and the Horse He Rode In On

One of the many things I loved (And, even though it’s been many years, still love) about my Dad was his sense of humor. If you’ll humor me, I’d like to share a story to illustrate the point.

Along with working days at U. S. Steel South Works, on Chicago’s South Side, my Dad worked many nights as the owner/operator of his own TV/Radio repair business. Frequently, Saturdays included a visit to the local Allied (pre-Radio Shack) store to stock up on tubes and other things. A very young me would usually be at my Dad’s side. A very young me was usually dressed in some degree of cowboy attire. One Saturday, as we walked up to the counter, the young me was at my Dad’s side wearing my cowboy hat and bandana. The man behind the counter said something like “Hmm … wouldn’t a real cowboy have his guns on?”

I was not a happy cowboy.

The next Saturday, cowboy hat, bandana, holsters filled with my trusty cap guns, the young me again approached the counter at my Dad’s side. The evil doer behind the counter smiled, but lobbed a parting salvo something like “Nice, but you’d think a real cowboy would have a horse.”

If “True Grit” had been released at this point, and if a young me understood the meaning, much to my Dad’s chagrin, I might have uttered Rooster Cogburn’s (John Wayne) famous phrase about filling your hands.

The next part of the story is true and I even have the photographic evidence.

The next time we went to the Allied store, the young me was dressed in my usual cowboy attire but, by now, understood that my cowboy hero identity was not to be appreciated in this establishment. My Dad parked and we were walking down the block to the store when the cowboy gods intervened. At the end of the block was a photographer taking photos of kids … on a pony!!!

My Dad got a smile on his face.

I have no idea what magic my Dad worked when we walked up to the photographer. All I know is when we entered the Allied store my Dad was holding the reins and leading the horse with me in the saddle as I rode up to the counter!!!!

Cowboy Steve and the horse he rode in on.

As I recall, the evil doer threw up his hands, laughed and said “I give up, you win!”

The young me was a very happy cowboy as he rode out of the store and into the sunset that day.

And my Dad was still smiling.

Stay safe.


About steveandjohnnie

Award winning Chicago Broadcasters, inducted into WGN radio's Walk Of Fame. Authors of the Les Paul memoir, "A Little More Les." You'll find even more about us at
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7 Responses to and the Horse He Rode In On

  1. LINDA JOHNSON says:

    Thank you for your Father’s Day gift of a story of a good father. My father was a good father. I wish he was still with us.

  2. Tom Stocket says:

    Steve, you evoked several memories! Allied was a shopping stop for my Dad and I!
    I have an Xmas pic of me wearing full cowboy gear, six-gun included with cowboy boots, holding a toy clarinet 😳!
    There would be a man who would bring his pony through Bridgeport neighborhoods for parents to get a picture with their kids on the horse. Somewhere there is a picture of me on that pony at 2949 S Normal!
    Thanks! I was a listener during your WGN days.

  3. Dianne Marie DAndrea says:

    Thank you for a truly wonderful memory! I enjoyed it immensely!

  4. Betty says:

    I love this story. What a fantastic memory! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Dee Hamilton-White says:

    Great story! Thanks for the happy memory!

  6. OrinK3 says:

    I always enjoyed horses too. At eight, My younger and I were riding at a stable near Akron, OH with friends. My younger brother’s horse rode off with him – mom chasing after. Ahha – rescue. While mom was running after, I was kicking my horse in the ribs. No joy, he just sat there. Long story, but little time. Oh, well.

    As Ever, OrinK3 – still watching my Bald Eagle fledglings – no flight yet, but they are hopping and flapping. Pics soon 🙂

  7. Lester Nixon says:

    Steve. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story and precious memory.

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