Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Texas Icon

"Icon #1"
Odessa, Texas

"Icon #2"
Odessa, Texas

These are a couple of murals in downtown Odessa, paying homage to the romantic memory of the cowboy.

There's probably not an icon more associated with Texas than the cowboy. Not that the cowboy is only in Texas, but somehow Texas and the cowboy seem to go together most frequently in the same breath.

But the cowboy isn't just a memory. (Nor was -- nor is -- his life entirely romantic.) In the grocery store just the other night, I was behind a cowboy in line. He had on his hat, his boots, his dusty Wrangler jeans, and looked more than a little tired. But he was cowboy, through and through.

The real cowboy these days is likely to be a rancher/farmer. There remains big family spreads, but not so many any more. Mostly the real cowboy of the 21st century will be a man with a family, living on a small place, raising horses possibly, tending to a small herd of free-range cattle, and maybe even a raising a good sized plot of some alfalfa. He will likely have a day job, too. But he keeps the place because he loves it. Or maybe just because his daddy did. And his daddy before him.

(Another thing: in Texas, your father is "Daddy." Even if you are 80.)

As I write this, I realize I would like to interview a "real" cowboy. One just like I described above. Maybe the next time I see one in the grocery store, I'll ask.

Today's suggestion "More Iconic images of Texas" was from Bev, semi-retired, semi-on-sabbatical blogger of Heavenly Body. She once told me she had never talked to any one from Texas before. That, I promise you, is only because she had never met any one from Texas. Texans -- again, tell me if you've heard this before -- are notorious for being friendly. (Sometimes they are even known for being a little bit of braggarts. Imagine that!)

Photo info --
Really lazy photos today. Literally taken from my truck window. Electric window, even. I should be ashamed of myself. Standard post-production to make these images blog-ready (reduce and 50% sharpen).


dianeclancy said...

Hi Debi,

This was a hard call ... but I am going for door #1 ... what is behind it .. oh, right, we are choosing photos ..

I am still going for #1 ... but #2 is great too ... and I believe we saw another mural from here awhile ago.

~ Diane Clancy

Sweet Irene said...

I am going for number two, in spite of the two hour parking sign where he could have hitched his horse.

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

I like the flatness of 2 and the plant's impact in 1....2 by a nose.

They look good as a pair - so in the end I vote for 3. My best.

nelda said...

Think Iam going for #2 again - but it's a tough choice. Both good photos. Love you lots!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

I really like number one. It's a great mural in keeping with my whole idea of a ruggedly handsome cowboy, weathered but not worn. Also I know how hard that would be to paint!!Can't wait to see your real cowboy!

Bev said...

I'm going for 2, because it is a silhouette it contains the element of mystery you get with the shots of the lone cowboy in the films(like The Man With No Name) riding across the prairie. I did a homage to him yesterday on my blog, but a Peanuts inspired one.

Debi, I have been waiting with bated breath to find out which of the houses in your posting the other day is your's (because I am nosy lol)-

Neda said...

I like #2 because of the "lone ranger" figure, an iconic everyman. Number 1 is too "pretty" :)

Great job as always!

chosha said...

I like #2 the best, but I have to say that int his case I think I'm voting more for the mural than the photo. That image with his gear slung over his shoulder all in silhouette is really effective.

Last year I took a photo of a street mural I liked in Melbourne (I think it made it to the blog, not sure). I saw it while stopped at a traffic light just before the light turned green. Took me four more complicated circuits to catch another red, but I got the photo. :)