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 .
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 .
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 .