Head 'em Up and Move 'em Out

Last Friday and Saturday we went to the opening of Cheyenne Frontier Days. Frontier Days seems to be Wyoming’s answer to the once a year cowboy’s dream. All you need when you go to this big shin-dig to the north, is blue jeans, boots, cowboy hat, and a desire to have a good time. If you have everything except the cowboy hat, you can buy yourself a pink or blue straw one with a string of feathers hanging on the back, at a dozen places along the midway. Now this particular kind of ca boy hat doesn’t seem too authentic to me. I just can’t seem to picture a real cowboy riding his horse on the range, in a pink hat with hot pink feathers flapping in the breeze. (Well, maybe in some parts of San Francisco it would be alright, but that is neither here nor there.)

With Paul and I being the worlds biggest country-western music fans, you can imagine how excited we were to hear that the opening night performance at Frontier Days was none other than…Waylon Jennings.

We got the tickets, called our friends. Tom and Lavada in Berthoud, and started making plans for the big trip north.

Friday evening everything went smoothly (for a while). We found our motel, checked in. and then headed for the big show. We walked past the pretty hats and up the ramp to the stadium and wouldn’t you know it. Tom made a mistake and handed the ticket taker his rodeo ticket Instead of his show ticket; she tore it in two, gave Tom one half and put the other half in with about 10.000 other halves. Now Tom was in the Waylon Jennings show with a whole show ticket and a half a ticket for the Saturday rodeo performance. It took some time, but he finally got this little problem straightened out.

The concert started and so did the good times. A once a year cowboy from Kimball, Nebraska, sitting next to Paul, happened to have a bottle of liquid good times that he decided to share with the two Colorado cowboys sitting to his right. These two cowboys happened to be cowboy Paul and wrangler Tom. After a few sips of Nebraska snake bite medicine, these two rovers really started to whoop it up. You would have thought they had just ridden their horse into town after six months on a cattle drive.

It didn’t take long and cowboy Paul was trying to sing louder than Waylon and his band with all their amplifiers. Now we paid good money for those concert tickets to hear Waylon; the cowboy could have sang to the tape in the car a lot cheaper. The concert was at, but I’m sure that Waylon Jennings would never hire the singer sitting next to me.

When the concert was over, we hit the midway and suddenly, the cowboy I was with turned into an Arab. He decided to ride a camel. It was pretty silly to see someone with a cowboy hat on his head and a snake bite medicine grin on his face riding a two hump camel. Lavada had enough nerve to ride this dromedary too…and she did it without the benefit of the good time elixir.

After trying to take advantage of all the Frontier Days festivities in one evening, we finally convinced the rovers it was time to head ‘em up and move ‘em out. So, with Lavada driving the car and the cowboy and the wrangler giving directions on how to get to a motel in Cheyenne in two easy turns, we headed for the end of the trail. Everything would have been just fine if they hadn’t forgotten about one of the turns. We drove several miles out of our way before we got back to the place that we had started from earlier in the evening.

Saturday morning the cowboys were a little more mellow and there was no mention of riding camels or dancing to cowboy music Seems they don’t make cowboys as young as they used to.

Times are a changin’. A few years ago it would have taken more than one evening of merry making to convince us that: Old cowboys never die, they just have to go home and rest their boots.