I’m a city girl who has always loved stories about the west. Most of what I learned about ranching and cowboys came from research books like these. They taught me what everyday life was like to a rancher in olden times. I came to rely on these books for insight and they proved invaluable to me as I slowly morphed from writing western historical heroes to more modern day heroes of the west.
Surely the truth about ranching and cowboys is far less glamorous than is portrayed. The work was hard, the days grueling and long. Mexican vaqueros were well versed in ranching and taught their counterparts about horses, grazing, feed, cutting and cattle drives. They were the first true ranchers and cowboys of the American West.
Soon western film and TV stars became household names and introduced to society a whole different image of the rancher and cowboy. Roy Rogers was my personal favorite. I had a fan girl crush on him back in the day while watching reruns!
Bump it up a few years and our image of ranchers/cowboys became much more romantic and women fell in love with the likes of Rowdy Yates aka Clint Eastwood.
And then of course, John Wayne came on the scene too and brought with him grit and power and a sense of national pride. There’s something all American about a rancher working the land.
A generation passes and by now our image of ranchers and cowboys has altered once again to a well educated, smart about the environment, savvy businessman or businesswoman. That’s Scott Eastwood, btw, son of Clint. The recent success of Pioneer Women too, shows a real interest not only about great country food, but about cowboys and ranch living and women!
One thing is for certain the appeal of ranchers and cowboys remains constant in the hearts and minds of most people and the romanticism lives on. I bet you wouldn’t guess by the cover that my newest release is all about a small town rancher! (Yes, that’s my cowboy hunk, Code Matthews) The Bachelor Auction he gets finagled into brings him up close and personal with his ex-crush and one-time best friend. Not good, but oh, did I mention this rancher gets his Happily Ever After!
Post a comment here about what fascinates you most about cowboys and/or ranchers and one blogger today will win a book of your choice from my available list!