and having pride in work are two different things
Stay curious – just what were they supposed to be curious about?
Finish what you start – check
Tough but fair – fair is in the eye of the beholder
Keep promises – a man’s word is his life
Clean of thought, deed and dress – I seriously doubt this was a priority to most cowboys (nor practical)
Tolerance of others – tell that to cowboy John Hardin
Stand up for what is right – who decided who was right?
And be a steward of the land and animals – this one I believe (where they could)
They also say the cowboy came after the Civil War. I bet many Texan’s would challenge that thought. Yes, more cowboys appeared after the Civil War but driving cattle east, or towards the population, had been around for many, many years before the war.
All that said, I still admire the cowboy. They worked hard, settled much of the west, and won law and order in a lawless land. Good did win out over evil, sometimes replacing it with other evils, but still better than the original evils.
National Day of the Cowboy was formed in 2005 by the National Day of the Cowboy organization. It has been recognized by congress and is therefore a real day of celebration.
How to celebrate – Read a book about the old west. Dress up like a cowboy (trying not to look like one of the Village People). Visit a Ghost Town out west.