I love cowboys. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid blazed their way to history last night on TV. No matter how many times I watch it, they still don't make it. I can't resist Lassiter when he fires that long rifle. Gene Autry and Roy Rogers crooned the crooks right into the jail cell. Ever since Bill "Hopalong" Cassidy, clad in all black, galloped his way through my childhood on his white horse Topper I've had a soft spot for cowboys. He lassoed bad guys with a sense of fair play and a gentlemanly tip of his uncharacteristically black hat. There were no fuzzy boundaries between good and evil (unless you count the stereotypical good guys wear white hats); I always knew Hoppy would prevail while keeping his manners in tact. Although the original character created in 1904 by Clarence Mulford wasn't quite the clean cut version of the silver screen, I probably would have loved him as well.
I've gone on to other cowboys since Hoppy smiled at me from his picture on my lunch box. Much to the puzzlement of my family, I still watch the Lonesome Dove series written by Larry McMurty every chance I get. Thanks, Larry, for giving me a cowboy fix, and happy 73rd birthday. Happy Trails.