Cowboy Photos by John McDermott
My ode to Thomas McGuane's short story in the New Yorker was followed by these photos from my good friend and master photographer John McDermott, long-time soccer presence, now riding the range (on his bicycle) in northern Italy.
John wrote: "One of my favorite assignments ever was to go to Colorado for a German magazine and shoot a story on contemporary cowboys. I had a great time, but ended up with a sore butt and back, not being used to riding a horse up and down steep trails. The deal with the cowboys was, “We'll give you a horse but then you need to help us with the cattle when we need you. So I got to play cowboy a little too."
John added: "The shoot took place at a ranch and in the mountains outside of Crested Butte, Colorado. The rodeo was the Cattleman’s Day event held annually in nearby Gunnison. One of the best assignments ever. The Germans were good for that. I did a lot of lengthy photo reportage assignments for Focus-on mega-churches in Texas, on the medical marijuana industry in California, on earthquake preparation in SF, on writer Isabel Allende and many others. They tended to give more space to good photography than most American magazines did. Of course, now most of the American magazines are either greatly diminished, online only, or just gone."
Well, cowboys are supposed to be gone, too, but John McDermott's photo essay -- and Thomas McGuane's short story in the New Yorker -- prove that cowboys endure.
GV adds: Several people couldn't open the Thomas McGuane short story, so I took the liberty of downloading it here:
10/23/2022 12:09:33 pm
Forgive me GV, if this is a sacrilege. I have deep in my memory, “Blazing Saddles” when the chaingang breaks into song, “I get no Kick from Champagne.”
10/23/2022 02:46:36 pm
No sacrilege at all. after all the corny cowboy movies, nothing is beyond satire. Then there's "The Frisco Kid," with Gene Wilder as a rabbi, getting the best of a bad guy and declining violence, saying, "Vould somebody please show dis poor asshole der vay out of town." The good guy wears the black hat.
10/23/2022 07:37:19 pm
Thanks for your kindness, GV, not surprising. Alan, one year son Bruce, rock musician, (and more genre), helped out brother by driving car from Idaho to Boulder. He stopped for a break at a tough-looking bar and grill. Entered tentatively past a bar filled with “cowboys, looking at his longish locks, etc. Then the music started and they got up and started dancing, he relaxed.
10/23/2022 04:33:00 pm
10/23/2022 05:36:13 pm
George-thanks for sharing John's cowboy images. I remember going to the rodeo at Madison Square Garden as a kid.
10/24/2022 08:56:48 am
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.