Although the song by Gene Autry, “Back In the Saddle Again” was first released before my birth, its title popped into my head. It mirrored exactly how I felt about beginning to write in earnest this month. Yessiree, partner, I’m back in the saddle and enjoying it!
Reflecting about this song, memories of growing up in Omaha, Nebraska during the 1950’s flooded my consciousness. I loved anything to do with cowboys. My friends and I would play for hours making up and acting out stories of the Old West. The theme was simple. Good vs. Evil. We were influenced by all the black and white westerns on television. A few were The Rifleman, Have Gun-Will Travel, Broken Arrow, The Cisco Kid, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and, of course, The Lone Ranger. I would wait impatiently all year for the one hour TV special on how a lone ranger became a crime fighter with his black mask, strong, white steed, Silver, and faithful companion, Tonto. I never got tired of watching it. “Hi-Yo, Silver, away!”
I also remembered about my horseback riding lessons. Hey, no one could be a true cowboy unless they knew how to ride a horse. Definitely Western and not English style. Real cowboys did not ride English, although later I learned that style was more difficult. Our instructor would pick us up in her Woodie station wagon. A four-door vehicle that looked like a box with a black top and hood plus white wall tires. What made it unique were the wood panels making up the body. This vehicle would later become very popular at various surfing sites, but being landlocked in Nebraska, we didn’t have a clue. We would pile into the station wagon and drive several miles west, of course, to the riding ring. No seat belts were required. It’s amazing we all survived!
As my writing becomes more consistent, I am hopeful that, late spring or early summer, the rough draft of the first book of my trilogy will be done. Once this phase is completed, I will definitely be able to take off my ten-gallon hat, slap it against my thigh, and whoop it up!!