TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — EDITOR’S NOTE: Russell Richardson contributes to Faith Factor on a regular basis. This week, Richardson reminds us to appreciate all kinds of lifestyles.
I’m in Starr Valley, Nev., exit 333 on Interstate 80 E, 30 miles past Elko, Nev.
This is buckaroo country. Buckaroo: Cowboy. Indian: Harley. Cowboys are commercialized sell outs to elitism. Buckaroos don’t realize they’re walking, talking cliches because broken straps, loose lassies, spurs, green broncs, rough calfin’s, and any other cowboy cliche (brands, round ups, Ford trucks, heifer haulin’, livin’ 80 miles from a grocery store) is “ever-day” life.
Dad gets right along, having spent most of his adult leisure time here. He knows the dialect and presents the wizened version of someone whose been outside for most of his life and remembers when buckaroos would take the long haired hippy guys to the back alley, cut their pony tails off with a rusty knife and beat them senseless.
And here’s me, in beat-up canvas pants with a scarred leather multi-tool sheath, faded out Carhartt jacket, leather boots that have been around the world, and a ponytail that’s been growing 2 1/2 years.
Never mind that I can saddle a horse and herd cattle. Never mind school years spent bucking hay on the weekends. Never mind that I can throw a lariat. Never mind that I can shoot a 3-inch pattern at 100 yards with my grandfather’s Husqvarna .270. Never mind that I’m solid — if not fast — on skinning and butchering an animal.
Never mind all that. I’m a Californian with a ponytail.
End of story.
Russell Richardson, MM, MFA, St. Nick’s (Tahoe City) tuba player and publicist, visit www.stnicksepiscopal.org. St. Nicholas Episcopal Church and is free and open to all. Location, 855 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City.