When I was a kid, my dad bought me a hobbyhorse. My uncle got me a ten gallon hat and two six-shooters with a holster. My mom bought me cowboy boots with a set of spurs. And there was a saddle and stirrups on my horse so I could get up on him with no trouble.
“How cute,” my family would say. “Isn’t he adorable?”
I loved to ride my hobbyhorse. I called him Rusty. I was going to call him Bullet, but that name was already taken by Roy Rogers.
I used to look at cowboy shows on TV like the Lone Ranger while I was on my horse and go after the bad guys with them.
I remember that even at four, I was politically correct. I was not chasing Native Americans. I did not play Cowboys and Indians. Instead, I was shooting my family members. I shot my mom like a hundred times, my dad two hundred. Anybody who came in the house I would shoot. If I had play dates, I would not only shoot my friends but their family.
I use to rock on that hobbyhorse like there was no tomorrow. It was fun. I don’t think that I have had so much fun since.
So when I take a walk down De La Vina Street, I always look at the big wooden horse that is outside of Jedlicka’s Saddlery. I look in the window at the cowboy stuff and it takes me back in time.
I get nostalgic for my hobbyhorse called Rusty.
When I look at the big wooden horse I think of those times with Rusty, where it was just him and me, man and beast, making believe that I was a cowboy. I imagined myself a western hero.
I also think about saddling up the wooden horse and taking him for a ride around Santa Barbara, riding on the beach in my cowboy outfit and toy guns and making believe I was shooting the surfers who were catching the big one. But then I realized that I am not allowed to act out my fantasies. If I get on that wooden horse people would not say, How cute he looks. Isn’t he adorable? They would just pull me off the horse and kick my cowboy butt.
Instead, I will just look at the wooden horse outside of Jedlicka’s Saddlery and remember the precious childhood memories.