I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle & FUN GIVEAWAY

As a child, Saturdays were my favorite day of the week. I remember getting up early and rushing through chores just so I could spend the afternoons watching Westerns.  I had an unstable childhood, so I found comfort in the predictability of those old shoot em ups.  When a cowboy rode into town, you just knew he would set things straight before riding into the sunset. 

I also knew that when the camera zoomed onto the hero’s spurs as he walked into a saloon, he was sending a clear message; No one had better mess with him. 

I became fixated on spurs and for good reason. As a foster child, I was constantly being bounced from family to family. This meant I was forever having to change locations.  But the hardest part for me was having to walk into a new school, which I did more times than I can remember. This never failed to make me feel like an outsider. Because I was shy, thin as a rail, wore glasses and had red hair, I endured much teasing. No one called it bullying back then, but in modern terms that’s what it was. 

After going through an especially hard first day at a new school, I remember thinking enough was enough. Would Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard or Bob Steele stand around while the town picked on them? They would not! Only ten at the time, I decided what I needed was spurs, just like my favorite western heroes wore. The next time I walked into a new school, my spurs would send a clear message that no one better mess with me.

Convinced I had an answer to my problem, I asked for spurs the following Christmas, but never got them.  It didn’t matter. The next time I walked into a new school, I pretended I was wearing spurs just like I’d seen one of my cowboy heroes do the previous Saturday.  They only jingled in my head but, you know what?  It worked.  Somehow the jingle-jangle sound that only I could hear helped drown out the teasing and that made me smile.  And that smile helped me do something I’d not been able to do at other schools: make new friends.  It was a lesson I never forgot.

THIS DOORMAT MIGHT NOT DETER PORCH PIRATES, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.

 

In that spirit, I wish you all a jingle-jangle holiday season filled with lots of smiles, good friends and loving families.  May all your spurs, imagined or real, be shiny ones and bring good things your way. 

For a chance to win this “don’t mess with this house” doormat, tell us what movie or TV show made an impression on you as a child?   

 

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Margaret has published more than 46 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and two-time Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! She has written for a day time soap and is currently working on a new series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

75 thoughts on “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle & FUN GIVEAWAY”

  1. I sat with my Dad every weekend watching all the Westerns. From Wagon Train to Rawhide etc. But I think Cheyenne was my favorite because Clint Walker was to me what a hero should look like. Of course I was 10 at the time.

  2. Wow Margaret, what a powerful message you sent. Good for you. I’m proud those make believe spurs gave you the confidence to walk tall and proud. Mind over matter is a powerful tool. I loved Fury and Joey as a child. I had horses growing up and so Fury’s dedication to Joey really resonated with me.
    May you and your family have the best Merry Christmas this year.

  3. Television was always enjoyed at our house. The Christmas specials were always looked forward to. And the westerns…we all enjoyed them!

  4. I think a show that influenced me was The Brady Bunch. I know it’s not a western, but that’s what shaped my childhood.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Great blog! I’m so happy you found the courage to stand tall. I loved all the Western series that were on tv in the late 70’s and early 80’s! The show that influenced me the most though I’d have to say was the Brady Bunch. I was one of 6 and if my younger sister hadn’t been a girl we would have been 3 and 3. We were all very disappointed but she was a straggler and we all loved her dearly since we were older and could help with her care. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas filled with all the family and things you love!

    • Hi Stephanie, The Brady Bunch keeps popping up today. It seems like that show influenced a whole generation. I wish we had more shows like The Brady Bunch and The Waltons. They were a blessing to children like me who didn’t have a family. They also provided role models. Thank you for sharing and have a Merry Christmas.

  6. What an encouraging story from your childhood! The imaginary spurs sure did the trick. I know I have imagined my own “spurs” to give me courage and confidence. My husband wore spurs on his boots for our wedding. He loved that jangle as he walked down the aisle! Thank you for sharing. We didn’t have time to watch much tv since we lived on a farm. We were able to catch the special movies when they came on – like Wizard of Oz. That always made me glad I didn’t live in tornado area.

