Cowboy Boots and Cowboy Ways

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

When I was a kid growing up in the Valley along the Rio Grande, I dreamt of cowboys and Indians and rodeos and country fairs. I played outdoors and made believe I was big and strong and brave. It was natural and it was normal for all little boys to make believe and imagine and dream.

COWBOY BOOTS AND COWBOY WAYS

By Al Garcia

When I was a kid growing up in the Valley along the Rio Grande, I dreamt of cowboys and Indians and rodeos and country fairs.  I played outdoors and made believe I was big and strong and brave.  It was natural and it was normal for all little boys to make believe and imagine and dream. 

When I grew up, I began to reflect and to question and to search and explore.  And I began to grow and mature in body and in mind.  My world began to expand and extend beyond the boundaries of my childhood.  It was natural and it was normal for all young men to begin to doubt, distrust and analyze. 

And when I was not yet old enough to go into a bar to drink, or mature enough to vote or man enough to put away my childish ways, I was called away to war.  And way back then, it was natural and it was normal for all draft-aged boys and men to answer the call to duty and the call to arms. 

When I became a man, but before I had lived enough to conceal my inexperience or my immaturity, I was told to discard the lessons of my past and put away my scruples and my values.  It was natural and it was normal for men at war to put aside their lives and live only for the moment without regard for decency or dignity.

And like all the boys and all the men that put away their childhood dreams and boyhood doubts and finally foreswore the morality and virtue of their masculinity and manliness, I found my striped of who I was and who I once had been.  I became a stranger in a strange land far from the river bank of the Rio Grande. 

When I found myself surrounded by the chaos and uncertainty of a war I did not understand, I found myself thinking back to when I wore cowboy boots and though and lived the cowboy ways as a little boy in the Valley along the Rio Grande.  And I found myself remembering when I had been a young man and how I had learned to think and question and demand an answer to very thing that bothered or confused me.  And I found myself recalling the day I became a man in a land so far from home, of the precise moment I was asked to put aside all my childhood inclinations and to forget my youthful indiscretion.  Oh, how I remembered the phases of my life – kid, boy, man.  I was now 19, and wondered how had life passed me by?  For I was still a kid at heart, a boy in spirit and man out of necessity and nothing more. 

How strange to remember cowboy boots and cowboy ways at a time and in a place so lonely and so cold and so desolate.  How odd to feel so helpless, yet how wonderful to imagine and to dream again, just like the kid I used to be, in the Valley along the Rio Grande.  How peaceful to forget the war around me and the sounds and cries of dying dreams.


Submitted: May 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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