Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tanya Writes About Cowboy Fun

Well, you just might think Cowboy Fun is a quick draw or a dead-man's-hand, a soiled dove at a saloon, or a big chaw of tobacco and a spittoon...but you'd be dead wrong!

This is still my salute to Cowboy Month at my wonderful publisher, The Wild Rose Press. (Be still my heart. Marrying Minda is in its third week as a best-seller.) Cowboys on the trail worked hard and let off steam in fairly simple ways. Such as:

1. Dominoes.

2. Mumblety Peg...when players flipped sharp wooden pets into the ground and tried to get them to stand up straight. The loser had to use his teeth to pull the pegs out of the ground!

3. Love songs and lullabies. Ah, you can all whistle that tune from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Or you'd know if it you heard it. But whistling and humming helped ease the boredom of the trail drive that at times could seem endless. Cowboys also sang love songs, maybe to remind them of The Girl Back Home...or the girl that got away. Some played the harmonica, fiddle or guitar. And lullabies helped keep the cows calm. After all, they didn't know what was out there in the dark.

(And ya'll remember Brixton singing lullabies to his brother's orphaned kids.)

4. Tall tales. Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, and the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County come to mind. Likely each tale had its root in fact, but exaggeration made it tons more fun to listen to.

Let's close with a little song...courtesy of Bobbie Kalman's "Life on the Trail."

All day on the prairie in the saddle I ride
Not even a dog to trot by my side.
My fire I kindle with chips gathered round
And boil my own coffee without being ground.
I wash in a puddle and wipe on a sack,
I carry my wardrobe right there on my back.

Oh, for those simpler times! Brixton Haynes, hero of Marrying Minda, would have done all this. Nevertheless, I feel the need to go shopping tomorrow.


Ps. don't forget to visit my website and sign the guestbook to enter the name draw for a copy of Marrying Minda...autographed yet.


Helen Hardt said...

I just love all this fun information and the great photos you find!

Lauri said...

Love that picture! Great post, and congrats on your best selling status!

Tanya Hanson said...

Thanks, ladies. oxoxox