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Growing Up in Bandera

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Editor’s Note: Growing Up in Bandera is available in book form! Contact the Bulletin today for more information!

I have an old Columbia Sportswear t-shirt that is no telling how many years old. I dug into my t-shirt wardrobe collection and put it on after my shower a few days ago. As it turned out I put it on and then took it off several times before deciding which way was correct for wearing. The colorful designs that Columbia is noted for are so faded on this shirt and the seams are so worn that it looks the same from both sides and the printed tag at the neckline disappeared long ago.

Later when I was taking it off I thought it was probably time to send it to the trash can or to the bag of discarded pieces of clothing to be used for rags. It just so happened that I was standing next to the clothes hamper at the time so it went in for another cycle of life. Life can be so simple when you just go with the flow.

Old boots, old shirts and old jeans have a comfortable feel to them that just can’t be matched by new things. Save that shiny new outfit for the Saturday night shindig or Sunday go to church meetings. The cows out in the pasture don’t care how sharp you are looking as you tiptoe through the cow patties to deliver cubes or another bale of hay.

It’s true I used to wear a big belt buckle. Not any kind of rodeo award size type of buckle but one big enough to say something about being a proud Texan. My rodeo career lasted somewhere around two seconds as I recall back in my freshman year of high school. Here later in life I prefer the smaller common type of buckle because they don’t dig into my belly every time I have to bend over.

It’s a rare occasion now days when I put on my cowboy hat. I just find the baseball cap style to be more comfortable and less of a hassle when getting in and out of my truck and especially on windy days. I don’t have cows to take care of any more so I’m not out in the elements requiring the wide brim for protection. Just so you know, cowboy hats and bass boats are not a good combination which should explain my current mindset.

Here in my current Growing Up In Bandera times I wear a sport coat on certain occasions but my tie wearing days are long gone. If a tie is required then my absence will also be required. I can’t even recall the last time I had to wear one of those contraptions. It’s confusing to me as I look back through old pictures of men in neckties attending outdoor social events like rodeos. How did it take so long for us to become civilized enough to do away with the treeless hangings?