Westerns: The ride began for me

westerntownWestern = what does it mean to me?

Excellent question! I am not totally ready to deeply reflect or describe what Westerns mean to me or what I think they are, but I gotta get something down in this first week. Our scout Alan Levine – has a wonderful read or Sandy Brown Jensen a mesmerizing story teller,  both of which I would love to follow as a model – but will have to come back to do another day.

When I look at “Western” and how I have viewed them thru out my life I can pretty much sum it up as my imaginary world.  Riding a horse on the open range – adventure. I don’t remember ever thinking of the violence or the inequalities. I was always drawn to the outdoors – the views of the mountains, the hills, the desert, campfires, adventure and travel. The pioneer spirit. When I reflect now I think I saw the westerns as an extension of the pioneers. Wagon trains, discovering new territories and establishing new communities. Characters who faced challenges and overcame them thru relationships with others around them.

Westerns to me were people who were building and creating. Creating culture, society, rules, norms, towns. It fascinated me – and now with this journey of #western106 it does again.

smithjonesOther girls were watching Dark Shadows and General Hospital when I was young – I was watching Wild Wild West, Laredo, and Alias Smith and Jones. Alias Smith and Jones was a favorite show that I didn’t miss. Peter Dual and Ben Murphy were posters on my walls. Dr. Quinn – Medicine Woman, Little House on the Prairie – people who worked hard, respected each other, faced problems and were building community.

The Legend of Billy Jack – (Tom Laughlin) and the song One Tin Soldier – I’m not sure it was a true western – but it was to me. I  was a Billy Jack junkie and didn’t miss any of the film series.  I am not sure it qualifies as a Western – but it was a guy who wore a cowboy hat and usually out in the western USA taking on the bad guys.

I  watched Zorro. Bonanza and Gunsmoke were occasional watches but not followed faithfully. Wild Wild West was a favorite.  It think that was during my “spy and secret agent” phase, just with a Western theme.  The Lone Ranger, F Troop, Maverick – so the light-hearted as well. Cat Ballou with Lee Marvin as Kid Shelleen,  and Jane Fonda I enjoyed as well.

littlebigmanI was  attracted to westerns because of the Native Americans and their stories. Dances with Wolves and Little Big Man.

Many of the stories and portrayals we now know were not correct. The stories would talk of nature, of spirituality, of being one with nature and family to me. I was always rooting for the Indians and for the cowboys who learned from them.

This path also led me to be a faithful fan of Kung FuKungFu West with David Carradine. Yes – grasshopper – I think this is a western.

The classics like Fistful of Dollars, High Noon – those did not hold my interest at the time. So they are on my list to see what they are about.

Yep pardner – this Western thing has a lot of trails to cover….and the good thing is – even if I can’t get a decent post about it now, having to try to get something down helps expand my thoughts and ideas and start to focus on what lies ahead in using the theme for some #ds106 art making……So affirmation as to the ds106  processes – doing them keeps the momentum and pace going.

Man with No Course – This is for the checklist. Moving down the trail.



3 thoughts on “Westerns: The ride began for me”

  1. I am loving the push up against my own perceptions and stereotypes as much as the push up against the stereotypes that did/do exist in the Western genre. We’re already crawling into the spaces in-between, thanks to Alan’s maps for us to follow.

  2. A great set of fenceposts along the trail… I have Billy Jack on my list of modern westerns, more for his fighting the norms and being a rebel with a cause. I wonder, since many people try to do this “Is it a Western or Not” game. I remain unsure where the boundaries are nor if they matter.

    That is one of the questions to ponder as we ride along.

  3. K.
    You are delightfully self effacing while at the same time providing a fairly exhaustive list of cultural touchstones! I’m glad you’re in it to win it, and I look forward to jawing about our discoveries around the old watering hole every week!


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