Never before has a group of individuals captured our imagination like the cowboys of the old west. Sadly, they are preceived as outdated, old fashioned and are no longer the hero’s of the current generation of young people. The values of self-reliance, personal responsibility, good will, generosity and courage have little meaning in the society of today. To a large extent, our view of cowboy life has been through rose colored spectacles. A cowboy’s life was neither exciting nor romantic, even during the glory years between the end of the Civil War and the mid 1880’s. In truth the Wild West lasted barely a generation. A cowboys work was consider menial, consisting of a endless variety of monotonously hard work, seasonal employment and for a large part of the year solitude. Throughout this the cowboy was expected to take care of himself, his gear, his horse and survive in any weather. No wonder the cowboy has come to stand for self-reliance and resourcefulness. Over the years progress has altered the cowboy lifestyle, mechanization has reduced the need for ranch-hands and horses. By the early 1940’s the cowboy of yesteryear had vanished, along with giant herds of buffalo and the unfenced wide-open spaces. They now exist only in old photographs, stories and the imaginations of people drawn to this era of American history.