Sunday, December 06, 2015

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Ten things you didn’t know about me

by Julie Carter

One of the trends to hit social media, and there are many, is to make a list of things people don’t know about you. As a writer, I have developed a relationship with my readers over the 13 years of this column’s existence and perhaps there are some things about me you don’t know.

1. The very first color TV show I ever watched was “Bonanza.” That moves the awkwardness of “how old are you” right out of the way.

2. At home on the ranch where I grew up, Mickey Mouse was not a Disney character, but a bratty black Shetland pony that caused considerable grief  – from dumping my dad on the frozen ground and breaking his tail bone to running off with the toboggan we had him hitched to and tearing it up on the gate post as he whipped into the corral.

3. As a kid, there was plenty of opportunity to play Superman, Tarzan and Peter Pan. My brothers actually thought I could fly. My magic flying dust was the white powdered boric acid in a little green jar. I’d tell them to leave the room, I’d jump up on the kitchen counter, tell them to come back and they’d actually believe I FLEW up there. I used that gullibility for years.

4. I was the oldest and at first there were two younger brothers. One I sort of liked as long as I could beat him up or outrun him, the other I tolerated but didn’t care if he couldn’t keep up. The third brother came along after my heart was so set on having a sister, and he wasn’t. My dad told me I could dress him like a girl once in a while just to make up for it. So I did. Fortunately it didn’t psychologically scar him too much, and any latent frustrations were taken out on new Army recruits during his stint as a Drill Instructor.

5. My mother made sure I was cooking and sewing before I was a teen so when they told me I had to take Home Ec. in school, I rebelled seriously, right to the point of arguing my case in the superintendent’s office. I didn’t win. I got my first “C” ever in the eighth grade when I’d irritated the Home Ec. teacher beyond her tolerance.

6. I was a lone girl in a world of boys so I grew up being one of the guys with my competitive nature always striving to outdo them. My horse and my dogs were my buddies while the boys, our cousins and a couple others that lived at the ranch had their “boys” club. At least my “club” members kept my secrets. No blabbing the location of our secret hideout.

7. We lived quite remote from civilization where summers were endless and my favorite hours were spent riding my horse through the mountains. If a friend came to stay with me, we rode horses for fun. My parents only had two rules – let them know which direction we were headed and when they could expect us back. And no racing the horses, which of course we didn’t until we were out of sight of the house.

8. I learned at a very young age the delight of writing and receiving letters. When I wasn’t writing a letter, I was reading a book. Both, I believe, formed the foundation for my writing today. My mother taught us all the wonders of visiting other places, times and people through the magic of books and there never seemed to be a shortage of them. I grew up reading some of the same books she read as a child because she had saved them.

9. I was born in Southern Colorado and have lived most my life in Colorado and New Mexico with the exception of a couple short stints in Southern California and one in Arizona. I quit counting the number of times I’ve moved since high school graduation when it tallied past 25. I make wherever I am and in whatever I am living “home”… until the next one.

10. I’ve only broken two bones in my life. One my collar bone when a horse bucked me off, and then the outside of my right hand hairline cracked when I got it caught and cinched down in my dallies dragging calves in the branding pen. All things, places and stupidity considered, that’s a miracle.

Julie can be reached for comment at

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