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THE WESTERN

by Eva Pasco 

The Western by Eva PascoI'm not whisking a Western omelet, praising the Best Western hotel chain, or stirring up tumbleweeds of sensitivity and sentimentality between two friends vis a vis  Brokeback Mountain. Instead, a big howdy to those major network "smoking guns" of the Sixties where you could spot the good guys by their white cowboy hats. Westerns were popular in the Sixties. Gunsmoke was number one in 1960 and Bonanza dominated the ratings for almost the entire decade until the genre went bust in the dust.

 

Back at my own ranch, my father and I dueled over control of the television set.  I would have preferred to shoot myself in the foot rather than watch a Western.  Though concessions were made on my behalf, I still had more than my fill of horse operas that made no horse sense to me: The Lawman, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, Maverick, A Man Called Shenandoah, Death Valley Days, Wanted Dead or Alive, The Rebel, Cheyenne, Travels of Jamie McPheeters, and the hoof beat goes on…

 

By 1962, 90 per cent of U.S. households had a TV, and even though Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" premiered in 1961, we weren't one of the families hitching our wagon to purchase a color set. Those Westerns kicked up dust in black and white for us a while longer during an era when the term "couch potato" hadn't been coined, as changing channels wasn't yet a "remote" possibility.  In fact television viewing was a constant giddy up to switch the channel by clicking a dial or turning several independent knobs to adjust the volume, brightness, or quell interference from jumpy horizontal or vertical lines. Factor in adjusting the rabbit ears and trips to the cantina to rustle up grub during commercials, and you have a bobbing effect which rivaled jostling in the saddle of the Wild West.

 

Now that there's a ghost town of a chance to find a network Western, I've backtracked along the dusty trails of nostalgia in appreciation of the very elements I once found corny and patented: shady card dealers and saloon brawls serenaded by out-of-tune piano playing; double-crossers; corrupt sheriffs and incompetent mayors; ambushes and ricocheting bullets along a mountain pass; villains with scruffy beards and menacing grimaces; shootouts with little to no visible bloodshed.  However, there's no fools gold about good guys finishing last or wrongly accused yellow-bellies overcoming adversity to show their true heroism. All this is worth a gallop into the sunset perched high in the saddle. 

 

 

 

Click the book images to order your copy of the books.

 

Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

 

 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

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