Cowboy Up! Faith & Hope for Our Times

by Tess on January 29, 2009

IMG_8479-Gene Autry

Creative Commons License photo credit: David Childers“I believe if you take good stock of yourself, examine all your possibilities, then try your best, you can discover what to do to make this time of your life “a very good one indeed.”


Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998) an American performer, known as “The Singing Cowboy”  began his career during The Great Depression.

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gene Autry is the only celebrity to have five stars, one in each of the five categories radio, motion pictures, recording, television and live theater.

His story, in his own words:

These days–when a lot of people are out of work and jobs are scarce–I’m reminded of the time when I let the Oklahoma ranch where I grew up. I got a job as a telegraph operator for the railroad in the little town of Chelsea, Oklahoma. I worked the late shift, four in the afternoon till midnight, which was pretty slow, so I kept my guitar with me.

When there wasn’t much doing, I’d pull it out and do some singing. I needed something to pass the time and also to cheer me up.  The Great Depression had begun and the railroads then, as now, were in bad shape. They were laying off workers, and it looked as if I’d soon be among the unemployed.

One night I was playing and singing when a man I didn’t know, a fellow who was in town visiting his sister, walked through the door to send a telegram. “Don’t stop,” he said. “Keep going.” So I did a couple of songs for him.

“Son,” he said “you ought to get yourself a job on the radio. You’re good.” Then he wrote out his telegram and handed it to me. It was signed ”Will Rogers.” I’d sure heard of him, because he wrote a syndicated newspaper column and was famous on Broadway, but I didn’t recognize him because he hadn’t made it big in moving pictures yet.

Besides, even if he had, there weren’t any movie houses in Chelsea. After he left I thought, If Will Rogers things I’m good enough, I’m good enough.”

That gave me the gumption to go out and look for a radio station that would give me a chance to sing my cowboy songs. I found one in Tulsa.

The radio news was full of reports on the bad times in our country, and it didn’t seem like my prospects were very good for taking my singing career beyond Oklahoma. But one day I came across theis Ralph Emerson quotation: “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

“Isn’t that the truth!” I said to myself. I thought hard about those words, and finally I decided to go to New York and try my luck with the record companies. Eventually, I made a western record that became a hit. And not long after that, I was out in Hollywood making movies as a singing cowboy.

So I belive if you take good stock of yourself, examine all your possibilities, then try your best, you can discover what to do to make this time of your life “a very good one” indeed.

So what are you doing to make this time of your life “a very good one” indeed? Will you share so we can all inspire each other?

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    { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    Stacey / Create a Balance January 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” – I really like this quote. It reminds me that in this economic crisis we need to find time to be still so we can learn “what to do” from our natural inner wisdom.

    Stacey / Create a Balance’s last blog post..Ten Ways To Create a Balance While Commenting on Blogs


    Daphne January 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Tess,

    I like the Emerson quote as well. This year is certainly a year of opportunities, if we know how to look.

    Thanks also for the story about the singing cowboy. It’s always inspiring to hear real-life stories. So often, we need the faith of someone else to give us the courage to go on. Will Rogers was the someone else for Gene Autry. We never know when we may be the someone else for someone. This reminds me to be encouraging whenever I can.

    Great post, Tess!

    Daphne’s last blog post..The Gift of Community


    V. Higgins January 30, 2009 at 10:20 am

    What an inspiring post! Life is very much what you make of it, when you look for opportunities, you’re much more likely to find them. Our perspective can have such a profound impact on how we experience this one life we get.
    As for your question, I’m learning to challenge that voice in my head that always tells me “you can’t do it”, I’m going from sedentary for 2 years to walking 39.3 miles in 2 days to raise awareness about breast cancer. I’m finally telling that voice to shove it and letting myself do something I thought I couldn’t. Never be afraid to try!


