A while back, I wrote a story about some cowboys wandering around in the desert, getting more and more lost and more and more confused and upset. I submitted it to a bunch of places before one finally published it; most of the rest responded with something like "cowboys?" followed by a snorting sound and a rolling of the eyes. And it's hard to get a snorting sound and eye-roll into a letter or email. (Trust me; I know.)
That's a shame, because it was a good story -- and also because cowboys and westerns and western wear are a part of America; the "Wild West" and cowboys and cattle rustlers and Buffalo Bill and the OK Corral and sarsaparilla and more, all part of our national consciousness that's slowly fading away from popular view. Why, it's been nearly three decades since "Urban Cowboy" and "Young Guns" came out, and nowadays, when you see people driving a herd of cattle, it's likely that the "people" are "Australians."
That's why I'm glad that a place like Cavender's Boot City exists. Just looking around the selection of cowboy hats, boots, and western wear they have on their website makes me happy and content-- I can almost smell the leather and rawhide, and hear the click of a six shooter, the clip-clop of horses' hooves, see the rocks and watering holes and split-rail fences and bandannas that the western wear calls to mind.
And, boy, does Cavenders Boot City have western wear -- hats, boots, accessories, for men, women, and children, and they've even got an online fitting chart, so that I can buy right through my computer.
They don't stop there, either: their western wear includes slippers and things, and they've got western-themed stuffed animals and books. There's even cologne, so that if you can't actually be out chasing down the bad guys through Snake Canyon, you can at least SMELL like you were doing that. Well, I mean, in a good way.
Cavenders Boot City is keeping the western spirit alive -- and you can do that, too, with a quick click over to their site.