Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jews On the Range

Ok things have been getting a little heavy on "The Blog" what with political themes, death and what not. Let's get back to the bout Jewish cowboys?

Taken from the site Traded for Wheat:
Lonesome Jewish Cowboy
I'm just a lonesome Jewish cowboy on the range.
All the shiksa cowgirls think I'm strange.
I left my whole mishpoochah in New York.
I'm surrounded by cowboys eatin' pork.
I'm always getting lost on Saturday.
Cowboys leave me trailing while I pray.
Not one synagog for a thousand miles.
I have to say my brochah near shit piles.
All my Meneschewitz has gone flat
Yarmulke 'neeth my ten gallon hat
Cowboy Morris Goldberg is my name
And driving kosher cattle is my game.

I'm just a lonesome Jewish cowboy on the range.
All the shiksa cowgirls think I'm strange.
The girls in the brothel are surprised.
'Cause I'm the only cowboy circumcised.
Blowing the shofar every year,
Gets me stampeded by the steer
I can't ride on this saddle anymore
All this bouncing's made my tuchas sore
I'm the rootinest tootinest rabbi in the land
But livin' on the range ain't all that grand
Wish I could go home today
But I can't ride the train on Saturday

Borrowed from:
A Considerable Town One Tough Jew by ROBERT DAVID JAFFEE
Friedman is a tough Jew, a real Jewish cowboy, and the crowd seems to be filled with other cowboys and tough, street-smart Jews, many of them balding. Friedman, however, still looks quite hirsute at 61. His dark mustache and sideburns show no trace of gray, and the black, kinky hair that earned him his nickname may still exist under his ubiquitous black Stetson hat. Author, Musician, and candidate for Governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia in the 1960's.
Jewish Life in the American West
Edited by Ava F. Kahn
144 pages (8.5 x 11), with 50 black and white photos
Trade Paper, ISBN: 1-890771-77-5, $22.50

Published in collaboration with the Autry Museum of Western Heritage
The history of Jews in America is traditionally a history of Jews in New York. Place a Jew in the Wild West, and you have the premise of a comic film: think Blazing Saddles or The Frisco Kid. Think of little Fievel Mousekowitz in An American Tail. The essence of an American Jew in the popular consciousness is far more Woody Allen than John Wayne.
Yet many Jews bypassed the Lower East Side completely—coming to America through San Francisco or the port of Galveston, Texas—and forged communities and identities as ranchers, miners, merchants, and cowboys. One even became chief of an Indian tribe.
First published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, Jewish Life in the American West includes a compelling selection of photographs and other illustrations. The art and essays together yield a volume that explores not only the impact of Jews on the West, but the West’s impact on American Jews.

The Jew at the Alamo (1836)
Among the many men and women who fell defending the Alamo from the Mexican Army in 1836 was a young Englishman named Antony Wolfe, who was serving as a private in the army of the Republic of Texas. Wolfe, almost certainly the only Jew in the battle, is reputed to have been one of the last defenders to be killed. Source: American Jewish Historical Society, American Jewish Desk Reference, (The Philip Leff Group, Inc., 1999), p. 16.

Jewish Traveler Archive: CalgaryBy Rachel Musleah From
Want a taste of the west? Go north to the city with a history of jewish cowboys and the world’s premier rodeo event. Refugees from pogroms became farmers and pillars of the new world.
At the Lazy S Ranch in Rumsey, Canada, in a photograph taken circa 1930, a cowboy in flared leather chaps poses with his horse. His shirt—emblazoned with a Magen David and the letters AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph, the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization)—gives away his Jewish background, as does his name: Curly Gurevitch.
Gurevitch was one of the early settlers of Calgary, the Dallas of the western province of Alberta. Unlike the covered wagons that helped open the American frontier, it was the railroad that put Calgary on the map in 1883. Before that it was Blackfoot Indians, missionaries, fur traders and surveyors who explored Calgary’s prairie tundra and the Canadian Rocky Mountains that rise up in the background like a mirage.

Taken from
Before John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Clint Eastwood, there was Broncho Billy, the father of the cowboy movie and the world’s first cowboy hero.
Dating back nearly 100 years to the early days of cinema, Broncho Billy was a rough ’n’ tough cowpoke, tall in the saddle, quick on the draw — and Jewish.

Taken from Our Lady of Perpetual Obsolescence Vinyl Rescue Mission and Orphanage
A safe haven for forgotten and downtrodden record albums. Pastor Francis McPurvis, Director
Passover Share: Manischewitz Presents The Jewish Cowboy : Harold Stern from Centerville, Texas
Today is the second day of Passover and what better way to relive the memories of last night’s Second Seder than by listening to the Texas drawl of Harold Stern, the Jewish Cowboy from Centerville, Texas?
This promotional 45 rpm record produced by the Manischewitz company features Mr. Stern speaking about his life as a Jewish Cowboy, sharing personal information about himself (he’s single ladies!), and thanking the Manischewitz for providing all the fixins that enable his family to observe the holidays in ranch country. To break up these personal vignettes, singer/accordionist Avram Grobard steps in and performs a couple of short selections.
The recording is brief, clocking in at just under nine minutes, but it is not short on entertainment value. You’ve never heard the words ‘gefilte fish’ pronounced quite like this, and that’s no bubbe maisse! Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!

Rank and Organization: Private, Company B, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: Arizona, August to October 1868. Birth: Bavaria. Date of Issue: 24 July 1869. Private, Company B, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: Arizona, August to October 1868. Birth: Bavaria. Date of Issue: 24 July 1869. Citation: Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

Arizona Jewish Pioneers Taken from The Bloom Southwest Jewish Archives website
The United States Southwest, encompassing West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California, reflects the heritage of diverse groups of peoples. From native-born inhabitants to those who chose to settle in this region, each group has contributed to Southwestern culture and society. United States Southwestern history has traditionally focused on the contributions of Native Americans, and people whose ancestral roots are in Mexico and Europe. Until recently, little has been written documenting the pioneer Jewish experience. Visitors to this website learn that Jewish pioneers not only built Jewish communities, but that they also made significant contributions to the development of the U. S. Southwest.

It is reported that in 1877, there were 48 Jews living in the Arizona territory. Over succeeding decades, Arizona's Jewish population rose (2,000 in 1897), fell (500 in 1907), and by 1973 rose to over 21,000. More recent demographics find approximately 50,000 Jews living in the Phoenix area and 20,000 in Tucson. Jewish Community Councils were founded in the 1940 in Phoenix and in 1942 in Tucson. NSJE p. 76-77.

And of course Matt Buckstein "The Lost Country Singer"

I could go on but I think you get the point. Civil War Jews coming up..

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