Pioneer life in the Benton Co. WA area
TV Westerns Are Denounced/Buckaroos Misrepresented
By BURTON 0. LUM
Tri-City Herald, Sunday, September 23, 1962.
Webster says history is that branch of knowledge that records and explains past events. The old pioneer is naturally irked by the lack of authenticity of the new modern television “Westerns” as they are called. To see the antics of these drug store cowboys and buckaroos would make any old time buckaroo turn over in his grave. I don’t know why more truth in producing could not be practiced. It is the method of these synthetic buckaroos in mounting their horses that will cause “little Junior” trouble if he attempts to imitate them. Real bronco busters of the early pioneer days did not ride to have their pictures taken. They rode for a living and the fewer chances they took, the longer they lived. There was no glamour in their appearance or actions. If the horse to be ridden was vicious, he was lassoed, thrown, tied and saddled. The buckaroo then placed one foot in a stirrup, took the hackamore rope in one hand, grabbed the pommel of the saddle with the other and said “let him up boys.” The buckaroo, while the horse was arising to its feet, slipped his other foot into the other stirrup and engaged his cinch hooks of his spurs into the cinch. The other buckaroos mounted their horses and surrounded the rider of the wild horse to keep the buckaroo from being scraped off against the sides of the breaking corral. The wild horse was whirling, sunfishing, shying, rearing and squealing. The battle continued as long as the buckaroo could stay aboard and the horse had not reached a state of exhaustion.
The prime requisites for a good buckaroo was a strong grip of this hands to choke the saddle horn, powerful legs to use his cinch hooks and above all, a tough posterior that could take it. There was no glamour nor anything spectacular to the early bronco buster or his job. His social status might have been one rung higher than the sheephearder’s.
Why is it necessary to misrepresent and cartoon the lives and hardships of the early pioneers, who through personal hardships and privations laid the foundations for the present day economy of this Tri-City region? We old pioneers were not saints by any means. We did, however, because of the necessities of the times have some ideas of right and wrong, fairness and decency. Contrary to the pioneers’ depiction on the TV programs, we did not start beating up on the new arrival as soon as he made his appearance. We were so blamed lonesome that we welcomed him with open arms and tried to get acquainted with him at once. One of my old buckaroo friends said to me the other day, “Burt! Do you know I would like to see Mr. Berger win just one case against Perry Mason. I would like to see these fellows who are always right and always win be wrong for once and be licked now and then. I think it would build up more in finish would be.” Do you know? I believe the old boy has got something there. Terest(sic) in a show, if the viewers did not know from the start what
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