It was a regular routine every Saturday. At the Virginia or the Family the admissions were ten cents, the Horse Operas were black & white and the pop corn was a nickle. The good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black. The outlaws were always brought to justice by the end of the movie and to celebrate, the good cowboys always kissed their horses not the girls.
The big stars always wore those fancy leather rigs with the nickel plated pistols and pearl handled grips. The belts & holsters were tooled leather with intricate silver conchos. There were many different styles obviously created by Hollywood professionals. Besides the good looks they were designed to enable the cowboy to execute his fastest draw in an emergency. The really great looking stars were: Tex Ritter, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
Since we all wanted to be cowboys we had our own personal equipment. A belt, holster, and the all important cap pistol. There were several different kinds. Single shots, six shooters and the more expensive roll fed, rapid fire, get the job done in a hurry, type.
One Saturday afternoon, between movies, I moseyed over to Newberrys to check out the new stuff in the toy department. I was surprised to see a new display of the latest Western style cap pistol. Silver with an ivory grip, it was bigger and better. It was called "The Texan!" And it was beautiful. I had never seen anything like that in all my years of riding the range. Even better than my Red Ryder lever action BB gun. It had a long shiny barrel and a Texas Longhorn Bull engraved on the handle.
The bad news was it cost a whole dollar. A ridiculous amount of money for a cap pistol. But I had already imagined how good I would look with that pistol strapped on my side. Instant respect. It took me a couple of weeks to come up with the dollar but it was worth it. Now if I could only find a way to come up with a good horse...