Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Almost Perfect

I promise that next week I will get on a new topic, but for this week, I continue to listen to old Marty Robbins and Freddy Fender music, and dream of Old Mexico. I am very excited about this picture, and felt that I had found close to the perfect picture of a classic Bandit/Freedom Fighter/Soldier/Insurrectionist/Mexican Cowboy. First, the face definitely has the scruffy, intimidating look one would hope for. The man appears to have boots AND some sort of half-chap leather leggings. As far as weapons, our man looks to be packing the classic Winchester Model 94 30-30. As a bonus, he has a knife and a revolver in his belt. Yep, he is equipped to get the job done, and doing it in style. But wait . . . I can only see three bullets in his belt, and he is not wearing the over the shoulder dual bullet belt we have come to expect and love. While his demeanor will definitely take him far, I am fearful that he is woefully lacking in ammunition. As such, I must unfortunately conclude that this photograph falls short. The quest continues. Pardon me while I go listen to "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, and "Rancho Grande" by Freddy Fender.


  1. POPE GEORGE RINGOMay 12, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    I also recall an old Bob Dylan number, "Romance in Durango" while viewing this series of fascinating and historic photos. Most gunfighters of the time were not only tough, but they displayed a sense of honor.

  2. I sure like your taste in music.Marty Robbins, now that man could sing. I especially liked watching him sing.

  3. Also like Sons of the Pioneers. Still have one of their 10" LPs. The "pinkness" of the Marty Robbins album was always a bit off putting. But the music was wonderful.

    Interesting that the second button on both the shirt-sweater and the jacket-sweater are missing. (must be a bit chilly where he is fighting) Pretty fancy dagger, wonder what its story is? Is Smith and Wesson the only revolver makers of the time to put that little hump above the grip to control the recoil? I'm not that familiar with the manufacturers of the day.

    Now I'm going to have to dig up "The Outlaws" and maybe "Barbarosa" since I no longer have a copy of Marty Robbins and the Sons of the Pioneers is unplayable.

  4. As for me, with all this South 'o the border talk 'bout, "Poncho and Lefty" come to mind (Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson) two great 'ol fashioned axe weilding, shoot from the hip type of guys. Great stuff!

  5. I like this guy; and I really like his knife.

  6. This one is certainly a bandit, though not a man of honor, nor one to whom a sense of respect came naturally. I would also question his intelligence, or at the very least his common sense.

    Not a man of honor; the condition of his coat (missing buttons) would indicate that he was not a man of means, yet he has on a pair of new expensive leg and boot covers. We might assume, therefore, that he would have acquired those leggings from a poor soul who had reluctantly given them up while bleeding to death in the desert sand.

    No sense of respect; a man who lived on the run and protected his very life with a gun would most certainly respect the tools that provided for his safety. Nevertheless, he has the butt of the rifle in the dirt. The stock looks to be in poor condition as well. This would indicate to me that he has no respect for his guns. I grew up with a healthy respect for my weapons. I would never allow them to be in the condition of the rifle we see in this photograph. A man who lacks respect for his tools, whether they are guns or typewriters, would lack the facility to respect his fellow man. Also, how hard could it have been to steal a couple of buttons along with the leggings so he could fix his coat? The fact that he did not do so indicates that he just does not care. Therefore, he lacks respect for himself, as well as his fellow man.

    Lacks intelligence; he has his hand over the business end of the rifle. This man was not smart, and likely did not live long after the photo was taken. Also, the fact that he has insufficient ammunition does not indicate a man of intelligence.

    On the other hand, he could have been a cook at the local cantina, and simply posed for the photo in a borrowed outfit to look cool.

  7. The good, the bad, and the ugly -- only thing that came to mind.

  8. I think he was a school crossing guard, and believe you me, no one ever drove by at more than 15 MPH . . . at least not more than once.

  9. The pictures are very interesting but it's not giving me a nice impression of Mexico. Maybe next week for an antidote you could show some old pics of nice things in Mexico?
    People there have suffered from chronic corruption for centuries but there are happy scenes also.

  10. A great Western song of the period for me is "Cowpoke" sung by several artists -- can be found on youtube.

  11. George, you should meet me at our local mall some Saturday and we would have a great time people watching and analyzing the lives of people around us. I did that last weekend. My daughter insisted she needed a new pair of church shoes so I gave her enough cash that if she was frugal and enterprising she'd have enough to find a pair of shoes (she did) and I sat near the fountain to watch a multitude of people meander by. I felt like I was looking through the pages of Dr. Suess' book, "Oh The People You'll Meet", except I think the people I saw were even more eccentric.

    Interesting photo PJM. In my humble opinion, the best thus far is of Pancho on his horse.

    PS. My sister, SmartGirl, I'm curious, what exactly do you like about this guy (besides the knife) please elaborate.

  12. I went to see a Merle Haggard/ Marty Robbins show in San Antonio back in the seventies. Merle did his thing and then Marty came on and sang all his hits and played the piano and talked and joked and kept everyone mesmerized for a long time. It seemed he didn't want to stop. And I didn't want it to end. I glad I had the good fortune to see him perform "live" . I have a thing I recorded off P.B.S. with Marty, that I watch about every few weeks.
    Never get tired of watching him perform.

  13. Heather,
    I don't know where your local mall is, but though I don't like shopping, watching people at the mall is very entertaining. I have always been tempted to just run a movie camera for an hour or two and get people's body language and facial expressions. As for giving the kids a few bucks and telling them to stick to that; I should have tried it. Much better than handing over the credit card.

    One of my greatest regrets is passing on the opportunity to see Marty Robbins in concert. I am not a cowboy kinda guy. I grew up in Northern Arizona, and I suppose the influence was so prevalent that I went the hippy way instead so I wouldn't blend into the scenery. However, I grew up listening to my Dad's old music: Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Frankie Lane, etc. I still love the old stuff. As for Marty Robbins; I lived in Reno for ten years, and while there had ample opportunity to see him live. He died before I took the opportunity.

  14. Hi, Heather:

    Sorry, I just got back from emptying out my daughter's dorm room at college.

    I just like the look in this guy's eyes - sort of a cross between desperation and grit.

    I think he personifies the entire era of these photos.

    I agree with George - if the photo wasn't posed, then he probably didn't live long and died a violent death.

  15. "Great Vista" comment meant for next day picture. Oops.