ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Westerns Were All the Rage

Updated on June 24, 2011

We got our first television in the mid 1950’s. The screen couldn’t have been over 15” and it resembled a telescope more than any modern day set. Western movies and television shows were all the rage in that era. My brothers and I spent hours watching cowboy heroes like “Roy Rogers,” “The Rifleman” and “The Lone Ranger”. So, it wasn’t any wonder I wanted to grow up to be like my favorite star “The Lone Ranger”.

Of course, millions of other kids around the country had the same fantasy of mounting a horse and galloping off after a villain in pursuit of justice.

However, first things first…you had to have access to a horse. This presented a dilemma for city born youngsters, many of who couldn’t tell you the difference between a horse and a mule. But in my case it wasn’t a problem.

I spent part of my childhood on my grandmothers’ country farm in the foothills of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. Mr. Brammer, a neighbor down the dirt road a ways, raised all kinds of animals, including riding horses to rent.

Naturally, come hell or high water, I was going to ride one of those critters. So my brothers and I broke open our piggy banks and raised the 50 cents each needed for a 2 hour adventure. Next we strapped on our toy “six shooters”, donned our straw “Roy Rogers” cowboy hats and plastic deputy sheriff badges, then rushed off.

We arrived on Mr. Brammers’ door step winded from the mile run up the mountain road, plunked our paltry coins down, and demanded to see some horses. Mr. Brammer led us out to his big red barn and pasture. We saw our horses but Mr. Brammer continued on down to another field. Where was he taking us?

It had never occurred to us we weren’t yet quite big enough for a horse…a pony was more our speed. A pony! “The Lone Ranger” wouldn’t be caught dead riding a pony! What self respecting outlaw would be intimidated by a pony riding lawman? This was humiliating. We protested and insisted we get horses. After all it was our 50 cents.

But it turned out, our host was right. The horses were too big for us to climb up on. We held a quick summit meeting and decided the only thing to do was just pretend our ponies were horses. We also swore never to tell our friends and classmates they weren’t.

Some hired hands saddled our mounts for us and we each selected a pony and climbed aboard. It was time to go. Well, at least everybody else’s pony began moving. Mine remained motionless like his hooves were set in a block of concrete. This never would’ve happened to “The Lone Ranger”! I would’ve switched to another, except these were all the ponies he had.

After some compelling persuasion from a hired hand, my mount was convinced to amble along after the others. However, once out of sight of the handlers he stopped again and a battle ensued trying to keep him from heading back to his comfortable pasture. The stand-off continued on without either of us gaining an advantage. As I saw my brothers returning I realized my 2 hour time limit had expired. I bet no other cowboy ever had to demand his 50 cents back. Mr. Brammer was a fair man though and returned my money.

I didn’t have an opportunity to go horseback riding again until I was 14 and living in Clio, South Carolina. Don’t bother looking…it’s too small to find on most maps. A classmate had a few horses and invited me to go riding with him on a Saturday. I accepted. My mom however, decided it was too dangerous and forbade me to go. I felt she was being a mite overprotective and secretly planned to go anyway. And besides, years before grandma had not thought it too dangerous.

Therefore, when Saturday arrived, I contrived a story about going somewhere else. My companion, Harry, greeted me at his house and we went out back to see his horses. We saddled two of them up. That’s when I came to the realization I must have stopped growing back in Arkansas. My spectacular height of 5’4” wasn’t big enough to allow my foot to reach the stirrup. This never would’ve happened to “The Lone Ranger”!

Thus, I was forced to unsaddle the horse. But not to fear, Harry had another ride for me…a pony! Unenthusiastically, I saddled him and climbed on. It was time to go. At least Harrys’ horse did. My pony just stood grazing, seemingly, oblivious to my presence. I inwardly seethed. This wasn’t going to happen again!

Climbing down I found a good sized switch and walked around to the back of the insolent, stubborn beast. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” warned Harry. But I wasn’t to be deterred from exacting my revenge and showing this animal who was boss. I whacked him sharply with the switch and he glanced around at me in surprise. His expression seemed to say “You didn’t?” I raised the switch for yet another strike, but he wasn’t having any of it. Up came his right back hoof, smacking me squarely under my right eye and knocking me backwards about 5 feet. Harry couldn’t help laughing hysterically. “I told you!” he guffawed.

Dazed, I stood up brushing the dust from my britches. When my head cleared and vision returned, I dropped the switch, angrily walked around to the pony’s’ front and slugged him on the jaw as hard as I could. Apparently, no one had ever taken this approach because when I got back on he obeyed my commands.

However, his obedience turned out to be only a subterfuge. Once out on the back country dirt roads Harry challenged me to a race. Both mounts shot forward competing for the lead. “This was more like it” I thought. I was beginning to edge past Harry when the pony suddenly halted in his tracks. I sailed neatly over his head landing in a crumpled heap in the middle of the road. Harry kept on unaware of what had happened. Once again I picked myself up and dusted my clothes off. And again I faced the mean spirited brute, hauled off and smacked his jaw once more. We could play this game all day if he wanted too.

I remounted and the pony was off and running barely before I got into the saddle. I held on for dear life as he quickly caught up with Harry. Victory was within my grasp when the pony sharply veered right onto another road. I continued straight down the road while he merrily trotted off in the other direction. But not before turning around to look at me, and in only what could’ve been a laugh, he neighed loudly. The fiend continued on.

By this time Harry had figured out what had occurred. He boosted me up on the back of his horse, which had a bony rear end, and we headed for home. By the time we got to our destination my butt was so sore I could barely walk. The pony was already back in his pasture. Somehow I had an inkling Harry knew what was going to happen before we left on this little jaunt.

I suddenly became aware not only was my rear end sore, but my right eye was puffed up and hurting too. Harry remarked on what a shiner I was sporting. How was I going to explain this to mom?

Geez, this never would’ve happened to “The Lone Ranger”!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      OMG!!! John! I am sitting talking to myself and laughing so loud...good thing I have lots of room around my house so that no one can hear me or see me and call for the little white jacket!!

      This is hilarious! What a story teller! You and that horse just weren't meant for each other...and the Lone Ranger references throughout are so perfect!

      You are a pro, engage your reader, write beautifully and cause one to LOL and talk back at the words on the screen..oh boy!

      Just really enjoying these...when is the book coming out???

      Here's a title suggestion: John's (or MY) memories of a Norman Rockwell, all American childhood!

      Growing up in rural America during the '50's (subtitle)

      DO THIS, John!!

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina


    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Great hub, JY. I know what you mean about those stubborn beasts.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)