  7. What a wonderful post, Margaret. What a brave little girl you were. My sister and I had a challenging childhood and books and television became a nice escape. I must have been most influenced by that Saturday of Westerns myself because I am still watching them today – The Rifleman, Wagon Train, really all of them. Happy Holidays and thanks for another fun giveaway.

  8. I think maybe Bonanza was always one of my favorites but we watched them all. My day was a big western fan so we watched them all. I think that is where my love of westerns came from. Loved your post.

  9. oh that is a tough one – between the disney show and Bonanza on Sunday nights – wow what lessons we learned!

    • Another Bonanza fan! Yes, we did learn a lot of lessons from those old shows. We learned the importance of respect and hard work, among other things. I remember Ben Cartwright grabbing a bratty kid and telling him if he didn’t do the work, he wasn’t going to eat. Today, he would probably be arrested for child abuse. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I would have to say The Wizard of OZ. We looked forward to it playing as we could stay up late and it did teach a lot.

  11. Eight is Enough was a show I connected with. I was one of seven kids. I also connected with Laura from Little House on the Prairie. I was a tomboy like her??

    • Hi Sandy, I missed Eight is Enough, but understand why you connected with it. I loved Little House on the Prairie. In fact, it was filmed in my hometown. Thank you for sharing and have a Merry Christmas.

  12. My Friend Flicka …. remember that one? I loved all the westerns. Still do. I love your courage Margaret. I bet those spurs dig in once and a while nowadays too. You are such a blessing, and I have enjoyed reading your books. You are beautiful … inside and out.

    • Oh, Kathy, what a nice thing to say. You made me blush! I do remember My Friend Flicka and the Goose Bar Ranch. I hadn’t thought about that show for years. Thank you for reminding me. Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!

  13. I always loved watching westerns and old movies growing up. The song of Bernadette was and still is my favorite old classic movie

  14. I was hooked on ALL westerns as a child, but I’d have to say that when I was very young, it was THE LONE RANGER and ROY ROGERS. Both were heroes that would ride in and save the day, and honesty was so important. Sometimes now when I am writing and my hero does “rescues” the heroine in some way, I smile and think of that Lone Ranger theme song. As a teen my hero became Matt Dillon from GUNSMOKE. I still watch that show. And in the rare times I can catch it, I still watch THE LONE RANGER! And I’m 75 years old!Oh,how I miss those heroes. I guess that’s why I love writing them. I did write my own blog not long ago called I NEED A HERO.

  15. I’m still in love with The Kid from The Young Riders–he was my first real TV crush (Bo Duke doesn’t count since I was only 6). However, what really sticks with me all are the shows I watched in high school–not just The Young Riders, but Due South, SeaQuest, Rin Tin Tin K-9 Cop, Bordertown, Zorro, and the rest on the Family Channel. My dad died when I was a freshman and those shows (and the books I read)n were my escape, and I still treasure those memories.

  16. What a beautiful and personal story you shared. I grew up on Western’s too. My beloved aunt by marriage’s cousin was Hoss Cartwright, so I told everybody that Dan Blocker was my cousin, which of course, he wasn’t unless you considered him a cousin by marriage. Right before my uncle passed last year he still watched western’s all day long. I love spurs, too. Thank you for kicking off our special holiday weeks with such a great blog. Big hugs, Phyliss

  17. Welcome Margaret. I am so glad that you found a way to help yourself. I think that too many people put too much stock in the fact that tv period is just a bad influence. Clearly it is what is watched. I was the oldest of five. The first four of us a year apart. And I lived on a farm. So spurs were an every day part of life. But they were never used on the horses. As I got older it became more of a fashion statement than anything. The rodeo men would use them, but because I wasnt going to be on a 1000 lb bull, I didnt care to use them. LOL And mom made a great haven and home for us. I agree, weather our help is real or imagined, it is a powerful tool. This is what we passed on to our two children and they have no problem anymore with bullying. They know how to handle it in what works for them. (I just love being a parent, even now when they are out in the world on their own) When I was growing up we didn’t watch much tv. We did a lot of reading and crafts such as sewing, woodworking etc. But Sundays we got to watch Wonderful World of Disney. Ohhh but we waited all week for that. When I was a teen I would get to watch one hour of tv a week. I could pick two half hours or 1 one hour. I always picked Bonanza and Big Valley. It was like they enforced what my parents were teaching us. Merry Christmas to you and yours

    • Hi Lori, I think spurs are a fashion statement more than anything, like you said.

