I had a chance to talk to several western genre authors, and writers about their feelings on the National day of the Cowboy, and it becoming a national day of recognition of our American heritage and the American Cowboy’s Heritage. During my interviews, and conversations with many of the authors and writers, I expressed how I would like to honor the National Day of the Cowboy by posting our personal feelings on the rich history that we know and love to write about. I feel it is important that our readers see, that we as authors want to support the movement in recognizing the Cowboy as a day we celebrate here in America. I was able to get nine of the authors I spoke with, to guest post on my blog to honor the Day of the Cowboy. This week here on my blog, as well as my very good friend, and co-author Tim Bultman’s blog at cowboywithacause.com. will be sharing and honoring the true history of our country,and the true and rich history of our American Cowboy as it was when the Cowboy paved the way for America.
This Morning I would like to introduce a western wordslinger, as he is known Mathew Pizzolato. Hello Matt, What is your take on the iconic symbol of the American Cowboy.
There are few things in this world that are unique to this country. The Western genre as a whole and the cowboy in particular go hand in hand as symbols that represent everything that is American.
The cowboy that rode across the American West helped to settle this country. He braved Indian attack, wild horses, stampedes, drowning and every other form of horrible death imaginable. The cowboy’s time came and went, but it was glorious while it lasted. While it was a period of danger and death, it was also one of loyalty and honor.
The cowboy often rode from can-see till can’t-see and faced death every second he was in the saddle. In fact, many of them lost their lives or suffered debilitating injuries. It was said one could tell a cowboy by his missing fingers or a gimp leg.
While he faced death every day, the cowboy was a man of honor, integrity and loyalty. He rode for the brand and was loyal until death. When he gave his word, he kept it no matter the consequences. Most of all, the cowboy was self reliant. He depended on no one but himself to get the job done.
The cowboy is a stereotype that transcended gender and ethnicity and encompassed all political affiliation. All cowboys and cowgirls adhered to a strict personal code that has quietly slipped away from popular American consciousness.
As a Western writer, I strive to keep the spirit of the cowboy and the American West alive in my work. It is my way of honoring those brave and hardy souls who made this country great. My characters, whether they are cowboys, lawmen or outlaws, exemplify the cowboy’s spirit of honor, integrity and loyalty.
Perhaps former president George W. Bush best described the meaning of the National Day of the Cowboy. “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.”
Modern American society has fallen away from the virtues that the cowboy held dear and would benefit from being made aware of the cowboy’s lifestyle, of his values and of his personal code. That is why the National Day of the Cowboy is so important.
It honors an icon that lives on in the hearts and minds of those who read and write Westerns and is exemplified everyday by those modern day cowboys and cowgirls who live and work on ranches in all 50 states, not to mention those who participate in rodeos all around the world.
The National Day of the Cowboy brings to the forefront the values that shaped this country and it honors a true American legend – the cowboy, who gave his blood, sweat and tears and many of them their lives, to those of us alive today and it’s something we shouldn’t forget.
By Matthew Pizzolato
Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His short story collection, THE WANTED MAN, is available for the Amazon Kindle and as a Barnes and Noble NOOK BOOK. His fiction has been published online and in print in such publications as: BEAT to a PULP!, The Copperfield Review, PULP MODERN, Frontier Tales Magazine, The Pink Chameleon Online, Perpetual Magazine, Long Story Short, and The Storyteller. He writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and is a contributing writer for Suite101.com. Matthew can be contacted via his personal website: www.matthew-pizzolato.com or he can be found on Twitter @mattpizzolato. When he’s not writing, Matthew is the Editor-in-Chief and webmaster of The Western Online.
Amazon Book Link: The Wanted Man http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006JEQM8U
My Blog: The Western Wordslinger
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