The question of the week is: If you were in the WILD WEST, what would your job be?
Me, in the Wild West.
The “What would you do if aliens landed” question was more likely an option for me to face than this.
I had enough trouble moving to Idaho in 1981.
To leave the eastern part of the U.S., where there were relative cities and go into unknown territory, where the Indians were rightfully trying to protect their lands and people, to be at the mercy of the weather, is not something I would be apt to do. (The storms we encountered in the move when passing through Nebraska were hard enough to face in a hotel!)
I have heard that women going across the plains would start to lose their minds in the vast sea of grass. The only way for them to regain their sanity was for whoever was taking them out to turn around and head back, even if they were near the end; the women knew they were going back and that is all they needed.
The only other way to get to The West would be on a boat and go all the way down and around South America, then up to California. Do you realize how far that is? (For Heaven’ sake, it’s so far south, there are penguins there!) You’d be again at the mercy of the elements, because you’d be under sail. Cape Horn is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet, and they don’t play together nicely! Rounding Cape Horn is not an easy feat.
IF we survived the trip, I’d probably get to San Francisco and stay there.
But we are talking about the Wild West, so…
I am sure everyone expects me to say that I’d be a cook. I’m not so sure.
Surely I would not be one on a cattle drive. Few women managed that. I have never been physically strong and the trail was hard. Think of being the only woman with that many men; it would not be terribly comfortable, if safe at all. Let’s face it, not every drifter they could get to go in such hardship and low pay is going to be an honorable gentleman! Many of the fellows went out west alone seeking their fortune…and never found it. Many went there to escape the trauma they suffered during the Civil War, many were looking for trouble or had already found it and were running from the law. Most TV westerns have given pretty sanitized ideas of who cowboys were and exactly who settled the West,( or those who actually slowed the settling process).
If there was a town, (and Heaven knows how I got there), maybe I could have cooked in a hotel or restaurant, but if we are talking Wild West, so they probably would not have the type of establishment in which I would be comfortable. Besides, cooking steaks or stew constantly would be a bore. Many veggies, herbs and spices would be next to, if not totally, impossible to obtain.
Push coming to shove, I, like other Foxes, could sew, I suppose. Patching shirts and jeans would also get to a person. There would be few people who would want or need quality work in the Wild West, which was the actual question. I guess I would have had to delve into more tailoring for the few who had money and style. Then my conscience might get to me; would I want to outfit the local land robber-baron? Successful hired guns? “Dance hall girls”? Those girls danced downstairs and upstairs, if you get my drift.
I shudder to think of how a person would have to have struggled physically and conscientiously in The Wild West.
(When I told The Husband this week’s topic, he laughed, but quickly told me that definitely NOT as a girl in a saloon in any capacity.)
I asked my granddaughters what a good job would be in the Wild West. The Just-Turned-11-Year-Old said, “Merchant”; I had not thought of that. That would be a great job for the likes of me: reasonable security and constant shelter. Given time, I could sew or even cook/bake and sell. A store could really grow up with the town.
Her sister, The Almost-13-Year-Old said, “Bartender”. I said no, didn’t she realize the tough guys she’d have to fend off? So she chose ‘Piano Player in a Saloon”, to which her sister immediately admonished, “They’ll throw bottles at you!” Again, I had to tell her no, not a good idea and had to explain that the girls in the bars were professionals. (She agreed to rethink her choices.)
Wild West? Great reads, great TV, great movies, but real life?
Not so much!