Truth is, the west was a lot more diverse than we think. I hate to be the one to pop the bubble, but many cultures and races came together to create the original genuine cowboy. The cowboy of our imagination was a product of the movies and dime novels of the period. I'm sure it made for some interesting story telling around the campfires at night.
The classic Hollywood picture of the West involves white, all-American tough guys teaming up with or fighting other American white guys. Sure, you’ll get a few black people in there, maybe a handful of Mexicans and the odd Irishman for ‘comic’ effect—but it was predominantly true-blooded Americans, right?
Nope. Like late 19th century New York, the Wild West was a hotbed of multiculturalism, with people of all nationalities vying for some room. Rock Springs in Wyoming counted as many as 56 nationalities in a population of under 10,000. Slovakians, Finns, Norwegians, Germans, Ottomans, Swedes and Chinese all poured into the South and Midwest; an influx that only increased with the Californian Gold Rush. The image of the old West as a bedrock of American values is a Hollywood holdover from a time when casting non-American voices and faces was pretty much a no go.
I merely brought this up because of the fact that we often forget about the influences of other cultures and peoples had on us down through the years. Maybe we can find some way to try and make that work again, ya think?
Coffee out on the patio this morning. That OK with you?