Sunday, April 8, 2012
What is it in the American psyche that captures our imagination of the American west? It's not a physical boundary. If it were, we would know where it begins and where it ends. Amon G. Carter, former Fort Worth Star Telegram publisher, put it this way, “Fort Worth is where the west begins and Dallas is where the east peters out…” and the feud goes on still. There is a cultural difference between the two cities.
The mid-cities is a suburb in between Dallas and Fort Worth. When I first moved to the mid-cities, many people I visited “out-of -state “ would often ask me where I lived? The first couple of years it was simpler just to say Dallas; everyone knows Big “D”. I would not have to explain where the mid-cities was located.
Having worked and worshiped in churches in both Dallas and Fort Worth, I can truthfully say I love both places. But, after two years I realized that Fort Worth was where I lived. Not within the city limits boundary, but the state of mind of what Fort Worth culture represents. Toby Keith expressed in song this way, “I shouda've been a cowboy”... with a dream in my eye and a prayer in my heart”. Dallas has its' “cowboys”. Fort Worth has the heritage. Both cities are in Texas.
I don't consider myself even close to being a “wanbe” cowboy. I have seen two many “Walgreen Wranglers” and I have too much respect for what the “true” cowboys both of today and yesterday represent. I seldom wear a cowboy hat except on special occasions and when I go out-of-state. (You never know when you may have to mosey into a drug store.)
However, who I am (and want to be like) is in that nebulous sphere being in between reality and the elusive spirit of the west. Today, I live a little over eighty miles from the metroplex on thirty acres on a place I named Vaca Vista. Been here close to fifteen year now. I choose not to call it a farm or a ranch. Just across the road are real ranches with hundreds and thousands of acres and cattle.
I practically live on the intersection of the Chisholm Trail and the Butterfield Overland Stage route. With those kind of names how can you not feel a kindered spirit to the people that have lived and passed through this part of the west. Many times from my perch high upon my tractor, I look out and see the cattle and a setting sun then I know the spirit of the west is nearby and that spirit has no boundaries.