Western

COWBOY JUNKIES

If you're anything like the city slicker I am, then the closest you've come to experiencing the West is through books and movies —not all of us have that urge to visit a working ranch à la Billy Crystal. But this month we can get even closer to rough-ridin' cowboys, tumblin' tumbleweeds, and squintin' gunslingers at the following events. We have until August 9 to catch "This Contest Is for Real Hands: Rodeo Photographs of the 1930's" at the Bell County Museum in Belton. Featuring 56 black and white photographs by Otho Hartley, the exhibit offers an in-the-arena glimpse at a life of trick-riding and bronco-busting. Beginning August 8, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth will display "Creating Hollywood's West: Historic Costumes and Reproductions From Cathy Smith," which features costumes from such television miniseries as Son of the Morning Star and Buffalo Girls (above, a cowgirl outfit made of raw silk). On August 19, connect with the spirit of Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin, who was shot in (where else?) a saloon on this day in 1895. Members of the Six Guns and Shady Ladies will reenact the fatal scene at the Acme Saloon at Hardin's gravesite, in Concordia Cemetery in El Paso. When all is said and done, we'll be ready to ride off into the sunset. (See El Paso: Points of Interest ; Fort Worth: Museums/Galleries ; and Belton: Museums/Galleries. )

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