CODE OF THE WEST: For the few of you that read this blog, I have not left, just don't post as often since I returned to full time employment. And while that is not the purpose of this posting, my returning to work, I will mention it in a passing fashion during this blog. As to the first line. there used to be one. A code. still is, mostly. So I'll quote this poem and then elaborate a bit.
It don't take such a lot o' laws to keep the range land straight
Nor books to write 'em in, 'cause there are only six or eight
The first one is the welcome sign, written deep in western hearts
My camp is yours and yours is mine in all cow country parts
Treat with respect all women kind, same as you would your sister
Care for neighbors' strays you find, and don't call cowboys Mister
Shut the pasture gates when passin' through, and taking all in all
Be just as rough as pleases you, but don't be mean or small
Talk straight, shoot straight, never break your word to man or hoss
Plumb always kill a rattlesnake, don't ride a sore back hoss
It don't take law nor pedigree to live the best you can
These few is all it takes to be a cowboy and a man
Cowboys have always wore hats. The style of hat sometimes varies from area to area, but they are still worn. Now a days, hats are becoming more of an item to ward of the sun, because more people are aware of the likely hood of skin cancer, especially here in the Southwest. Along with the poem quoted above, there was a hat etiquette that cowboys practised. It used to be common for hats to be checked at the door of a public place, such as restaurants. That has mostly become obsolete, so here are some thoughts on how to wear your hat today.
One hat maker has written on the back of his business card "Take it off at the table, leave it on at the bar, and treat it like your sweetheart." Trent Johnson of Greely Hat Works. While the hats off at the dinner table used to be a hard and fast rule, many cowboys now leave it on when dining at a public restaurant. However, you should remove it when entering a private residence, a house of worship, or a business meeting. And around the ladies? While the days when men were expected to remove them when a lady enters the room has kinda disappeared, it is still good manners to do so, and it is mostly appreciated, even if it is unexpected. It is also not a bad practice to tip your hat to the ladies in public. In a respectful manner.
So what does any of this have to do with me returning to work? Simple. Many of the men I work with are very disrespectful of the ladies. Their language is crude and lewd at best, and the ladies in the crew are disregarded or treated as one of the boys by most of the men on the crew.
And as a last thought. Manners as a general rule seems to have gone the way of rotary phones and typewriters. You can still find them, but they are in the minority. When people return to the cowboy way of life, in the country or the city, showing respect for your neighbors and your neighbors property, curbing foul language, and treating ladies with the respect they deserve, especially your spouse, then the country will be on track to return to the kind of country we would all like to live in. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank.