WELCOME TO THE ROMANCING THE WEST BLOG TOUR

THE COWBOY CODE, ALIVE AND WELL

DSCN1046Let’s get past the rippling muscles, the slouch of the Stetson, the jingle of spurs and exactly what those chaps seem to be highlighting.  Let’s forget about The Virginian’s mysterious smile, the twinkle in Rowdy Yates’ eyes, or the dimple in Paladin’s chin.  I’m talking about the man within here, whatever the heck he looked like, the man you really fell in love with.  After all, if these guys had been wimps, two-timing city sidewinders or snakes-in-the-grass, would you have fallen for them?

Cowboys live by a code.  Over the years, the code has taken many forms and been written, so to speak, by many of our heroes. Zane Grey was the first to actually put the creed in print in his 1934 book, Code of the West.  While ranchers and cowpunchers would break virtually any territorial, state, or federal law if it suited them, they were actually living by their own code of ethics; after all, they wouldn’t shoot a man in the back, would they?  Although there are often variations on the theme, most of the code follows a sort of western version of the Ten Commandments.  Think about “Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table” and all that that implies.  Or how about “He must always tell the truth?”  I’m afraid that when I read “He must always keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits” I saw the code stretching a bit as well as 99% of western romances flying out the window.  It might have worked back in Hopalong Cassidy’s day, but by the time we get to Smith & Jones or Maverick, it’s adios. It is pretty biblical.

Some of the more famous cowboys of television fame had their own codes that paralleled the traditional one.  The Lone Ranger believed, “That God put the firewood there, but every man must gather and light it himself.”  Roy Rogers had a ‘prayer’ that included the words, “…when trails are steep and passes high, DSCN0981let me ride it straight the whole way through.”  On the website Old West Legends http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-codewest.html there is a long list of what constituted the code of the west.  It includes such advice as, “Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cattle” and “Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand to show your friendly intentions.” More recently, in the book Cowboy Ethics:  What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West by James P. Owen, we have “Ride for the Brand” and “Talk less and say more.”

So think about the man this code projects.  DSCN0875Strong, trustworthy, well-mannered, respectful of women yet a fighter and a doer, a defender while still being excitingly hard-living and a little bit of rough.  Is the code alive and well? Yup, sure is—and living in Wyoming.  Back in 2010, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal passed a state code based on the tenets put out in the Owen book.  Although the bill entails no penalties or fines, as a gesture it is an admirable doctrine to have in this day and age.

And, of course, if you package all that with the mysterious smile and the slouched Stetson, well…what could be better than that?

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I am pleased to offer one ebook of Loveland to a reader who answers the following question (answer to be found on this website) and leaves their response as a comment.  All readers who leave a comment with their email address will be entered, as noted above, for the grand draw.  

For more exciting blogs on this Blog Hop, go to http://cowboycharm.blogspot.com/2012/08/romancing-west-blog-hop.html  or simply click the button in my side column.

     Ques.:   In Loveland, Lady Alex and Jesse argue because (a) she has kissed another man (b) she stole his gun (c) he took her horse.**************************************************************** The contest for a copy of Loveland is now closed.  I am pleased to announce that the winner of the ebook is Beckey White.  Congratulations!  My thanks to all who participated and to everyone who stopped by during the Blog Hop.

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45 responses to “WELCOME TO THE ROMANCING THE WEST BLOG TOUR

  1. (b) she stole his gun
    Enjoyed reading your post, my husband often quotes from the book Cowboy Ethics.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

    Like

  2. Cowboys!!!!! What’s not to like?!
    videoclimber(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Like

  3. Andi, Cowboys ride! Of course any normal woman would love a cowboy. Thanks for the quotes, I enjoyed them. Hope Loveland is doing well.

    Like

  4. Alex stole Jesse’s gun…actually, she “took” the gun from him, didn’t she?

    Great blog post, Andi. I knew there were reasons I love cowboys and you outline them here very nicely for me. It’s always great to have someone remind me about the cowboy code and bring them to the forefront of my mind 🙂

    Like

  5. I was giving a presentation years ago about writing a western novel and I was asked about the cowboy’s values, or code. Although to my core I knew the answer, my tongue got tangled and I did a bad job of it. Your description, Andi, is perfect.

