Getter Done Gals


Saturday, June 19, 2010


 by Julie Carter

It's the season. Reports of big snakes, miller moths and coyotes are filtering through the social networks, coffee shops, email lists and spit-and-whittle club members.
A recent headline on the Yahoo web page indicated that snake populations worldwide seem to be declining.
I personally view that as a cause for celebration; however, a British biologist is calling for a worldwide study to determine what is causing this and how to correct it.
I wonder if that Brit ever had to work in country where one eye was devoted to what you were doing and the other was on guard duty watching for a hostile snake.
I'm certain he never carried a gun so he could first shoot a snake before he could turn on the well water for the cattle.
The article seemed to have missed the numbers of snakes gone missing in Taiwan and China where they drink snake blood as an aphrodisiac.
Topping the recent snake stories locally was the 7-foot diamond back bagged on a ranch southeast of Corona, although the 5-footer taken by a little lady near the Capitan Mountains was no less of a threat, the snake or the lady.
Both rattlers were threatening the safety of pets, livestock and children.
Time to pay attention!
Multitasking shooter
I read in an old book about a pioneer woman stirring pancake batter, holding the baby and shooting Indians out the window.
Someone asked her about it, and her response was matter-of-fact.
"Everybody was hungry, the baby would cry if I put him down and the Indians needed shooting."
PawPaw's daycare
When old cowboys go to the house, so to speak, they sometimes take up caring for the grandbabies. In this particular case, the cowboy calls his part in this project PawPaw's Daycare.
All was well in the neighborhood until folks around there had their chickens disappearing in broad daylight.
A shout from Grandmaw was about to change that.
"Get your gun!" she yelled from the yard.
As PawPaw stepped out the door to see what the commotion was about, he saw a fat, well-fed coyote high tailing it across the pasture.
He raised the 30/30 and took aim, squeezed the trigger and missed, but shot close enough to spin the coyote's trajectory another direction.
He levered in another live one. The coyote came out of the sage, still running full tilt at 200 yards out and this time, ran right into a speeding bullet.
Admitting to the possibility of "luck" in the shot, the cowboy explained that the coyote was a Progressive, one who had been eating his chickens without working for them.
"The capitalist in me just couldn't stand it," he said with a grin.
The neighbors, mostly retirees, were impressed over the excitement in the 'hood' and from porches and rocking chairs everywhere you could hear conversations such as: "Bertie, you want to drive over to the Dusty Canyon outfit, hang around and watch that guy cap another chicken-stealin' coyote?"
Sometimes entertainment of any kind comes at a premium.
A documenting photograph showed PawPaw standing under his 10-gallon hat, baby girl in one arm, holding the bagged coyote by the his hind feet in the other. Baby girl might get a nice coyote cape, something Red Riding Hood-style.
"Once you make a nice shot, you just go home and live on the legend," he said. "All is safe again at PawPaw's Daycare."
Women are born with a multi-tasking gene not common to men. There was no pancake batter involved in PawPaw's process of carrying it out a needed shootin'.
Julie can be reached for comment at .

