View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, October 27, 2003


The jeans finally wore out last week, and I had to head down to the local chain western-wear store, Shepler's. I always love going there, looking at the 400 kinds of jeans (relaxed-fit, please), and the rows and shelves of boots that look like they're leftover from a cowboy invasion of some kind. I actually bought a pair of boots about a year after I moved out here. People wear them for formal and semi-formal occasions, although not like in Texas, where guys have as many different pairs of boots as they have outfits. (Black, brown, work, formal.)

Not to mention the hats. I don't wear a hat, as they do in Texas, since I don't actually work on a ranch. There are some people out here, though, who have disdained the Borsolino for a Stetson for shul. They're still black-hatters, but with an accent. The hat, if anything, is even more of a definer than the boots. Mexicans seem to favor the straw hats, white cowboys like the felt. The fur felt hats seem to be more for show than for work.

Also the accents. People who do actually work on ranches shop there, not just the urban cowboys who think it's Halloween the rest of the year, too. You hear fairly thick western and southern accents, and it's a reminder than while you're not in Kansas, you're a lot closer to there than you are to 5th Avenue.

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