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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hang 'em High

In my mind there is nothing as classic and enduring as the western cowboy. Just by saying the phrase I can feel the breeze on my face and feel the sun warming my skin. I can remember spending summers with my grandparents and sitting at my grandfather’s feet watching western movies and shows. Classics. Of course, my grandfather was the original cowboy in my mind. He loved blue grass music, horses, and he had stories of times gone by that I could only imagine in my mind. Family reunions were filled with the strains of a guitar, a banjo, and a fiddle.

Those are days that molded me into who and what I am. The American pride my family carried and the patriotism that was passed on from one generation to the next. My love of westerns and cowboys stemmed from those early years. Some of the best one liners ever created came from those movies and I’ll remember them long into my old age. I only hope that I've done my part and passed on even a small piece of my heritage to my kids, but more than that I hope I've passed on a pride of our history. America may still be a young nation but we are a gifted, compassionate, and creative people.

The idyllic icon grew out of our history’s pages and into our hearts less than a hundred and fifty years ago stepping onto the screen as Hollywood captured the essence of what made those times great.

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade. I think we all know how that goes and I've found myself in that situation. I've decided to take a step back from my career as an author and take a short break from the things that come with it. And since this will be my last blog, at least for a short while, I've decided to leave you with some small piece of myself. Without further ado I present to you my top five favorite cowboys.

5. He has the legendary ten gallon hat, the strong chin, and the million dollar smile. He’s the hero who always does the right thing even when he must stand alone, and no matter what the cost, he’ll be there for his “boy.” Who wouldn't love Woody in Toy Story played by Tom Hanks? He is the American cowboy personified.

4. This cowboy lived a full, adventurous life that spanned fifty years. An American Icon. A legend. You can’t mention cowboy without the image of John Wayne coming to mind. He is the epitome of Americana. With films like The Shootist and The Man who shot Liberty Valance, Wayne endeared himself to a captive audience with his rough voice and stoic ideals. He branded himself on more than just the American history pages; he branded himself on our hearts forever. “Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.” – Stagecoach (1939) Well said, John, and may these words have meaning many years from now.

3. This cowboy comes from the second longest running western series in history with his endearing youth and blind loyalty; there wasn't another cowboy who captured as many hearts as Joe Cartwright in Bonanza. Bonanza and Gunsmoke were my grandfather’s favorite TV shows but Joe gets in my top five simply because he was my first celebrity crush. Ahh, the joys of a young girl’s heart.

2. What else says the Wild, Wild West more than the pony express? The Young Riders was a fictionalized piece of American history set in Sweetwater, Nebraska territory. James Bulter Hickok played by Josh Brolin gets my number two pick simply because he’s hot and because he’s been a long-time crush of mine that never seems to waiver. The older he gets, the hotter he is. There’s nothing more fascinating than the hot-tempered Wild Bill Hickok whether it’s fiction or reality. His history is provocative because of both his past as a gunfighter and a lawman.

1. My number one pick is a man that needs no introduction. And while there were earlier cowboys who paved the way into the western genre, no one lit up the screen like Clint Eastwood. Tall, rugged, handsome in rough sort of way, he was the epitome of “cowboy.” He’s been in Hollywood’s limelight since 1955 and has earned a place among its legends. I first watched Pale Rider when I was nine years old and was fascinated with those pale blue eyes and seemingly heartless expression. And no one gave a one liner quite the way he did. On top of that he is one of the few of Hollywood’s elite who’s served his country and his numerous awards for his work have made him a cultural icon. "Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy"~ The Outlaw Josey Wales 1976.

So there are my favorite top five cowboys. Those are the men who have shaped me into a western-loving fiend. I've always said that westerns, whether it’s in the form of a book, a TV series, or movie will endure both time and trends. When all others fade or get overshadowed by others, westerns always seem to return time and again to capture our interest. Even if it’s not your favorite genre, it seems like everyone has a story to tell about a western cowboy they remember the most. So tell me which cowboy was the most memorable for you?

And with that, I tip my hat to those of you who've swung by to read my posts over the last year or so. I leave you with a smile and a promise that this isn't goodbye…just goodbye for now. Never be afraid to take a chance, you never know when it might turn into the best adventure yet.

Miss Adventure 
Suzie Grant   

The Devil's Defiance ~ book two in the Devil Ryder series

New York City Lawyer Garret Ryder takes the law into his own hands when a vicious killer gets away with murdering his family. Nothing will stop him from delivering the justice denied him by the law he vowed to uphold. But when the killer kidnaps a judge’s daughter, his childhood sweetheart, he must decide if any price is too high to exact revenge. San Antonio socialite Sophia Maria Osbourne doesn't trust easily. With a dirty politician and a blackmailing judge for a father, she learned not to rely on anyone but herself. But when her father’s shady dealings lead to her kidnapping, she must place her faith in the man who stole her heart long ago, if she hopes to survive.

