Posts Tagged ‘Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame’

Cowgirl wall of faces -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Cowgirl is an attitude … A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses … A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull rider, or an actress. But she’s just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother, a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut.” — Dale Evans


They call it Cowtown USA. I’m talking about Fort Worth, Dallas’ next door neighbor. It was my home for a couple of years back in the late 1970s, when I was a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A bronze of Sacagawea graces the entrance to the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A job with such a big-city newspaper was the dream of many journalists, including mine. I

Pink symbol of the cowgirl spirit. -- Photo by Pat Bean

loved the hectic pace and getting to cover everything from murders and a bigoted sheriff to a visiting circus and former President Richard Nixon after his resignation.

It was a heady time in my life. But I gave it all up in 1980 to accept a job at a smaller paper in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Mother Nature’s call to my soul was louder than skyscrapers, bright city lights and an opportunity to rise to the top of my profession.

I thought about this choice yesterday when my daughter and I visited the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. This is a place dedicated to women with strong ties to the land, even if they don’t excel at riding wild horses.

It’s a place that celebrates the pioneering spirit of the women who helped settle this nation, of movie-star, rhinestone cowgirls who showed young girls they could do anything they wanted to do, and of the tough cowgirl spirit of the women who went up against the guys and scored: Annie Oakley, who could out-shoot the men, and Sandra Day O’Connor who began life on a cattle ranch and ended up being a Supreme Court Justice.

I was a bit taken back, however by the museum’s current special exhibit. “The Apron Chronicles.” The show highlights, through their aprons, the hard-working lives and recollections of a diverse group of strong American women and a few men. .

Interestingly, I told my daughter afterward, that early in my life I had made the decision to never wear an apron. And I never did, even though I never shirked from cleaning and cooking and raising my children pretty much single-handed.

An apron was a symbol for me that women belonged at home in the kitchen. And while I actually love cooking, I knew the world had more to offer me than a cutting board and an oven.

And I was right.

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