Friday, June 11, 2010


by Julie Carter

We who live on the sunset side of this country tend to forget there is a great big world out there that has absolutely no idea what the West really is.
True West magazine hit the "big time news" (their own words) when they became the topic of review by MediaPost's "Magazine Rack."
Headquartered in New York City, you have to surmise this was an adventure for the writer that began as soon as she flipped open the glossy cover of the magazine and proceeded thumbing through the pages.
Her journey commenced with the True West's reputable variety of Western features, illustrations, photos and travel opportunities.
"We get the occasional cowboy," New York writer Fern Siegel said in her review, "but he tends to be more Village People than Buffalo Bill. That's not counting the Naked Cowboy, who corrals Times Square in his underwear."
Siegel lives in downtown Manhattan and claims the Empire State Building as her "true north"-- a world foreign to the real cowboy as illustrated by Siegel's use of Buffalo Bill as a measure of authenticity. The reference to the Naked Cowboy is pure entertainment without any serious evidence of anything more.
A NYC icon, the Naked Cowboy is some dude who performs on Times Square wearing only his BVDs, boots and hat, with a guitar strategically placed to give the illusion of nudity.
Now he is licensed to perform marriages. For a mere $499, you can get hitched by Reverend Naked Cowboy in Times Square.
With acerbic wit, Siegel winds through True West magazine's history, then down a trail to that particular issue's overviews of "extreme historic getaways."
She skeptically doubts the validity of the term "eco-tour" listed on the description of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride. For her, the giveaway was in the photo that showed, as she put it, "black steam belching coal dust in the pristine sky."
However, she was enlightened with the offering of an Arizona Cowboy College in Scottsdale where "hopefuls learned roping, shoeing and horsemanship."
Siegel's fascination was captured with a feature about the fight for Geronimo's remains and his great-grandson's argument to have them returned from Fort Sill, Okla. to Silver City, N.M., per Geronimo's wishes.
In her written tour through other parts of the magazine, Siegel recognizes True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell's desire for historical accuracy, the same that he touts on his "True West Moments" show on Encore's Westerns Channel.
Siegel points out instances in Western movies that might cause Bell's factual meter to quiver.
"I'm guessing the washboard abs and over-pumped biceps Brad Pitt sports whenever he swaggers onto a horse in Ralph Lauren chaps or Clint Eastwood's precision beard, which has clearly made friends with Hammacher Schlemmer's $400 electric razor, are two quibbles," she wrote. "There could be more."
Siegel said the magazine was the "real McCoy" for aficionados. I took that to mean, in the realm of her New York knowledge, it was the real deal ... if you like that kind of stuff.
Remember those popular Pace Picante ads where the Southwestern cowboys made fun of the greenhorn who bought salsa that came from New York City?
While my intent is not to belittle Siegel's review of the magazine, I do find a hint of disdain buried in the flow of her verbiage. So, it was with great delight that I noted the listing of her title at MediaPost. "Deputy Editor."
In the merriment of the moment, I paused to wonder if that position came with a tin star badge; the signature of lawmen of the West.
Nah, not from New York City. Get a rope!
Julie can be reached for comment

Monday, June 7, 2010


 by Julie Carter
Every cowboy has a "secret weapon" that gives them a competing edge. Their arsenal for the illusion, or delusion, of luck runs the gamut of superstitions.
With rodeo and roping season moving into the heat of the year, both by thermometer and by calendar, cowboys are plotting, planning, driving and surviving while taking their best shots at making the finals.
A cowboy's belief in what brings him success, while often falling short on factual verification, will never lack in creativity.
Jim was a calf roper who carried a gallon jug of water in his camper in which to wash his lucky rodeo shirt, never pouring the water out all summer.
"Don't want to wash out the luck so you have to keep it in the water," he'd say.
By the end of a long rodeo season he was noticeably a loner. Apparently, the smell of luck was not as socially rewarding as the possession of it.
As a team roper, Walker always believed that hard work paid off and he endorsed the theory that "perfect practice makes perfect." But lately, he'd begun to wonder if he wasn't standing in the wrong line.
A similar "wrong line" feeling had occurred to him when he was in college. Walker recalled that incident landed him erroneously in the military corps. Repeating that lesson, even hypothetically, was not a good plan.Walker had spent his entire adult life pasture roping in all kinds of weather, most often riding a green colt with no one around to help. Every loop had to count.
When he reached a point in life where he could rope for fun, he built a good arena, kept a supply of fresh Corriente steers, bought exceptional horses and ropes by the boxcar full. And, he practiced non-stop.
He was dedicated to eating right, exercising, regular strength training and of course, took his vitamins. He was selective about the ropings he entered and even more discriminating in choosing his roping partners.
Most of the time, the results were as favorable as the game of team roping ever allows. Win some, lose some.
In his good-natured way, Walker made a lot of friends and was gradually making his way into that elite club of the ropers labeled as "wolves."
Wolves are just ropers too, but ones with impressive, inarguable winning records. Walker's new partner, Les, drives down the highway in the proof of his skill with a rope.
Les' trophy truck has advertising on all four corners that declares him to be a champion. He proves his dedication to the sport by practicing late into the night and would stay at it until it was time to go to work if needed.
Les consistently catches two feet on his end of the steer, keeping his success percentage impressively high. On the rare occasion that he misses, you hear none of the usual litany of excuses --bad cattle, bad flagger, bad barrier, the header's fault, it rained in Brazil, the neighbor's mother's cousin's dog died - you've heard them before.
After watching the duo stop the clock time after time in the practice pen in 100 degree heat with humidity to match, Walker's wife thought she'd ask Les what his secret to success was.
Too late to take it back, Les' answer made her wish she hadn't been so inquisitive.
Proudly Les told her, "Absolutely every bit of ability and success I have, I attribute to my lucky polka dot under drawers."
With that tidbit of information out to the general population, there is likely to be a run on polka dotted BVDs down at the mercantile. A particular color wasn't detailed as necessary.
Although, I do wonder if a trendy zebra stripe or leopard print would be as effective.