    Karen Swm January 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Tess, I saw your comment on Amy Palko’s blog and popped right over – glad I did! When my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, we focused on living. It is a lesson that has carried me forward in the years since his passing. Realizing that all we ever have is right now allows me to focus on “what can I do with this moment?” When I go to bed at night the morning is not guaranteed so I try to ensure that at day’s end I have lived without regret. I don’t always have all that I want, and I have not achieved all my goals but it costs nothing to share love and friendship. Job losses are tough and come with harsh realities to face but even in that seize the chance to reach out and allow others to help you. You will discover new things about yourself and about the world and people around you.

    Karen Swm’s last blog post..Resource Friday


    Tess January 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Isn’t that the truth. Instead of going into fear mode over the economy sitting still and listen ing for guidance is a wonderful thing to do.

    I think we are all at times that special someone for someone! If we never miss an opportunity to encourage another we’ll all be soaring through our lessons in no time!

    what a goal, that’s what I call going for it. I wish you well and let me know if I can donate to the cause! My mom is a survivor.

    Thanks for stopping over. “What I can do in this moment” is a line to remember. I appreciate your time and wisdom.


    Giovanna Garcia January 31, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I believe that if we are passionate about what we do. And we follow that with our heart. Everyone of us can have a very good life.

    By the way, thanks for sharing the singing Cowboy story. I enjoyed read it.

    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Acton

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Finding your long lost family with Imperfect Action!


    Neil January 31, 2009 at 7:48 am

    A fantastic story and a great quote. Tess, you continue to find little nuggets of truth and I appreciate that you share them with us. I always finish reading your posts empowered, knowing I can do more with my life! Thank you!

    Neil’s last blog post..One Hundred Pushups


    Jannie Funster January 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Ralph Waldo Emmerson – one sharp guy. Wonderful quote.

    Me? Set the date and booked the venue for my CD launch and party. May 10th!

    I am pushing through my fear, so that’s my advice – as they say “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

    (P.S. I love your blog!)

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..3 & 1/2 days


    Lance February 1, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Hi Tess,
    Great story of how Gene Autry got started out. And a wonderful reminder to all of us – even in difficult times – that we can probably find something to hang onto.

    I intend to make my life a very good one indeed. I am doing this by actively working on my writing – a new endeavor for me. And by staying involved in my family life. These are the two most important things to me right now – and I am putting much focus on both of these. Thanks Tess!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day


    Robin February 1, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Great Tess – Great to read a post I agree with! (i’ve struck a run of ones I don’t) I enjoyed hearing his story.

    I love Emerson quotes – and this one is right up there – timeless! (heheh)

    Cheers – Robin

    Robin’s last blog post..Guy Finley Followed By An Illustrated Meme.


    LifeMadeGreat | Juliet February 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Tess

    Great inspiration. I think we always need that. And always need a reminder to be in the present and to enjoy it or learn from – have a postivie experience.


    LifeMadeGreat | Juliet’s last blog post..Overcoming The Barriers Of Introversion: Starting The Process


    Mike Goad February 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I like the optimism!

    I’m retired, so making this time of my life “a very good one” is different fo me than most who would be reading this, I think.

    I think the key is attitude — maintaining a positive attitude even in the face of adversity. I believe that attitude is a choice that we make very day, whether we a conscious of it or not. If we deliberately choose to have a good attitude, we actually feel better than if we let our attitude meander based on outside influences. Unfortunately, I forgot that during the last few years before I retired and those years were not the greatest. But I have regained my perspective and need to continue to maintain it.

    Mike Goad’s last blog post..The Sun Has Lost Its Spots


    Tess February 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I like how you state the results are “everyone of us can have a good life.” And there’s nothing better than that is there?

    Your blog does the same for me. Thanks for being on the same path!

    I can’t think of 2 better things to put your focus on. Thanks for dropping by.

    I like Emerson as well. I wonder if he had the insight to know how many would learn from him.

    We think along the same lines. Yes to positive experiences.

    That’s all we have to do in life. Refocus and change directions once we catch ourselves going the wrong way.

    Tess’s last blog post..Cowboy Up! Faith & Hope for Our Times


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