16 comments:

  1. Suzie, I have to say, I LOVE that you included Woody on your list. He's definitely up there for me.

    You might want to shoot me over this one, though, but I can't watch a John Wayne movie. Ever. I don't know what it is about him, but every time I try to watch one of his movies, I get a migraine. Every. Time. So he would not be on my list, just because.

    I would put Johnny Cash in there, though. I mean, come on. The Man in Black? He's the epitome of the 20th Century American cowboy.

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    1. Catherine, there is no cuter cowboy than Woody imho. I loved him from the moment I saw him. And I love Johnny Cash! He truly is the epitome of the modern cowboy, you're absolutely right. Thanks for stopping in today and sharing my top five with me lol.

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  2. I am completely with you for 5 & 4. Woody is totally hot!!! LOL Miss Adventure, you are the strongest person I know. An inspiration. Don't be a stranger. :-)

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    1. LOL Woody is awesome! Tom Hanks really did a fabulous job with him I think. Thanks Heather, you're a doll and I <3 you. I'll be back in the saddle in no time, I'm sure. =D

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  3. I've always been fond of Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke & The Lone Ranger, but my absolute favorite cowboy EVER is Gus McCrae (Robert Duvall) in Lonesome Dove. I adore his character! I also really liked Matt Damon's character in True Grit. He was so funny!

    We'll miss you while you're taking a break, and we'll be very happy when you come back. XOXO

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    1. Oh Matt Dillon is a doll no matter what movie he's in. It's not a cowboy movie but he was super fabulous in the Outsiders, wasn't he? I love him to death. And yes, I was torn between Robert Duvall and John Wayne but because John was my grandfather's favorite cowboy I just had to give that slot to him. Lonesome Dove is the greatest cowboy flick ever created though. Loved it. I've never seen True Grit though, I'll have to pick it up one day. I tend to watch movies on TV and I haven't seen it on yet.

      I'll miss you gals more than I can say but again, it won't be for too long. I trust you girls to hold down the fort lol. =D

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  4. Suzie ~ In my younger days, I was a huge Billy the Kid fan. That's right, I went right for the black cowboy hat wearin' kind of guy. The bad boy. Probably not a surprise to many.

    In my older (and hopefully wiser) years I'm pretty happy with the white cowboy hat wearin' kind of guy. (Well, if my guy wore a cowboy hat, that is.) ;)

    I'm so sorry this'll be your last blog for a while. You will be sorely missed!

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    1. LOL Ava, yes I can totally see you going for the bad boy type. You know, I thought Emillio Estevez did a great job in that last movie but the man who really gets props for being the best Billy the Kid is your favorite guy, if I remember correctly, Paul Newman in The Left Handed Gunman. Great movie.

      *insert cheesy Arnold voice* I'll be back. I'll probably swing by a comment once in a while just because I'll miss you gals.

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  5. Suzie,
    I'm not a western movie lover, but I did love Young Guns when I was a teenager! Does that count? You are going to be missed! Come back to us soon!

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    1. Yes! That counts! I loved Young guns like I said earlier Emilio Estevez did a super job playing Billy the Kid. He seemed so genuine I think. He really fit the role. Thanks for stopping in Julie and sharing with us, and I'll see you soon!

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  6. Love your choices, Suzie! I also loved James Garner in Maverick. So cool...

    Come back to us soon!

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    1. My mother has a thing for James Garner, Deb, and she gets mad when I tell her he's not my absolute favorite lol. She's cute like that. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your choice!

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  7. Oh Woody! Great pick, along with Clint! Remember when Marty (in Back To the Future II) told everyone in the bar that was his name and they were like, that's a sissy name! LOL!

    We will miss you, Suzie!!! Hope you can come back soon. XO

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    1. Oh Marquita, that was the best "Back to the future" scene ever imho lol. Classic. Not to mention Michael J. Fox is like the cutest guy I've ever seen. He's adorable. Thanks for swinging by! And I hope to return soon!

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  8. Suzie, I just read your post. I hope you come back soon. Growing up we would listen to country music and my dad loved John Wayne. My dad is really into westerns. I mean he will watch Lonesome Dove for days if he could. Take care Miss Adventure.

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    1. Your dad and I have much in common then, lol. I could watch that movie over and over again and still come away with that glowy feeling after watching a really good movie. It never fails to affect me. I'll be stopping in here and there, I'm sure. And I'll miss everyone like crazy while I'm away. You keep smiling and reading Melody, and I'll see you soon. =D

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