Are you a real cowboy?

This Texas Agriculture Talks post was originally published on Jan. 21, 2013.

By Mike Barnett

Cowboys: Real deal or pseudo? How do you tell?

I thought about that over the weekend as I settled on the movie Urban Cowboy while flipping channels on the tube.

“Are you a real cowboy?” Sissy, played by Debra Winger, asked.

“Well, that depends on what you think a real cowboy is,” answered Bud, portrayed by a young John Travolta.

There are no “depends” when it comes to real cowboys. You is or you ain’t. Bud was a cowboy wannabe like me. And that movie brought back memories of the urban cowboy craze, when imitations showed up on every corner with belt buckles bigger than their brains and sales of boots, western wear and pickup trucks shot through the roof.

Sissy, the real deal is out there if only you know what to look for.

You might be a real cowboy if…

  • You tell your son’s girlfriend she’s a “pretty little heifer” and no one objects.
  • A coffee shop discussion about the merits of black versus red turns into a fistfight.
  • You go broke most years trying to break even.
  • Your favorite color is “dust.”
  • You named your firstborn after your favorite horse.
  • Every important document of your life is on the dashboard of your truck.
  • Your ex gave you the ultimatum, “Me or the cows.”
  • Your wife and dog fight over who rides shotgun.
  • You say “yes sir” and “yes ma’am” and open the door for ladies and old cowboys.
  • Fight the wind, cold and rain to care for your cattle and come home with a smile on your face.

And with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, the number one reason you might be a real cowboy:

  • You wear Wranglers to church, weddings and funerals—including your own.

Happy trails!

Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
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