    Like

  6. Alex took Jesse’s gun, which is a big no-no.
    Thanks for writing about the Cowboy code. It is definitely one part of what makes a cowboy sexy…of course the tight wranglers and stetson helps too.
    Mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

    Like

  7. She did big no no by taking his gun 🙂

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

    Like

  8. I love this post. I grew up with and always felt the influence of that “Code of the West.” If we all tried to live by that, I think this world would be a lot more “civilized!”
    Answer is: B. She took his gun.

    Like

    • Yes, wouldn’t it, Heidi. But we have to remember the old time cowboys (and some of the present day ones too) don’t hold much by federal or state law–anarchy! Interesting, though, that Owen was putting out the Code to Wall St. Now there’s a group who could really use it! 🙂

      Like

  9. Hi Andrea,
    The answer is B, but in Alex’s defense, she was using the gun on men who were hurting a horse. I think I like modern westerns better than the old John Wayne films and Roy Roger and Dale Evans shows — the women in those scenarios would have never stood up to Jess. Your blog about the cowboy code is very enlightening and I definitely want to track down a copy of Owen’s book. The little boy in the Stetson is a cutie.
    susan_francesny [at] hotmail. [dot] com

    Like

    • HI there, Susan. Actually I must tell you that LOVELAND is an historical western romance. I tried to make Lady Alex into quite a strong-willed young lady and hope I’ve succeeded. I’m so glad you found the blog enlightening; that’s very rewarding to know. As for the young man in the Stetson at the end, he is the son of two ranchers I watched out in Nevada last summer during round-up. The wife/mother was as good with a lariat as her husband and, despite sporting a baseball cap, had some pretty fancy spurs on too! Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

      Like

  10. Dear Andi,
    You always write very thoughtful and cogent posts. I agree that much of our society would benefit from adopting the Code of the West…neighborHOODS, Wall Street, all levels of government/public service. Perhaps I should start with myself and follow it in my relationship with everyone as best I can?
    Arletta

    Like

    • Maybe if we all followed it, Arletta, the world would be a better place–though I’m not so sure about ignoring state and federal laws at will! Thanks for your kind words about my posts.

      Like

  11. she stole his gun
    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Like

  12. She was naughty and she stole his gun. Love cowboys.
    Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

    Like

  13. b) She stole his gun. Sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to read it

    Like

  14. Don’t get me wrong now. I love cowboys. But I’m pretty sure they are not much different than the average guy. I like to think that most guys are loyal (ride for the brand) honest, hardworking, etc. in their field. But boy those guys in chaps and stetsons are soooooo handsome. I love seeing a man who rides easy in the saddle. Now, that makes my heart flutter. 🙂 Did I say I love horses too? Hope your book is selling well Andrea. I certainly enjoyed it immensely.

    Like

    • Thanks for your good wishes, Eunie. I’d like to think as you do about other men, but somehow I have my doubts that the little bit of rebel mixed with loyalty and honesty is as wide-spread in other professions. And, of course, nothing can possibly be as good looking as that easy-riding cowpuncher in all his gear! 🙂

      Like

  15. Lady Alex and Jesse argue because (b) she stole his gun.
    I love cowboys in tight wranglers.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    thompsonem3 at aol dot com

    Like

  16. Yum! Cowboys! And to answer, because (b) She stole his gun!

    margarettaylor (at) satx (dot) rr (dot) com

    Like

  17. Very nice post, Andrea. I love a man in a hat with manners. 🙂
    Can’t believe I almost missed this! calisa.rhose@gmail.com

    Like

  18. Hi Andi! I haven’t yet had a chance to read Loveland, but I have my copy 🙂 I live in Nebraska, so I’ve grown up surrounded by cowboys. They’re polite, full of heart, and bleed for the land they farm and the animals they raise. And they look damn good in a pair of jeans and boots and that cowboy hat 🙂

    Like

  19. LOL Never EVER touch a man’s gun unless he asks you to. Or steal it. Best wishes with your book! lyndialexander at gmail dot com

    Like

  20. I’ve got my copy of Loveland and am looking forward to getting into it! We lived on a small cattle ranch in CO, sometimes romantic, sometimes not, but always interesting! Roundup days were always an adventure. Enjoyed the post on the Cowboy Code!
    melissa at melissa-fox dot com

    Like

  21. Hi Andie,
    Great blog. I always knew cowboys had their own code of chivalry, I think that is why I always liked the westerns. My mum used to read Zane Grey.
    Margaret

    Like

  22. Nothing can be better! *sigh* Gotta love the cowboys! 😀 Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway!!! 🙂
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    Like

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