Sometimes in life we take things for granted. I was raised a cowboy, I had my first gun set, cowboy boots, hat before I could walk. I was practacly raised from the back of a horse. I can't even remember learning how to ride it was just something we did. I was riding horses throught the sale ring in Salida Colorado at age 5. Our whole family were rodeo cowboys and my mom ran barrels. We learned to compete by practicing with people that were better than us. We learned to shoot and carry guns safely around age 8. As we got older we got to set up hunting camp up in the mountains for an outfitter in in our area.
I didn't start fast draw until January 2012. I always knew about people that didn't have the opportunity to grow up as I had wanting to be Cowboys. Young boys dream of being Cowboys some of them their whole life. Being on the other side of the fence I never really understood that. I guess I never really understood how lucky I was to be a cowboy either. I hear the stories of people wanting to be Cowboys even more than before since I started shooting fast draw and quite frankly at times thought it funny city slickers trying to play cowboy. Well I get it now.
This past weekend I got a taste of that cowboy fantasy world. The Old Pueblo Gunfighters hosted a CFDA event in Tombstone, Arizona. I know I don't have to tell you the historical significance of that old west mining town and the most famous gunfight site in history. The feeling of nostalgia hit me the minute we topped the hill and got the first glimpse of the town from a distance. I imagined how the Earps felt when they topped that hill horseback after a long hard journey riding to that destination of opportunity. Stepping out of the car onto the streets of Tombstone I imagined that it was 1880 and not 2015. I walked though the gravel pathway to the shooting area as if I were a gunfighter. I imagined kicking up the same dust as Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan Earp, Doc Holliday, Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill, Sherif Behan, the Clanton's and McCloury's did back in that famous time of the Cowboys.
I kept the fantasy going staying in character every time I stood on the shooting line imagining that Johnny Ringo was on the other side of that line facing me in a deadly dual. A gunfighter looks for a sign the other guy is getting "Itchy". When the light came on that target I imagined that was the "twitch" in his eye that he was going to pull out his gun and shoot me down. I had better be faster or I would be toes up in that dusty street being fitted for one of those pine boxes we walked by on our way in to the shooting area.
It was the first time in my life I actually took the opportunity to "play" cowboy. It was thrilling and exciting so yeah, now I get it. Even for just one day I allowed myself to live the dream of being a cowboy just like a lot of you have. It truly was one of the best days of my life and I think I shot better than I ever have before putting myself in a position to dream of being a cowboy.
"Regulators! Mount up."