Collection: Western Life

While I am a native Hoosier, I have lived in Texas now for 57 years. 

It’s a state that has a unique mystique, and has grown into an economic juggernaut. My good friend Shake Russell once did a song for a local television show, the song is “Traveling Texas,” and it encapsulates the varied aspects of the state:

“In the heart of a mustang that can never be tamed, an old ‘blue norther’ ‘cross the panhandle plains….southbound by Houston, they’re moving out into space…..the eyes of Texas, the hearts and the hands, say ‘welcome stranger, you know Texas means ‘friend.”

Now, just as in the rest of the country, there are deep divisions that didn’t used to exist, and that’s a shame. But it’s still easy to find the beauty, the friendships, the diversity and the wonder in the state.

That said, there are certainly preconceived notions about Texas, I think mainly due to Hollywood lore. But in actuality, most of the cowboy movies were not filmed in Texas. For example, did you know there are no saguaro cactus in Texas? Those are in Arizona and points west! And I loved the newspaper article about Broadway legend David Merrick upon his first visit to Houston (and Texas) in the 1960’s, when he exclaimed “You have trees here!”  Of course we do, but the image is of the dusty deserts from the old movies.

Well, with that in mind, this gallery salutes our western heritage, which is still celebrated even from the skyscrapers in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and everywhere else. 

And as you can see by my photos with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, even though I started out in Indiana, somehow I knew I would end up in Texas.

Saddle up!