Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vanished into the Old West

Hi! I’ve been gone FOREVER. Sorry about that. I can’t believe October has come and gone. I’ve been traveling a little and working and adjusting to life in Texas and obsessing about the election and doing some more adjusting and navigating the mysteries of car repair. I keep meaning to come back here and write things down but I’m easily distracted these days – forgive me.

To make it up to you I have a fun show and tell for you, all about my favorite recently-moved-to-Texas story, about the 8th Annual Texas Stampede in downtown Dallas. For those of you unlucky enough to have missed it, I’m posting pictures below for your entertainment.

Apparently this happens every year. They block off Main Street in downtown Dallas and there beneath the glass skyscrapers drovers in chaps on patient-looking horses drive 100 head of longhorn cattle past the crowds of onlookers on break from their workaday business. I found this FASCINATING. First of all, do you have any idea how freakin’ huge a longhorn is????

I mean, we all know they’re big, but when you’re standing on the side of the road watching a local police officer shoo one on his way the gigantic-ness really becomes clear.

Look, a cowboy.

Look, a runaway steer. (Okay, you can't tell that he's a runaway in this shot, but right after I took this photo he came over to the barriers and started snuffling bystanders - starting his own little mini-stampede of people running away from him - until a cowboy came and shuffled him back in with the rest of the herd.)

Note his wonky horns. The slightly-terrifying cowpoke-lady next to me announced that he must have gotten in a fight when he was a baby. I was busy blending in with the scenery so neither steer nor cowpoke-lady would notice me or I might have asked for more information.

All this took place near one of my favorite views in downtown Dallas, the one that includes both the round towers of the Old Red Courthouse and the sphere of Reunion Tower.

Let’s be honest, ‘stampede’ was a misnomer. It was a thoroughly-organized, none-too-hurried amble for everyone concerned. The cows got so bored at the end of it that they turned around and tried to go in reverse. The cowboys on horses WITH BULLWHIPS stopped them. I’m telling you, it was a very weird little break in my workday.

At the end of the road, near Old Red, all the animals had to stop and wait while drovers loaded them up one-by-one into cattle-trailers to take them away. They got bored. One giant longhorn peed, which was startling (maybe not for him, but it was certainly startling to innocent bystanders), but then – power of suggestion being strong in a herd – they all peed. Everyone of them seemed to follow some psychic cow cue and they peed a river all over Main Street. It was pretty funny.

This never once happened when I lived in Boston.


Whiskeymarie said...

I've been away from here for a bit too, so we're even?

This stampede is one of the oddest things I've seen in a while.
Texans are weird.

HolyMama! said...

the pee river icked me a bit, but the runaway steer is kinda cute!