Even Cowboys Carry Cell Phones
Publication Year: 2013
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.
Published by: University Press of Colorado
Download PDF (111.5 KB)
Title Page, Copyright, Editorial Board
Download PDF (51.0 KB)
Download PDF (26.8 KB)
Download PDF (34.1 KB)
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 The cowboy that emerges from this collection is multi-faceted, as the book ...
Letter to Weingarten Written as the Script for an Imaginary Western
Download PDF (31.9 KB)
The Hero with a Thousand Faces Rides Again
Download PDF (41.2 KB)
Kit Carson shook my hand on the California Zephyr outside Roseville. to press on through this hard-sell real estate, Kit behind the wheel, Kit whips out his wallet so I can see his license and a snapshot: outlaster of two husbands, she gardens, bakes, crochets and volunteers.Kit offers me a Pepsi from his cooler. Sealed plexiglass absorbs ...
To Pray at the Altar of this Horse
Download PDF (30.7 KB)
At the altar of this horse you may offer silent prayer or songs. ...
Download PDF (30.1 KB)
...take this outdoor you, carry yourself as I carry you, broadly, strong, indoors and as I swerve dangerously out from under you, take yourself laughing, hanging on as I jostle into a trot, take the one who threads her fingers through my coarse mane, take the laughing one, almost falling off, you’re through moving things, moving objects here and there, your ...
Carrying Our Loads
Download PDF (30.0 KB)
Driving at night, my car a silent capsule pulled along the freeway’s string, big rigs with Great Dane snouts crawl up behind me, nudge the air, snortat bumpers like chained bulls. Cat-eyed lights rake my car’s packed interior, reveal a single me, uneasy as a paper target at a shooting range.The drivers in frayed cowboy hats or trim Stetsons, with old-god faces ...
A Rancher’s Rainstorm
Download PDF (43.4 KB)
We writers sit on his porch when the sky opens. Dog Bob, moved by lightning, drags his buckshot-filled butt to lay under the table across our damp and muddy-socked toes. Sid turns in his chair. “You can’t cuss the rain, if you need it.” He raises a jubilant fist to the sky, shakes it like a rain His silver-haired profile sharpens against the wet screen sliding off the ...
Download PDF (44.3 KB)
...“And what about all the rest of the animality that’s embedded so deeply in our lives? What about the cattle that live so close to humans? What about the herds of cows returning at dusk from their pastures, lifting their tails and shitting in the middle of the village? What about the cattle smell, which reminds us of where we really come from? When that disappears, ...
Big Horn Passover
Download PDF (31.7 KB)
Instead of lamb I eat Angus steer medium rare drenched in Heinz 57, holding the local paper out in front of him like it was a matzo.Mud spattered on his black hat, cattle dung caked on the heels of his boots, gold buckle guarding the flat of his stomach, and except for the circle cut made by the tin of Skoal in his right front pocket, his Wrangler rodeo jeans ...
Sonnets of Selecting an Appaloosa
Download PDF (31.8 KB)
Fifteen hands high, makes them jump and sweat, leads from rings To barn’s rests, releasing tight straps, cleaning full hooves,...
Download PDF (72.1 KB)
Robert Wills was five beers into a Cheyenne Friday night as he told his favorite story to a middle-aged couple from Cincinnati.“Buddies used to introduce me as Bob Wills, and the women would say ‘You must be a Texas Playboy,’ and I’d say that I wasn’t any kind of Texan—I’m from Wyoming!” He cackled and tried not to trigger the cough that could go on and on and interfere with talking and drinking. He swal-lowed the last of the cheap draft and slapped the empty beer glass on the bar’s ...
Download PDF (62.9 KB)
He’s a muscular angle against the barn door’s frame. His back and one leg are straight. His other leg is bent, boot heel pressed against wood. Though his eyes are in a wedge of shade beneath his hat, he squints across the pasture, the arena, and the pine forest rising on the mountain. He smokes his cigarette like breathing, not even a pause when he places it at his lips, and he’s careful to flick the ashes into the dirt. His name is Lloyd. He arrived at this Colorado ranch a month ago, and, other than the Idaho ...
The Society Of Pardners To Melt Alaska
Download PDF (60.7 KB)
...the third of January, 1959, was a cowboy’s curse of a bad day for Texas. From the Oklahoma border to Cameron County and the tip of the Rio Grande, pardners awoke having to sober up to their first day of No longer being the biggest, how was Texas to carry on with any straight-shooting, self-respecting decency? The friendship between Big and Texas is established upon the fact of Texas being big in the sense of being biggest: The Biggest State in the Union. All the way from trucks to tomboys, everything’s ...
Eight Fragments from My Grandfather’s Body
Download PDF (75.4 KB)
I touch my grandfather’s hand, trace the seam of scar that runs his palm from wrist to pinky. The mark is ragged, loud and white against his sun-dark skin. Beneath, the flesh is ridged and drawn, hard to the touch. The cyanide shell, shot from a powdered coyote-getter gun, practically tore his hand in half.I have heard the story many times: He’s setting the gun near a sheep-kill ...
Download PDF (109.7 KB)
I set the alarm on my cell phone for 3:45 a.m., but anticipation had me up and throwing hay to the horses half an hour before that. Bill Hom-mertzheim, manager of the southwest Kansas feedlot where I planned to spend the day as a pen rider, had told me to report for work at 6:30 sharp, and since the ranch where I was staying was every bit of one hundred miles away, I knew I’d have to get an early start if I was going to make it on time. While the horses ate, I checked over the saddles and other tack I had loaded ...
Hiding in the Cornrows
Download PDF (69.1 KB)
Josh Love and Eric Schneider are mounted up and on the lookout for movement in the tall yellow corn. “I see one now,” Josh says, but I don’t know how he can. As high as these cowboys sit up in their saddles, the corn’s even higher, and there are 140 acres of it—enough to fill more than a “There’s cows in them cornrows.” That’s what Farmer John says. Farmer John, who doesn’t like reporters and isn’t really named Farmer John. He’s losing his hair, just like me, and he keeps it closely cropped as a way to limit ...
Download PDF (48.7 KB)
As the oldest of four siblings and the only girl, I grew up under unusual circumstances. The ranch was seventy-five miles from the nearest town, and it was nine miles to the closest neighbor’s. I went to school with my three brothers in our “backyard,” and because I preferred being out-doors, spent any spare time with Dad and a bevy of hired men; I was rarely indoors with Mom. I’m not sure when Dad and I became fully cognizant of the fact that I wasn’t one of the “boys.” I’m now speculating it happened in ...
Download PDF (75.8 KB)
About the Editors and Designer
Download PDF (49.1 KB)
Teresa Milbrodt received her MFA in Creative Writing and her MA in Amer-ican Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University. She is the author of the short story collection Bearded Women: Stories (Chizine Publications), the upcoming novel The Patron Saint of Unattractive People (Boxfire Press), and the upcoming flash fiction collection Larissa's Guide to Trying to Be a ...
Page Count: 149
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Manifest West Series
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth