clothes , conspiracy , and cowboys

3 boys in velvet suits 1932

My parents never dressed me up in velvet suits .  Well, I was born in the wrong era , to be honest . In my time , how did parents dress their children that would make them seem ridiculous ,  parading them around in silly  frou-frou ?

A friend of mine ——- well , a recent acquaintance of mine , commented that parents in our childhood time used to dress kids in cowboy hats so that they , the parents , could laugh at them when they got together with other parents . It seemed a weird conspiracy theory . He’s into conspiracy theories . He spews conspiracy theories one after another after another . After another after another . Poor guy is pursued daily by evil plotters . Even our parents, in his view ,  conspired to ridicule us in our cowboy hats and toy six-shooters .

We all wore them , didn’t we ?hopalong cassidy  Now you know why . It was a parent conspiracy .

Or not .

I think that the cowboy theme in American culture began to spread about the time the real cowboys  were being replaced , rural America was becoming urban , and cowboy heroes were mostly actors dressing the part and generating the cowboy hero myth .

William S. Hart —- wasn’t he one of the cowboy actors who had really lived the cowboy life ? Or was it Tom Mix ?  Or , both ? Remember Marion Morrison , USC student , who began his film career as a cowboy movie hero ?  Changed his name to John Wayne . How about Hopalong Cassidy ? The Lone Ranger ? Roy Rogers ? How about Sky King ?  OK , TV shows :  The Rifleman , Maverick , Bonanza , Wagon Train , Wild Wild West , Have gun Will Travel ,  Gunsmoke ?    Remember those ? How about Rawhide with the character Rowdy Yates —remember Rowdy Yates ? Became a big star later . There are probably hundreds of cowboy TV shows , as well , of course , as the multitude of cowboy movies .

clint eastwoodWilliam S. Hart

I grew up in a cowboy hero culture . It included  nothing about my parents , or any of our parents, wanting to ridicule us , setting us up for that kind of mean-spirited entertainment . Weird theory , don’t you think —- the parents’ conspiracy thing ?

That’s not to say that plenty of parents don’t dress their little angels up in silly costume . I had a boss when I was young who had a child late in life . The parents loved that little boy and doted over him ; dressed him up in berets and bow ties and sparkling patent leather shoes . The poor little guy showed off his parents’  creepy visions about what a child should look like , how a child should act . He was made to bow and tip his hat when he met adults ,  beginning when he was just a shrimpy kid ,  a young little boy living out his parents’ eccentric fantasies of proper childhood . He may have even been made to wear velvet suits , I think .

And then, of course , he rebelled . Became a teenage tyrant .  He wore no bow ties and bowed to no one in jail .   ” Just County time , ” he said once between incarcerations , ” I could do that standing on my head . ”

Everyone has to do their own growing , no matter how tall their parents were .

tall man in top hat 1922


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5 responses to “clothes , conspiracy , and cowboys

  1. Sallyanne

    I so enjoy your writing style … but cowboy, we want names of the recent acquaintance and former boss!

  2. White shirt, salt and pepper corduroy pants – now there was a conspiracy!

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