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May 8, 2015

“Where the West begins” – and the East peters out…


THE FAMOUS COWBOY POEM:

“Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
            That’s where the West begins;
Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter;
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter;
            That’s where the West begins.”
      Arthur Chapman (1873-1935)
       American journalist, poet and editor
       His poem
“Out Where the West Begins,” first printed in the Denver Republican, December 3, 1911.


WILL ROGERS’ QUIP:

“Fort Worth is where the West begins and Dallas is where the East peters out.”
       Will Rogers (1879-1935)
       American humorist
       A famous quip
generally attributed to Rogers. 
       The city of Forth Worth has long used the official slogan “Where the West Begins.” An old nickname of Dallas is “where the East ends.”


A JOURNALIST’S VIEW OF FORT WORTH’S MOTTO:

“As Fort Worth has grown into a very big city, the cultural identity of our fair burg is changing. City leaders like to trot out ‘Cowtown’ and ‘Where the West Begins’ as cultural touchstones, but neither has been true for some time. We don’t slaughter cattle for beef anymore, and I don’t know where the West begins now, but it certainly isn’t here.”
       Dan McGraw
       Texas journalist and author 
      
In his column in the Fort Worth Weekly, March 28, 2007


THE FAMED CUBAN BAR’S MOTTO:

“First port of call, out where the wet begins.”
       Prohibition-era marketing slogan for
Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana, Cuba 
       Noted in the excellent book
Havana Before Castro by Peter Moruzzi


THE HAWAIIAN VARIATION:

“Out where the zest begins, in the Hawaiian islands, grow these royal pineapples...brought to you by Dole.”
       From
an ad for Dole Pineapples in LIFE magazine, May 8, 1939


RINTY’S VARIATION:

“Where the North Begins”
       Title of the
first film starring the first Rin-Tin-Tin, released in 1923. (A silent film set in the “Great White North” – the north woods of Canada.)

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Related reading and listening: classic examples of Cowboy – and Cowgirl – poetry

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