Monday, April 12, 2010

The Story of an Unlikely Cowgirlboot-aholic









Where does it come from..this love of cowboy boots and the trappings that go with them? The turquoise and silver? The dark wood and leather seated furniture? Based on the time and place that I grew up in, you might better expect a “Fortunoff's” girl of chrome and glass. Diamond bling and makeup. But all “done up” I am not. I have only had my nails done once. Have never dyed my hair in a beauty parlor. I am after all a Jewish girl, born a baby boomer in the ultimate of Suburbia icons, Levittown, New York. And I spent all of my youth and teens on Long Island in a middleclass academic household.

But there was something. Something in the creation that was me. Something in the genes or the blood. Something that no one has been able to identify scientifically but exists only in some. HORSES. The love of horses. From the age of 5….I can trace it right to that 5th birthday gift given to me by my babysitter. A wonderful little old hardcover book from England with drawings and B&W photographs of horses. Every breed of horse documented at the time was in that book. And I loved every one of them. I bet you are thinking…and rightly so, that if I grew up in Suburban Long Island, when I rode horses, it would be Jumping horses. They were. School horses at riding stables. I wore lovely English riding clothes too. So where do the cowboy boots come in to the picture?

It was something from the media….WESTERNS! Western books, movies and TV shows of the 60’s. Why Western’s? Because in every Western there were lots and lots of horses. Every color I could love. And I figured that there were so many horses out West that surely there could be one for me. Just one. One to love and be just mine. Horses were an expensive commodity in the barns of Long Island, but obviously not so out West. They were abundant out there. So I pretended to be Western in my head. And what started out as an escape into a world that might fit me better, became my style. Jeans and cowboy boots. Turquoise and silver jewelry. No matter what fashion I have tried through the years…I always come back to what I am most comfortable in. Libraries, barns and my boots. I have my own horse finally and although I basically still ride English style and in English boots….I am happiest in my Western saddle. And when I get dressed up to go out on the town…I wear my hair long or in a braid, no makeup and I will be in my Cowgirl Boots!

5 comments:

Kate said...

We definitely are kindred spirits! Although I grew up across Long Island Sound from you, I always dreamed of the west...and you should see my collection of cowgirl boots! Great post today!

Juliet said...

I had no idea you were from so close to home. But you are now living the dream, out there in Colorado. And I am still here.

Kari L√łnning said...

Reading your post was like reading a love letter ... except I didn't feel like I was snooping.

mark said...

I grew up 10 miles east of you in Copiague. Now we are up in Saratoga Springs in horse country. I never dreamed of riding a horse never mind owning one (or 2 and a goat). Maybe my LI routes I why I like riding in the road so much! Nice post.

Helen Seslowsky said...

I had no idea we shared an obsession with boots! I really like those turquoise ones!