Cowboy Ethics

Santa Barbara County, in its present boundary, is actually a parcel within a rich territory of history that has as a foundation the lifestyle of western ranching, sometimes called the ethics of the cowboy or the culture of the vaquero.

On Saturday, March 6, two local documentary producers, Susan Jensen and Paul Singer of Santa Barbara, screened the sixth in a series of documentaries that captures the authenticity of vaquero, or cowboy, culture.

The series, titled Tierra Encantado focuses on the establishment of ranching life, with the introduction of the horse as the core element in bringing about this unique lifestyle and its code of ethics.

These documentaries’ poignant feature, highlighting who we are in present day Santa Barbara County, is that our collective heritage derives from a blending of the genius of the founding fathers together with the earthy common sense of those who established landmarks that are part of the present day.

And it is a heritage that basically guides those in the present day who have the responsibility to preserve the richness of this culture; and to do so in a manner which is not about silly egotism, but rather about the integrity of the stewardship of this wonderful land, with a purpose to ultimately serve the public, and not to cowardly cower to the selfishness of the self-interest.—Gil Armijo, Santa Maria


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