Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, Monterey, California

“Could you ever marry a cowboy and go live on a ranch?” Sue asks me, as we listen to the Saddle Cats play dance music on the first night.

“Do I get to be in love with the cowboy?” I answer, as dancers begin their ritual of two-stepping and swinging.

“Yeah, you get to be in love with him.”

The dancers are courtly and graceful. The men wear cowboy hats, cowboy boots, jeans, belts with big silver buckles, tailored western shirts with pockets on the chest, and bolo ties. Their average age is about sixty. Many have bushy mustaches growing to just below the chin, where they curl into a kind of J-shape.

“Would he be cute?”

“Of course.”

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