It began with a rope. Not any rope, a riata. A long coil of hand braided leather with a running noose used to catch livestock, tether animals or showboat one’s cowboy roping skills. Riata, lariat, lasso made of genuine rawhide was my spouse’s newest tool (toy, hobby. obsession). More unusual than the riata is the fact that my spouse and I are in our sixties, live in a metropolitan midwest city and have a few chickens that do not qualify as livestock.
The big fella was excited and professorial about the intricate processes and art form of riata making. My reaction was perplexed irritation. The pitch about the exercise and skill building fell on my deaf ears. I don’t recall seeing any noose loose in the front yard. I can relay, with conviction, that the riata became another decorative fixture in our living room. She was a perfect companion piece to the soapstone bust of an African man now wearing one of the big guy’s Stetsons. (more to be revealed)