Cowboy Ranch - Monday, January 11, 2016

Howdy, cowpokes!  Welcome to the American Treasure Tour blog on this wonderful January Monday!  We spent much of last week talking about different features in the Omrod Giant World of Miniatures, and we are going to continue today, with Bob Omrod's study on the world of the Cowboy Ranch.  To be expected are some fine cattle specimens. You will also notice some exquisite barrels, hay, and a dandy corral.  This fun display has ages-old roots behind it.  In fact, the cowboy that is so closely associated with the American West was inspired by the Mexican vaquero, who learned his skills from traditions first developed in Spain during the medieval period.  But that's another story.

American cowboys had to start young if they wanted to make a career out of this hard and unforgiving profession.  First and foremost, you needed to be an expert horseman.  Without that, you could not hope to wrangle cattle.  The cattle tended to be let loose over wide expanses of land for a number of years.  Most of the time, ranchers used the cattle for their own purposes, but when they could make a good living selling the cattle for meat, they would call in the cowboys, who would "drive" them to whichever urban market promised the most for their meat - Dodge City, Kansas; St. Louis, MIssouri; Chicago, Illinois.  Of course, we don't get into any of that here at the Tour.  We just like looking at the miniatures and thinking of the fun nostalgia of it all.  Maybe it's time for a trip to the local rodeo!
QUESTION:  What classic loop rope is used by cowboys to catch and restrain cattle?  And entertain visitors at the circus?
A)  Lasso
B)  Girth Hitch
C)  Bowline
D)  Rolling Bend

SMOKING ISN'T HEALTHY!?  In 1604, the British King James I denounced smoking as a disgusting and dangerous passtime.  People didn't care.  They kept smoking for centuries. Naysayers continued to criticize it, while tobacco companies praised its goodness.  On this day in 1964, the Surgeon General of the United States, Luther Terry, published a report officially acknowledging that cigarette smoking is unhealthy.  People started to listen (finally), but don't worry.  They are still a long ways off from giving it up.  In 2013, an estimated 17.8% of Americans continued to smoke.  For the record, smoking IS hazardous for your health.

KYLE!!!  Today, we celebrate the 47th birthday of the American actress Kyle Richards.  She started performing as a child in Little House on the Prairie, but made a name for herself in the 1970's for roles in horror films including The Car, Eaten Alive, and Halloween.  Now, her career has taken an unpredictably terrifying turn and she can be seen on the reality television program The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Happy birthday, Kyle!

QUOTE:  In a town full of phonies, I'm not afraid to be me. - Kyle Richards

ANSWER:  A)  Lasso.  For the record, the other three selections are all legitimate names for knots, though.