Blind Squirrel Adventures No. 3 (A Puzzle For Cowboy)

Wild Mustangs

Wild Mustangs

Wild Mustangs

I had not visited Cowboy since he posted the Valentine’s Day kissy Marmaduke.  I did today.  I found the kind of interesting collection of news and information from around the world that he always puts together for us.  How about a surgical  device easy enough for layman to use to fish out an appendix on a muddy creek bank in the middle of nowhere?  A beautiful video of horses to ease our pain.  A little rodeo cowgirl to make us smile.  A man saving his dog to remind us of our humanity.  Then…Cowboy reins us in, brings us up short.  He forces us to question our our lives and the way we live them.

He never lets us forget who we are when we look in the mirror.   He’s not easy on us.  He tells us of  The Great American Tragedy.  The wild mustangs of the West.  He doesn’t tell a romantic story to make us feel good.  He tells the truth.  He gives us the ugly facts to support the creeping tragedy that he knows has been unfolding for a very long time with nobody to stop it.  We are destroying the last vestige of ourselves and our history.  And he wants to know what we’re gonna’ do about it.

This old print is my tribute to Cowboy wrapped in a question.  I bought this print in its carved wooden frame at an old antiques store many years ago.  The old man who ran the shop told me the picture was a famous one that Stetson used on its hat boxes in the early part of the last century.  I have seen the print in other places that I don’t remember.

I leave it here for Cowboy to figure out.

I go to Cowboy’s blog for information, for inspiration, for comfort, and I go because I know the bunkhouse door is always open..a hot tin of coffee with no questions asked.  You can’t beat that.  If you don’t see him when you’re passing through,  just push the door open and go on in.  The coffee’s right there on the stove.  You’ll see the tin cups on that shelf up to your left.  Pour yourself a cup and go on out back.  He’ll be there, probably shoeing a horse.

By the way.  You’ll know it when you get there.  The writing on the door says  “One Cowboy’s Way”.

13 Comments on “Blind Squirrel Adventures No. 3 (A Puzzle For Cowboy)

  1. Beautlful post and wonderful photograph… I enjoyed so much dear George, it is always so nice to visit your blog. Thank you, have a nice week, with my love, nia


  2. love the hat anecdote, and the referral to our friend`s site. there are many cowboys (ranchers) here whose product is grass-fed beef. they don`t speak much, except amongst themselves, and then only about prices.


    • Cowboys belong to an elite group. You can’t barter your way into it. I think they are the same the world over.


  3. “A tribute wrapped in a question.” I got stuck there. Managed to finish the rest of it, but that pairing of words remains. Very nice to meet Cowboy, indeed. Thank you for the invite, George.


  4. Ahhh George – This one, I don’t know the answer to. While the print looks like one I have seen before, I’m not convinced it was used on the Stetson hat boxes. Many of the very early Stetson boxes just simply had the name on them, then by the early 1900’s many of the cowboy hat boxes actually had western scenes depicted on them. A brief search of vintage hat boxes didn’t bring up that print, but there may be someone at the Stetson company that would know for sure.
    One man who could have would have known was a cowboy, a Bareback rider, and a master boot maker who died this month. Paul Bond died at the age of 96. Paul sold his boots to many celebrities of his time – including John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, Frank Sinatra and Charlie Daniels and many more. The boots are very sought after still today.

    I feel very honored that you took the time to post this in tribute. I appreciate your thoughts and words in this post, and respect your opinions on life in general. You are a friend indeed !

    Thank You!


    • I don’t have any idea why I don’t know about Paul Bond. Lord, you actually knew him! Maybe I have heard of him and forgot. I vaguely recall hearing about somebody who was boot maker to the stars. Maybe it wasn’t Stetson. Are there other famous hat makers? I know this damn thing was on hat boxes! 😉

      I have to tell you that I am not knowledgeable about cowboy stuff…hats or otherwise, as you guessed, no doubt. I took the-boy-who-grew-too-tall to buy a felt hat when he was about five. I found out that hat buying is a big deal. I had no idea where to start. There were boxes and boxes of very expensive and very cheap hats. There was a handsome man wearing a handsome hat standing behind a raised counter steaming and shaping brims for the young “cowboys” who were buying hats. This stuff is an art! This guy was counseling the boys on the latest fashion in shapes for the sides and fronts of the hats as he alternately punched the hat into a shapeless form and then turned it into a real hat over that steam. Well, that was an incredible art form right there.

      When it was our turn, he didn’t laugh at us. He looked at Boy as if Boy were a real cowboy. He ignored me. He picked out a hat and instructed Boy on how to figure out if it fit…slide your finger under the band..not too tight, not too loose…it shouldn’t sit on your ears. I forgot the rest, but it’s complicated. He applied as much skill to the shape of that little boy’s hat as he had to the big boys’ hats who came before us and as he would to the ones waiting in line for him. He was careful and gentle and patient and oblivious to his more important customers waiting. All the while he talked to Boy about hats and cowboy stuff.

      Boy walked out of that store a little taller and a lot wiser. I think I met One Cowboy’s Way that day.


      • George –

        Many cowboy hat makers today and even a few that went out of business years ago. Justin, Resistol, Larry Mahan, Bailey, Charlie 1 horse, and many many more. Tracking down which hat box the print was on could be quite a task.

        The scenario you describe is the sign of an excellent “hatter” . Many times, a person may feel right at home in a specific style hat, it’s the hatters responsibility to be honest and suggest a more appropriate style based on appearance of the person. I have no doubt that you’re young man was treated with the utmost respect and offered the same advice as he would have to any other cowboy. A cowboy isn’t just a job, or fashion, it’s a lifestyle that has somewhat of a code by which we live. Although some aspects of that code have varied slightly over the years, the way of life is sincere and honest.

        I can imagine the smile and the feeling the young cowboy walked out of the store with !


  5. Like that shot. Love your blog-o-sphere tour that you have undertaken. Now that I wrote that down I am picturing you in a Jules Verne adventure – ’20 thousand leagues under/above the internet”.


    • Lordy, Lemony, I’m not getting twenty-thousand leagues under OR over anything! Ha! You made me laugh.


    • What’s going on? WordPress must not approve of my little adventure. She keeps dumping me. I have to sign in again. I replied to you as “Anonymous”! And on my own blog too! Now, she wants to give me a new anonymous Gravatar…an ugly green one!


      • I know this blogging thing can be addictive, but joining Bloggers-A is a bit extreme. 🙂
        Looks like either your setting for your gravatar has been altered or you accessed your blog through the back door ( now, that does sound naughty) by entering a comment without signing in (?). Or else WordPress is having an off day, check with support. I noticed some of the WordPress layout has changed.


        • Bloggers-A? How funny! You make me laugh at myself all the time. I have no idea what I did. I have no idea where to find out. I’ll sign out and back in. That’s what I do when my desktop goes all squirrely on me. I wouldn’t notice a change unless they went all blank. Meanwhile, if you get an anonymous comment, you’ll know who it’s from! Thanks!



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