A friend, over Christmas dinner, told a story of her recent trip on the train to Oklahoma. She traveled on the train from Kansas City to Oklahoma to visit relatives. Beside her, sat sisters, who’d come from Germany, just to visit Oklahoma; Because they thought we still had cowboys in America.
Everyone’s eyes at the table opened wide, and simultaneously we said, “Oh no!” “Bummer!”
There are no cowboys, like in the movies. There was a time, when men wore dusty worn-out Stetson hats upon their heads, and dug the metal spurs on their boots deep in the mud with every step. But, Oklahoma has shopping centers, small houses, several taco stands, more shopping centers, and more tiki little houses all in a row, on very flat dry land. But no cowboys. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Kansas City, on the other hand, has a mixture of everyone. And nice folks, too. As I was out on New Year’s Eve, I noticed the crowd at the local corner tavern. It may have resembled life as it may have been in the days when my house the trading post was the corner tavern for the town of Westport. The restaurant, Jazz, serves Cajun cuisine and live jazz band music. The area is the “Mid-town hipster” scene. Young, single, plus families, and older couples, all races, all religions, I assume. No one spoke of such things. There were girls from the “ghetto” (if KC has one) and gents from the plaza, some docs, maybe lawyers. The waitresses were pretty, but too busy to chat. The music just right. The food fried and spicy.
Here you will see a cowboy or two. Young farmers, just turning 21; come to the city for New Year’s. His jeans pressed, over black, polished cowboy boots, and yes, a fine, new Stetson cowboy hat. The brim stiff and bright. How do I know? I don’t know; I just grew up in Cameron, Missouri, and I know a farm boy when I see one.
They always nod politely to women. And say “yes mam” and step aside to let ladies go ahead, or act a fool breaking a foot for opening the door for any gal. Adorable. God Bless the boys who don’t get out much.
I could write all night, but my husband has turned on some inappropriate television program. I will have to investigate the strange sounds.