Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Riding and Roping II

The bulk of this post is more recent images of young folks riding and roping.

I should mention again the upcoming photo show of some of my images from Japan during Cherry Blossom Season (though few of the images are actually of the cherry blossoms, while others feature monks, kimonos, rickshaws, and other people and things reminiscent of old Japan.  Show opens at Aralia Gallery on April 5 -- we'll be there 5-9 p.m..  That's at 224 North Campo Street in Las Cruces.   

That is, of course, a very different world from the one below.

To me, of course, they are no different.  Just a world surrounding me, waiting to be turned into images.  Like a llama or an alpaca or a yak grazing all over the valley in search of nutrients, I graze all over the world ingesting images, with no more real thought or conscious purpose than the yak.  "Don't make me no never-mind," as they used to say in another long-ago world I knew.

And both the Japanese and the rodeo riders are a whole lot more polite than I normally am.

Each world, too, has one foot in the past and one in the present.  That's obvious in the images of Japan.  It's also true in the rodeo ring.  These young folks are very much of the present, not only in their spirit and energy but with their cell-phones and such.  What they are doing is very much of the present, preparing for imminent competitions.  But the West, and the ranches where you grow up learning to ride and rope, are stubborn islands in a modern sea filled with fast-food restaurants and office towers.  As a rancher was saying to me months ago before a branding, in earlier times when you needed extra hands you could go into any decent-sized town and grab off the street young guys who knew how to ride horses and drive cattle and rope anything that moved.  Now, he said sadly, it just ain't so anymore.  

Our frontier is part of us, as a people, and the West is part of many of us, from boyhood dreams; but we lost  the frontier more than a century and a quarter back, though it's still a strong influence; and my boyhood dreams were nearly as long ago.  What these young folks are doing is plenty of fun, and exhilarating, but it's also something I'm glad someone is still doing.  

Note: to view as slide show, click on first image [ or double-click ] and then use arrows to move through the enlarged images.  Please also note that a half-dozen earlier images were in the March 14 post -- to reach 'em, just page down through the newspaper column below.  Also: if you're in one of these images, and either want a copy or want me to take it down, please let me know.  If you're not in one of the images, but want to purchase one or more, contact me.

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