Imagine a pony ride in Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY circa 1958), two sisters about 10 and 8 years old. The sisters are wearing the cowgirl shirts and holsters they got for Christmas, and they are in their glory as they "saddle up" on pinto ponies. Their tiny horses get led around the small makeshift corral. The rides, no more than a minute or two, become the basis of lifelong fantasies about cowgirls and horses.
Our mom rode horses as a teenager, and I believe she was happy that her two girls shared her admiration of these animals. Any time a Brooklyn festival or fair offered pony rides, we were there, riding around in tiny circles, talking about the ranch we'd own someday.
My sister and I never got that dream ranch or fantasy ponies, and we never learned how to saddle up in earnest. But our happy memories about a cowgirl-styled life have certainly lived on. The fascination with the west and the cowgirl impacted our tastes and what we believe in. Yes, we're cowgirls of a strange sort.
I guess I've taken this Tucson Cowgirl notion a but further than my sis. Here I am, a New Yorker living in a dusty Tucson. This week I launched the Tucson Cowgirl website. Please take a look. The website is more a tribute than an online crafts shop, but I hope you enjoy the surprise balls and the gift baskets.
I watch those who ride in the washes of our beautiful desert and recall my own pony rides. To my sister, mom and all the cowgirls out there I say, yee-haw!