Cowboy Up; or, Cowboy Fact #21

by cowboylands

To cowboy up means to get going. Get the job done. Get into gear. No matter what.

 Sundown Jim, by Ernest Haycox
Cover illustration by Jerry Allison
Pocket Books, 1958
from the collection of es

A good friend of ours has cancer–the late-stage, not-very-posterchild-like kind–and he and his wife have to cowboy up on a daily basis. I can’t always follow their lead (hence doing little but working and staring into space), but I’m posting today, because Cowboy Fact #22 is Cowboys, No Matter What, Finish What They Say They Will Finish

A cowboy may be getting dragged along with his foot in the stirrup, but the cattle will all be branded by nightfall. A town may be terrorized by evil Wall Street bankers, but the cowboy will save those frightened, confused townspeople. A cowboy might be caught in the middle of wilderness without horse, water, or a map or compass, but he/she will not only get out safely but also bring out several other people, similarly lost, and have found a lost gold mine to boot. 

Maybe there are things even a cowboy can’t conquer (a couple of the famous “Marlboro Men” died of lung cancer from smoking–click here for the lowdown on the cowboy-models dying of this low down disease). But a cowboy would gird his her loins (to borrow yet another knightly metaphor). A cowboy will make the most of every moment left on earth. 

Not all is gloom and doom about cowboying up. We recently met someone who had had multiple myeloma and had undergone the full battery of toxic therapies and bone marrow transplant. His Youtube posts about the grim process are nailbiting, heartrending, and ultimately, joyful (as in the post below). Jason gets my Cowboy Up trophy of the year (damn, now I have to go and make one….).

Depending on what happens tonight, I may give two more trophies: McCain is cowboying up to debate tonight in the midst of Wall Street’s self-detonated crisis. For lack of anyone in a leadership capacity, we might as well see two potentials in a showdown. Obama will get one if he eradicates every single wimpy modifier in his law-school professor vocabulary, such as seems, tends to, could be….

And I cowboyed up in my small way to post about what I didn’t want to post about. 







Leave a Comment to “Cowboy Up; or, Cowboy Fact #21”

  1. Proud of ya, Bucko.
    You get to wear the extra-large spurs this week……

  2. They make a lot of noise and scare my cat, so I might have to give ’em away….

  3. As a First Sergeant in Uncle Sam’s good ole Army, I use the term “Cowboy up” but add the “gut check” “Buttercup”,this slightly degrading term usually leads to the “Candy Ass” to reach his hands down in his pants and squeeze, really hard.Causing him to steep up and making the hard right. Faith and lack of fear is as scarce as hens teeth in this “I have a right” and “It’s all about me” culture.Take the hard right, but remember its lonely and cold out there on the prairie of righteousness.

  4. If I had nuts I’m not sure if they would shrivel at this or swell with pride–maybe a combo of both.

    Can women do a gut check?

    I agree faith is in short supply, unless it’s faith in friends and family.

    The prairie of righteousness is lonely and cold, but if you drift a while on a prairie you start seeing small things, like grasshoppers and prairie chickens and jackrabbits–it s cosmos of righteousness filled with beings we don’t notice when we drive past in our tinted-window SUVs. Not that that would help on the battlefield, 1soulger, but do know there’s one more Candyass out there in the cold, fumbling around for a gut check (hence the question above).

  5. Gravatars! I figured it out. If you want one, go to or (I recommend gravatars for transparency and ease) and do a free sign up. I added a zillion gravatars and chose this one. I might pick another tomorrow. And another the day after. Your little image will stick close to your e-mail address all throughout the web.

  6. And here is another! It’s like a new toy. Anyway, this is my offsite commenter for when I don’t have my password, so I can comment from the Great Salt Lake, Reno, or Scotland.

  7. here’s mine.
    Funny, I couldn’t use any of my premade avatars

  8. If it doesn’t come up at first,
    remember to clear your browser cache

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