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On the Edge of Common Sense: The cowboy ball

Baxter Black for Progressive Cattle Published on 22 May 2020

In the midst of Covid-19, one of the deepest psychoses is loneliness. “Social distance,” sliding takeout tacos under the door, being served pizza across the counter like a Frisbee, having to carry a measuring tape and whip it out like Marshall Dillon to confirm 6 feet every time some masked stranger comes your way … all to prevent civil discourse and staying friends.

It is depressing. Those of you historians familiar with the pioneers who came West know they often found themselves in the lonely isolation some of us are feeling today. Yet we rise to the occasion, brave and inspired, to make the best of it.

Blue lonesome is dang hard to handle
Especially out where the road ends
So any excuse for a party
Is welcome, and bound to make friends.

Once, a pilgrim seekin’ some solace
Staked a claim a long way from town.
He’d come from the itch of the city
And in six months he’d settled down.

He built himself a small cabin
He sat on the porch one fine day
When he saw a rider approaching.
He saw him from miles away.

The rider said he was up country
And rarely came this way at all
But he thought he’d be a good neighbor
By throwin’ a cowboy ball!

The pilgrim inspected this stranger
Who never got down from his horse.
He looked like he needed a dentist,
His manner was rugged and coarse.

But lonesome can pray on a body
And the stranger sounded sincere
“We can dance all night if we want to,
Play music and toast the Frontier!

We’ll eat and we’ll drink and be merry,
I’ve whiskey enough for us all …
So whattya say, are ya willin’
To come to a cowboy ball?”

The pilgrim was mullin’ it over,
“Ya say they’ll be whiskey and dance?
And maybe a kiss in the moonlight?”
The stranger said, “Yeah, there’s a chance.”

“So what should I wear?”
asked the pilgrim,
“It sounds like a pretty good do.”
The stranger said, “Heck, it don’t matter,
’Cause, Pilgrim, it’s just me and you!”  end mark

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