From 1959 to 1973 America turned for their entertainment needs to a show about a widower with three grown sons, all living together on a ranch that was rumored to have taken up most of Nevada. It was Bonanza and for fourteen seasons Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright made us believe that integrity and family values were what built the west. There was some humor, quite a bit of drama, a little romance, and an abundance of diplomacy that every week seemed to remind us that family comes first and standing for justice is a full time job. Four men living together in a huge, luxurious ranch house, being looked after by a Chinese cook named Hop Sing was a perfectly logical scenario, because there was only one thing that mattered in the end, and that was the family unit. After being held hostage by stage robbers, or stampeded by a runaway herd of cattle, or wooed by designing women, the boys and their pa always found that center of gravity that brought them home, that made us all sigh and look forward to the next episode. The Cartwrights, though not typical, were the perfect because they believed in what they were – a family.
The Evergreen Rodeo is around the corner, Father’s Day weekend as a matter of fact, and part of the fun is showing up in the right garb. Don’t look like a cowgirl wannabe, in jeans that are too blue and too plain, and a polo shirt. Pine Country has the jeans you need with just the right amount of bling and the perfect fit, and a studded t-shirt that will give you the look. There is a good chance that you will need a jacket, though it be June, the evenings can be cool, and if you’re going to wear a jacket it better be made of denim, and it better look like it has been to more than one round up. And don’t forget your head – yes you’ll want a hat – it’s the best part, and you’ll look like you were born to the life. You’ll need boots but don’t panic, we’ve got boots. Gorgeous boots that you’ll want to wear to the bull riding, the dance afterwards and the party after that. Finally, don’t go to the rodeo without your jewelry – bracelets, pendants and chains, earrings and even a snappy watch. When the cowboys ride into town they’ll need something to think about while they’re being thrown from the back of a horse, and it may as well be you.
If you want to talk about cowboy heroes, and it is a subject we love, you simply can’t keep your mouth shut about country music super star George Strait. Strait’s phenomenal career has won him 57 Number One Singles, more than any recording artist in any genre of music … ever. He is the only musician to ever hit Billboard 200s top ten list for thirty consecutive years, and in several years has made the list more than once. His straight on his head cowboy hat and honey coated voice give him a prominent place in the cowboy book of favorites, but, strangely enough, he is an actual cowboy, with a ranch and cattle and horses. He still partners in Rodeo Team Roping Competitions and his son is a professional rodeo cowboy. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they live in Texas. The Straits lost their daughter Jennifer to a car accident in 1986, prompting them to open the Jennifer Lynn Strait Foundation, which donates to children’s charities in and around San Antonio, Texas. George Strait graduated from college with a degree in Agriculture, and managed his father’s ranch for years, all the time singing with different bands. Then one day the right people heard him and the next year he produced a record with MCA Records, releasing, of course his first Number One Hit, Unwound. There is no more loved face or voice in all of country music, and how refreshing to know that his success is all wrapped up in a boatload of character.