In this Book

Even Cowboys Carry Cell Phones
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summary
Like any legendary figure, the cowboy is part myth and part reality, memorialized by history and Hollywood, envied by those who spend days at desks and dream of trading swivel chairs for saddles. The writings in this anthology serve as testament to the cultural love, bordering on obsession, of the American cowboy. These works cover the gamut, from the romanticized movie cowboy to ranchers, freelancers, and contemporary wranglers who wear hoodies and work in massive feedlot pens.

The cowboy that emerges from this collection is multifaceted, as the book juxtaposes cowboys spraying longhorns at a car wash to cowboys advertising services on Craigslist and Pepsi-drinking cowboys riding Amtrak trains. There are portraits of the old cowboys, crotchety coffee-swigging men with too many stories about how things were better four decades ago. However, the figure remains one constructed of loyalties—loyalty to work, loyalty to family, loyalty to animals, loyalty to the land.

The image of the cowboy is vivid in our imagination, insperable from Western mythology, a means to connect ourselves with the wild and rugged individuals we dream we used to be. In this age of computers and cubicles we want to touch and preserve that history, but we must allow for shifting traditions. As the thirty-five authors in this collection will remind you, even cowboys carry cell phones.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Editorial Board
  2. pp. 2-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vi-x
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Poetry
  2. pp. 5-6
  1. Detail of the Four Chambers to the Horse’s Heart
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Hoof Rot
  2. pp. 9-20
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  1. Cowboy
  2. pp. 10-21
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  1. Longhorn at the Car Wash
  2. pp. 11-22
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  1. The Bad Guy
  2. pp. 12-23
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  1. Late Harvest
  2. pp. 13-24
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  1. Those Montana Men
  2. pp. 14-25
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  1. Rebellion
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Letter to Weingarten Written as the Script for an Imaginary Western
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. The Hero with a Thousand Faces Rides Again
  2. pp. 19-30
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  1. Chico Hot Springs Saloon, MT
  2. pp. 20-21
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  1. Working Below Zero
  2. pp. 22-33
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  1. Horses and Cowboys Suffer Together
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. Trail Ride
  2. pp. 25-28
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  1. Blood Brothers
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. Simile
  2. pp. 31-42
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  1. To Pray at the Altar of this Horse
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. Lucky Says
  2. pp. 34-45
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  1. More . . . Your Gunslinger Shadow Grows Amber
  2. pp. 35-46
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  1. Assisted Living in a Rocking Chair
  2. pp. 36-47
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  1. Carrying Our Loads
  2. pp. 37-48
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  1. A Rancher’s Rainstorm
  2. pp. 38-39
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  1. The Cattle
  2. pp. 40-41
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  1. Ode to Robert McClure
  2. pp. 42-53
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  1. Raw
  2. pp. 43-54
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  1. After Chores
  2. pp. 44-55
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  1. Cowboys
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. The Ranch Woman’s Secret
  2. pp. 47-58
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  1. First Rodeo
  2. pp. 48-49
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  1. Burial for Horsemen
  2. pp. 50-61
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  1. Big Horn Passover
  2. pp. 51-52
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  1. Long After Memory Is Gone
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. Sonnets of Selecting an Appaloosa
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. Three Haiku
  2. pp. 57-68
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  1. Prayers for the World
  2. pp. 58-69
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  1. Fiction
  2. pp. 59-60
  1. Cowboy Stories
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. Real Cowboy
  2. pp. 71-77
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  1. The Society Of Pardners To Melt Alaska
  2. pp. 78-84
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  1. Essays
  2. pp. 85-86
  1. Eight Fragments from My Grandfather’s Body
  2. pp. 87-96
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  1. Feedlot Cowboy
  2. pp. 97-116
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  1. Hiding in the Cornrows
  2. pp. 117-125
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  1. Calving Time
  2. pp. 126-128
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  1. Contributor Notes
  2. pp. 129-137
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  1. About the Editors and Designer
  2. pp. 138-139
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