“Hey There Cowboy!” Haymarket, VA Mexican restaurant-1 (Luray Caverns-2)

Hi everyone–there’s a new gallery in the list of galleries–”Luray Caverns.”

In yesterday’s post I commented on the restaurant Joanie and I ate at. As I think I said–I got a couple of good (or least interesting) shots while there. Here’s one.

Obviously the dominant object is the life-size cut out of a cowgirl—it’s a beer advertisement. I doubt if very many real-life cowgirls look like this girl—the model—that was used for the ad.

Are there really cowgirls?

Or is the cowgirl more an urban legend and a sub-cultural affectation—a style of dress and popular identification—not really a way for women to actually make a living.  Anybody out there know any women in big hats that spend their days herding cows and mending fences?

I have it on good authority they exist in Australia. Down there they’re called “Jillaroos” and yes—they do end each day cleaning a certain unpleasant organic material off their boots. As you would no doubt presume, the male counterpart is a “Jackaroo,” or Stockman. I read a Wikipedia article that said girls are preferred for managing livestock as they seem to be better at it overall than guys.  A Jackaroo is also the model name for a 4 wheel drive vehicle and an alteration for an Australian Aboriginal term for “wandering white man.” Here’s a link if you want to read more:       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockman

The cut-out—when I first saw it—brought to mind that phrase (“Hey There Cowboy”) which I remember from the Tom Hanks movie “Castaway.”

Those of you who saw it will remember the last scene where Hank’s character stands at a symbolic as well as literal crossroads trying to decide where to go with the rest of his life.

As he stands there in the middle of nowhere scratching his head, a much too appropriate beat-up old pick-up stops and a drop-dead gorgeous babe in spray-painted jeans, boots and Stetson, sashays over and says “Hey there cowboy—where you going?” (Or words pretty close to that.)

We don’t know where Hank’s character decides to go with his life—I suspect the point for most movie-goers in this country is something like, “Hey Sparky—life is nothing but endless possibilities and infinite potential—dive in cowboy—giddy-yup and “Happy Trails.”

That’s certainly a valid interpretation. (I especially like the “Happy-Trails part.”)

But for me anyway, there’s another thought that comes to mind.

I remember a story (set in ancient Japan) about a young man on the cusp of adulthood—who is at his own crossroads. He’s trying to decide where he wants to go with his life—what path to follow. He goes to his friendly neighborhood Zen monk to ask advice (that reminds me—our neighborhood Zen monk still owes me money).

Sorry about the digression–I’m old.

Anyway the boy goes to the monk and says “What path should I follow in my life?”

The monk—who has better things to do (like partying on borrowed money) impatiently says, “It doesn’t matter—because all paths lead to the same destination—death. Just pick one you’ll enjoy and if it ceases to be enjoyable, pick another one.”

Hard to argue with that logic in broad terms—but hard advice to follow for some people due to life circumstances and obligations they’re born or forced into. People in prison through not fault of their own—political prisoners in certain other countries for example—might beg to differ.

But most of us aren’t in some third-world prison. Chances are if you have the time to read this blather you have quite a bit of latitude—you just may not have discovered it yet. You may want to update your head-scratching

And happy trails cowboy—or cowgirl—as the case may be.

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