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Why I Finally Bought Cowboy Boots
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 00:00

Tonight in Dallas, Texas I finally did something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager. I bought a pair of cowboy boots. Not the high top "Western" kind but the shorter "Roper" (learned this tonight) kind.

My boots are brown with some light blue designs on the uppers. Rather than the traditional pointed or classic squared toe I opted for a rounded toe, so I could wear the boots Up North and not look like I’d escaped from a “Lonesome Dove” movie set.

I was born in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston when Dad was in the U.S. Air Force. He and Mom had gotten married in Biloxi, Mississippi in October 1951, and later they found themselves as young marrieds stationed at Ellington Air Force Base. I came along in October 1952. They remained in Texas, which meant I did, until Dad finished his hitch at the end of the Korean War. Then they headed home to southeastern Ohio.

Texas was a big time for my parents, and I grew up hearing Texas stories from their stint in the Lone Star State. It’s a big state, but it became even bigger for a kid.

And I grew up in the TV cowboy era, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Hopalong Cassidy, the Rifleman, later on “Rawhide,” and later still, “The High Chapparal.” And of course “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza.” TV movies were dominated by Western themes too with characters played by Glenn Ford—my favorite, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Gary Cooper to name a few.

As a little kid I had the boots, guns, and cowboy outfits. I even had the name. All my life people have commented on my name, like “Hey, Roy” or “Rex Rogers, that-a cowboy name?” It was like the name fit in a movie title, "Rex Rogers and Gabby Hayes in 'West of the Pecos.'" Even this week in Texas at a SAT-7 briefing a lady said, "What a great name." It's a Western thing.

And I read "Westerns," Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, and their writing progeny. I still can get lost in a good Western, though fewer writers, at least good ones, are tackling the subject and the setting. 

Having grown up with Texas being talked up to me, and having had cowboy boots and clothes as toys when I was a kid, I've had Texas on the brain my whole life. So once in awhile I’d think about buying boots.

But whenever I had occasion to consider boots I pushed the idea away due to cost or the fact I worked a profession where I had no place or opportunity to wear them. Seemed silly then, not so much now. I don't work that kind of job anymore, and I have plenty of time to wear casual clothes. And for a Michigan guy there's an added bonus: the boots can be worn in the winter.

So here I was in Dallas driving toward my hotel when I saw Cavender's (next door to Sheplers—even bigger), which I've seen on several previous visits. It might have been smarter to buy the boots at home in case I needed to go back. But there was something cool about the idea—one long in incubation whose time had come—of getting my first pair in Texas.

So, I may be nuts or just fulfilling a childhood psyche thing, but it was fun.

At last, Roy Rogers would be proud of me. Check buying cowboy boots off the bucket list.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issueand events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Cell Phones Have Taken Over Public Space
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Monday, 13 February 2012 00:00

Cell phones have apparently convinced people it's their civil right to speak anywhere anytime around anyone as loud as they want. Since I travel a great deal I see this almost daily, or at least every time I enter an airport. It's not just that people talk loudly right next to others. It's that they talk loudly next to others about their business, personal life, and other used-to-be private matters.

I know I run the risk of being labeled an old curmudgeon on this one, but here's my analysis and a few recommendations...if they aren't drowned by cell phone conversations.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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I Remember...
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00

I remember reading about, watching, and enjoying some of the greatest athletes in history, all at their peak in the 70s: Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Muhammad Ali—Joe Frazier, Jack Nicklaus, Mark Spitz, Billy Jean King and Chris Evert, Bobby Orr, Arthur Ashe—Borg—Connors, Nadia Comaneci, Secretariat.

I remember bellbottom pants, tie-dye shirts, huge collars and equally huge ties. What can I say? It was the 70s.

I remember our first date, November 10, 1971, “The Carpenters” concert, Dayton, Ohio. I remember my date wore pink; I do not remember what Karen Carpenter wore.

