Texoma saddles up for the Old West

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - As the great cowboy legend John Wayne said, "nobody ever saw a cowboy on the psychiatrist's chair but Wichita Falls residents did see them in town Saturday for the Cowboy True Arts Festival.

Hundreds of years ago cowboys and the sale of cattle helped many states financially after the Civil War.

"What helped kind of revive the Texas economy at that time was actually a lot of the cattle drives," Eric Abercrombie from the Forth Griffin State Historic Site said. "All those free ranging longhorns that started around Texas."

Dan Shores from Cowboy True said the Falls started from cowboys, ranchers and the oil business.

"[Cowboy True Arts Festival] just keeps it alive right here in Wichita Falls," Shores said.

Texomans gathered at the JS Bridwell Agricultural Center to embrace the cowboy culture and discuss their favorite cowboys.

"Hey! John Wayne," Shores said. "Who else?"

Longhorns, cowboy boots and hats were something common in Texoma during the 1800s. The Cowboy True Arts Festival is trying to restore that culture again.

"The cowboys are a dying breed and it's to keep the cowboys alive in this area," Shores said.

19-year-old Callie Graham is doing just that. She started embracing her inner cowgirl after meeting cowboys who she said took her back to her roots.

"They're horse trainers and we just started kind of taking pictures and I'm like 'I kinda like this again," Graham said.

She said 'Ahead of the Storm" is her favorite work she's done because of the meaning behind it.

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