      I don’t watch much TV today and I wonder if there are any shows today that enforce the values we learned from Bonanza and Big Valley. I tried watching Yellowstone, but I didn’t like any of the characters. I had no one to root for, so I stopped watching it.

      Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  18. Margaret, what an inspirational story. You were a brave little thing. God Bless you.

    My favorite characters — believe it or not — were Howdy Doody and Mickey Mouse! Every evening I would watch the Howdy Doody Show and the Mickey Mouse Club. Now, this was a long time ago, during the 1950’s when Annette Funicello was a Mouseketeer. I always thought Howdy and Mickey were so nice and such good guys — Howdy in his plaid shirts and neckerchief. I don’t remember if he wore spurs though. lol!

  19. Hi Sharon, funny you should mention Howdy Doody. I happened to come across a Howdy Doody spurs and badge set on Amazon. Yep, they’re still selling Howdy Doody stuff, though I have to wonder if today’s kiddies even know who he was. Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas.

  20. The Rifleman made a major impression and taught me how a gentleman behaves & takes care of his young son. I still watch it today.

  21. So glad you found your spurs!

    My family was a TV-watching family, so I watched lots of things. My favorites were probably the sit-coms on TGIF, where the families always solved all the problems before the show ended, and ‘The Commish,’ because my dad and I would stay up to find out how he was going to solve the crime. Detective-type shows are still my favorites.

  22. I, too, grew up watching westerns!! I still watch them!! Gunsmoke reruns every afternoon, along with Wagon Train, and in the mornings it’s reruns of Laramie. All of my favorites growing up were westerns, especially The Guns of Will Sonnet. I was only 7 when it ended, and it broke my heart that I wouldn’t see Dack Rambo anymore! Westerns definitely shaped my life, though!

  23. What a beautiful and meaningful post. You were so strong and triumphed. When I was young I was hooked on the westerns and everyday after school I watched Roy Rogers, The Rifleman, Rawhide, Zorro and so many others. I was entranced by the principles, bravery and strength.

    • Hi Anne, I think many of us were enhanced by watching those old westerns. I’ve had the pleasure of signing books with Roy Rogers’ daughter. Lovely person.

      Thank you for sharing and have a Merry Christmas

  24. This story is special and you should be so proud of how you dealt with hardship and adversity. Westerns were something that I grew up watching and the bravery, ethics and morals were admirable. They can teach us about life and are important.

  25. An inspiring and beautiful true life story which you faced perfectly. Westerns gave me hope. At that time during the 1950’s we were riveted to them. They taught me so much about life. The men were men, when men were men.

  26. Margaret, thank you for this inspiring post. I remember Saddle Up Saturdays. Westerns showed the indomitable spirit of courageous men and women to make a better life for themselves and their families. They brought hope and gave examples of sound morals.

  27. Margaret, I so enjoyed reading your story. It touched my heart.
    I watched the Rifleman when I was growing up. I just liked that good things happened or rather that the good overcame the bad. Gave me hope.

  28. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. Our family was fans of westerns when I was growing up. Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, the Virginian were all favorites. We were really excited when the nearest ABC station switched from UHF to VHF because then we got to watch Maverick, and all of the good westerns on that network.

  29. Thank you for sharing with us. I was shy and going to a new school or class was always difficult. I wish I had had your spurs image to help me overcome it. I too loved westerns. If I had to pick just one that made an impression, it would be Zorro. The mystery of dual identity and a masked man is still appealing.

  30. I loved the TV show Lancer. Watched the other westerns also. Liked High Chaparral a lot. My parents were foster parents for years. So in addition to having 3 brothers, I had 21 foster brothers & sisters during my growing up years.

  31. Little House on the Prairie and The Daltons, both had a very caring family atmosphere and you could see the children was loved. I grew up with a very abusive mother, at times I felt unwanted by her. The abuse was hidden from the rest of my family. All I wanted was a loving home life and to belong.

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