There’s a stone house across the street from my brother Jim’s Mobile kitchen and I am gazing at it. It has been there since before I was a kid. The lady who washes my windows and skylights lives there now.
A man walks to the mobile kitchen’s ordering window. He is tall and big and he is a “Real” Cowboy. He is not a Pretend Cowboy who may dress and act like he’s just off the ranch for a hamburger. There are a lot of those kinds of cowboys, but this man is for real.
He wears a slouchy old cowboy hat pulled down around dark hair that is splattered with gray. A blue kerchief bunches up around his sun-wrinkled neck. He wears an old faded shirt, well-worn blue jeans, and cracked boots. He smells like horses and he spits in the bushes.
He makes me think of other real cowboys in my town.
When I was little there was Valley Mitchell. He was a cowboy with a huge lump on the side of his neck that he kept covered with a kerchief. As the lump grew, the kerchief grew. I was enthralled as I watched his swelling grow more massive every year. (more…)