Hormones on the Range

Today, I shall briefly address that deep and timeless puzzle of life that involves growing up as a young boy (in my case during the 1940s-50s), going to a favorite movie theater on a Saturday afternoon at any time of year and there having to sit through the disgusting sight of my favorite hard-ridin’, hard drinkin’, quick-drawin’ cowboy hero slowly but surely getting roped in despite his matching pair of pearl-handled six-guns, being all smarmy and shucksy and even sometimes kissing a grownup girl to the yucks and boos and retchings of the nearly all male prepubescent Saturday double-feature audience, who either averted their eyes or showered the screen with a hail of popcorn, Raisinets, Milk Duds, Necco Wafers, Junior Mints, Jujubes, Juicy Fruits, Good and Plenties, Mason Dots, Mary Janes, Black Crows and whatever other anti-smarm ammo they had at hand. Weren’t these movies made for guys? Like us? What the heck did girls have to do with it anyway? Why did they always have to make movies with long, icky scenes like this in them, where the hero’s heroism just melts away before our disappointed eyes? Didn’t the moviemakers know what life was really like?

Nothing in that young and intensely male universe was more deeply disturbing, worrisome and revolting than seeing Tom Mix or Gene Autry or Lash Larue or Whip Wilson or Hopalong Cassidy (Roy Rogers too, but he was already married, so it was too late anyway; he had Trigger though, and at least he never kissed his wife) getting all weak-kneed around a perfumy-curly girl who couldn’t fast draw to save her life, or even throw a baseball right!

What was going on here, what was all this romance stuff, why were our heroes doing this, we used to wonder en masse in those velvet seats in the boo-filled darkness, not yet having even an inkling of the vast herd of longhorns that was about to stampede through our bodies and minds, leaving our boyhoods back there somewhere in the dust of the heroic wild west; no knowledge that you too, cowboy – ace pitcher, fast-ridin’ Delaware Avenue gunslinger that you were – would soon be getting all smarmy and weak-kneed yourself, stammering like a lovesick cowboy in front of the girl of your dreams of the moment…

From the present promontory of my life, though, even as a once-upon-a-time hero and gunslinger I simply can’t remember what it felt like to be so hormonally innocent, revolted at the sight of a kiss…

And to think we all expected to go on like that forever…

This entry was posted in Black Crows, boyhood, Gene Autry, Good and Plenty, heroes, Hopalong Cassidy, Jujubes, Mary Janes, Mason Dots, Milk Duds, Necco Wafers, Raisinets, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Wild West. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Hormones on the Range

  1. kenju says:

    Sometimes, I honestly wish I could go back to those times.

  2. Mick Brady says:

    Bob, this is eerie. I just launched my new blog site, mikimojo.com, and my opening post was focused on the same cowboy heroes, looming over us in the cavernous dark world known as the Delaware theater.

    Different angle, but both possess the unmistakable mark of the Brady Boys. Amazing.

    Btw, great post. Almost as good as mine. :-)

  3. joared says:

    Well, now, good ‘ole Roy and Dale with Gabby Hayes and The Sons of the Pioneers could have lessened your angst, but, “No!” you had to watch those other cowboys.

  4. Mick Brady says:

    Well, Bob, you can’t really argue with that, now, can you? :)

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