10.20.2011

Back home on the ranch....

Cowboy Ben.  Taken with a Fuji Autofocus medium format camera on color negative film.


I don't know how y'all New Yorkers or Californians do it but in Texas we photograph big and wild.  In fact, that's how we do ever'thing here in the Lone Star State. This image is from a required class that all Texas children must take.  It teaches them to dress like Texans, talk or drawl like Texans, and to boast like Texans. Ben was already claiming to have created more new jobs in his neighborhood than any other kid in his class.....even back then.  Ben ruined the curve on the mandatory test at the end of the class.  Not because he's smart but because he had the right footwear and the right "looking across the prairie" gaze.  He also addressed everyone as "Ma'am."  Even Jonathon, the gardener.

He learned some good stuff in that class. Dang good stuff.  Like:  How to kill and gut a rattlesnake.  How to make rattlesnake stew.  How to make a rattlesnake hatband.  How to treat a rattlesnake bite  (two shots of whiskey for an adult, one shot for kids under 12...).  He learned how to say, "Gosh."  "DAGNABIT" and "Darn!!!" with just the right inflections and he could accurately spit tobacco juice up to eighteen feet.  And ten fun things you can do, RIGHT NOW, with scorpions.  And my favorite,  how to make rattlesnake skin camera straps with dried scorpion tail decorations...

I tried good to learn him about photography but he did that "far away, across the prairie" look and told me, "Sorry papa, but it just ain't man's work."  I understood.  After all,  I grew up in Texas and I know in what "special" esteem we, as a state, value the arts.  And math and science, too.  (number tricks of Satan.)

If he keeps his grades down and don't learn too much about science or (dang useless) art or about DANG foreign countries, or economics or any of that other useless book learning, we can just about hope he could be our Governor some day.  Maybe even president.  He's already got the swagger.....

But that picture above is about eleven years old and no matter how much, over the last ten years, I tried to Texa-fy him his mother kept stepping in to "book learn" him.  Well,  at least I have this photograph to commemorate a time when he was on the true path to being a good Texan.  We did have one little episode recently.  He was careless and broke a camera.  I lost my temper and yelled at him.  I said, "Be careful! you little buckeroo.  Them cameras don't just creation-ize themselves out of thin air!!!"  He looked at me in a resigned way and backed out of the studio.

Hope y'all 're having fun.  Howdy from Rick Perry's home state!

You can always tell a Texan.....but not much.

15 comments:

William Wragg said...

Man that was hilarious. I read your blog regularly, and was really happy to here that you are going to carry on with it. If this blog post is anything to go by I'm going to be chuckling a lot more when reading it in future.

dearj said...

I love the idea of all hat and no cattle Rick Perry, and this pretty much confirms it: all y'all Texans are all right.

Mike

Brian S said...

What is it with oils states/provinces? Most of what I think your eluding to could be said about Alberta. Well except the scorpion thing (but we do have rattlers). Per-capita Albertans do spend quite a bit on the arts though. Go figure!

Good to have you back.

Frank Grygier said...

You're killing me. Almost as funny as Biden's last gaffe.

Bold Photography said...

Ok, I'm rolling here... this needs to be read out loud with a bad Texan accent...

kirk tuck said...

And I got that bad Texas accent down right good, par'ner.

Timothy Gray said...

I reckon these feelings might be coming from the perspective of being a new dad, but the older I get, the more I realize how so much of the photography I do doesn't matter.

The landscapes, the portraits, the fashion and the architecture. At the end of the day, it means absolutely nothing. It pays the bills.

What does matter, however, are the family snapshots, the contemplative compositions taken in the wee hours of the morning, on your first camping trip as a family, the road trips, the birthdays, grandma's house, holidays, etc.

kirk tuck said...

Tim. Take my word for it. Shoot all the time. You'll love the "family archive." It's so much fun to look back together....

James Weekes said...

I laughed all the way through the post. It revealed a number of prejudices I have harbored about Texans that are always disproved by the Texans I meet. I'll add you to my chagrin list.

Bill Beebe said...

Sorry, Kirk, but my governor (Rick Scott) is dumber than your governor. His approval rating is currently 37%, and that's considered good and a increase from from an historical low of 29% in May.

Bill Beebe said...

Oh, and I'm a somewhat distant Texican myself. My dad was born in Dallas 79 years ago.

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

ROFL - ohhmaagawd them Texans ;-) I was laughing through each paragraph of this, and it even got better... being from the countryside myself, it's good to see your funny side.

walter t said...

Ohhmaaagawd, indeed! Simply awesome. Thanks for getting my Friday started with a good chuckle!

Silvertooth said...

Kirk,
As a man whose family arrived in Texas in 1840 (back 'en we was a Reepublic)I resemble them statements!

Thanks for this un. I now have a new project for my history class--cotton mouth (water moccasin) camera straps for all!
Have a goodun.
Aubrey

Matthew said...

Oh man, that was good. "Number tricks of Satan" - I've got to find a use for that one!