I remember long sideburns, wide sideburns. I had long sideburns when we got married. Dad had wide ones, looked like a holdover from the Civil War.

I remember pet rocks, 8 track tapes, streaking, disco, platform shoes, mopeds, “Dig it?” leisure suits, lava lamps, and Rocky before a Roman Numeral followed the title. And I remember “Yo, Adrian.”

I remember hair, lots of it. “Gimme head with hair—Long beautiful hair—Shining, gleaming—Streaming, flaxen, waxen—Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.” I never wore the way-long variety that came along in the late 60s and 70s, but it was long enough. In our wedding pictures my hair is too long in front and flips up like a baseball cap bill in every picture.

I remember our first calculator. It was 1974, a month after we were married, and it could add, subtract, multiply, divide, and do percentages. That’s it. Now you can get one in cereal boxes that could’ve been used on the Apollo space missions.

I remember in grad school IBM punch card machines with its attached keyboard. You’d put in a deck of cards, punch them one hole at a time, stack your computer “job,” submit it through a window to computer techs, and get your job back the next day. You lived in fear you’d open your mailbox and find a slim printout, meaning you’d made a mistake and had to re-punch and rerun and re-wait all over again.

I remember seeing my first PC. It was jet black, large and heavy, looked like 3 boxes stuck together. It came to the Institute for Public Policy Research, University of Cincinnati, where I worked in grad school. We all walked down the hall to stare at it like it was a new baby.

I remember when as young marrieds we bought our first microwave. It was like acquiring a new car and was, shall we say, large, about 50%-75% bigger than most kitchen microwaves I see now.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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A Friendly Dialogue Between An Atheist And A Christian By Luis Palau And Zhao Qizheng
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 00:00

If you’re interested in China or the interplay of atheism and Christianity this book is a nice starting point. If you’re interested in the attitudes and insights an experienced Christian evangelist, in this case Luis Palau, might bring to a relationship with an atheist you’ll find this book intriguing. If you want to learn how to convey respect and intellectually engage with an atheist this book is a primer.

Luis Palau, an Argentine-American known the world over for preaching Christ and Christianity via huge public “festivals” visited China and specifically Zhao Qizheng in 2005. They conducted a dialogue on a series of religious and philosophic questions.

The book also contains pictures of Chinese sites, art, and artifacts, partly in an effort to make Chinese culture more accessible to American readers.

Palau does a good job of sharing the fundamentals of Christianity. In his comments Qizheng comes through as the highly educated and intelligent man he is.

The book isn’t long enough or intended to be an in-depth analysis of the issues dividing Christians and atheists. But it summarizes an all too rare exchange. Would that more believers and non-believers would talk.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Economics, Politics, And Morality: All Part Of The Same Stew
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 22:56

"Don't bring your morality into politics," so the saying goes. But this is at once impossible and ill-advised even if it were. Morality, the sense of what is right and what is wrong, is an inherent part of everything human beings do. Why? Because we are not animals. We are reasoning if not always reasonable beings capable, in fact charged by God, of determining right from wrong.

So how does morality flavor our economic and political stew? Here's my take:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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If Chance Determines Our Birth Does Chance Determine Our Death?
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:00

For a century or more our culture has moved away in fits and starts from a general belief that God created the universe and everything in it. We still believe in God, sort of, but if he exists we no longer believe he created us. No, we believe the universe, and human beings, began by Chance.

OK, I don't buy that, but let's take the next step. If Chance, the Fates, or some other source launched our human lives, what ends them? In other words, if we came into this world By Chance, do we simply leave this world By Chance as well? Or another way of asking the question, if Chance--unguided, unintentional, non-rational happenstance--determined our birth, do we die without intentionality as well? Do we die without any Direction, Purpose, Meaning, or Significance? Are human beings just animals after all, or worse, do our lives and inner-us possess a value about on the level of a plant?

Here's what I think:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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