Here’s a Guest Blog from my friend Phillis Ballew. She wrote A Western Gentleman when she lived in Arizona. It was originally published in the Prescott Courier in 1989. Thank you to Phillis and the Prescott Courier for permission to post this in my blog.
A Western Gentleman
My Dad always had his Stetson – his good one and the one that was badly stained around the band from his sweat and the dust. But he always put on his good one when he went to town.
Thursday, crossing the street from the post office, I saw him coming toward me – the elderly gentleman in the Stetson. His eyes found mine and I was inclined to look away, but as we met his hand went to the brim of his hat and just touched it for the smallest moment – it was that most western of acknowledgements – a long ago act of respect – one I’d seen my Dad make so often. And I felt like a lady.
“. . .but when he put on that
old Stetson hat,
He was a king to me.”
Written from Prescott, Arizona
February 2, 1989
Published in the Prescott Courier
Dear Phillis and Robin,
I love this story about the Western Gentleman and his Stetson. I think it was 2003 when my husband and I went to his uncle’s funeral in Idalou, Texas. Not only did family members fill the center of the church but the men came in their Sunday best Stetsons. Uncle John was buried with his in the casket.
Thanks for the reminder.
Ah, yes, what memories of the West!
Loved it! Reminds me of all the old ranchers we know. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Barb for the comment! Yes, this sounds old, but really does still happen in some parts of the West.
Thank you, Dom!
Sounds much like Wyoming where I live–even if I just pull on a cap most of the time.
Yep, and Oklahoma and Nevada too. Some habits just don’t change.
I enjoyed A Western Gentleman, especially the “it was that most western of acknowledgements”. I’ve seen that small gesture so many times, but haven’t thought about it. This author is a person who is observant and sensitive to her own culture, and conveys her response so well in just a few words. So often we don’t see what is smack in front of us.
Thank you, Jeanne! Yes, you could call Phillis observant and she’s a VERY talented artist!
There is nothing more classy than a western gentleman (aka cowboy) who knows how to tip his hat in acknowlegement, as a greeting, or as thanks. If it doesn’t give you a thrill, you aren’t a cowgirl.
Thanks, Diane. I think you nailed it!