November 15, 2008

Oh, How Things Change

by Vickie McDonough

When raising my four sons, I tried hard to drill manners into them. It prides me now to see them open doors for women and to hear them say, “Yes, ma’am,” or “Yes, sir.” Rules and manners sometimes seem a thing of the past, and I thought it might be fun to read some rules from bygone days that I found on the Internet. Some of these are sure to make you smile.


Adherence to the Following Rules

Will Insure a Pleasant Trip for All

  1. Abstinence from liquor is requested, but if you must drink, share the bottle. To do otherwise makes you appear selfish and unneighborly.
  2. If ladies are present, gentlemen are urged to forego smoking cigars and pipes as the odor of same is repugnant to the Gentle Sex. Chewing tobacco is permitted, but spit WITH the wind, not against it.
  3. Gentlemen must refrain from the use of rough language in the presence of ladies and children.
  4. Buffalo robes are provided for your comfort during cold weather. Hogging robes will not be tolerated and the offender will be made to ride with the driver.
  5. Don't snore loudly while sleeping or use your fellow passenger's shoulder for a pillow; he or she may not understand and friction may result.
  1. Firearms may be kept on your person for use in emergencies. Do not fire them for pleasure or shoot at wild animals as the sound riles the horses.
  2. In the event of runaway horses, remain calm. Leaping from the coach in panic will leave you injured, at the mercy of the elements, hostile Indians and hungry wolves.
  3. Forbidden topics of discussion are stagecoach robberies and Indian uprisings.
  4. Gents guilty of unchivalrous behavior toward lady passengers will be put off the stage. It's a long walk back. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Cowboy Hat Etiquette

  • Remove hat when eating
  • Removed when the national anthem is played. Hold your hat in your right hand, over your heart. This applies to women, unless their hat is held on with hat pins.
  • Cowboys tip their hats to ladies when out doors, remove them when being introduced, and remove them when entering a ladies home.
  • Men never tipped their hats to other men in the Old West. It was akin to calling them a woman. A nod was a common greeting when not shaking hands.
  • In commercial or public buildings it's not necessary to remove your hat - but should be when entering a private office. It is generally considered polite to remove it in a private home, unless other people are wearing their hats.
  • Wearing a hat to a theatre is fine but should be removed if it blocks anyone's view of the entertainment.

Chuckwagon Etiquette

  • No one eats until Cookie calls
  • When Cookie calls, everyone comes a runnin'
  • Hungry cowboys wait for no man. They fill their plates, fill their bellies, and then move on so stragglers can fill their plates
  • Cowboys eat first, talk later.

  • It's okay to eat with your fingers. The food is clean
  • If you're refilling the coffee cup and someone yells "Man at the pot." You're obliged to serve refills.
  • Don't take the last serving unless your sure you're the last man.
  • Food left on the plate is an insult to the cook.
  • No running or saddling a horse near the wagon. And when you ride off, always ride down wind from the wagon.
  • If you come across any decent firewood, bring it back to the wagon
  • Strangers are always welcome at the wagon.


Susan Page Davis said...

Great post, Vickie. I love the stagecoach manners, being of the Gentle Sex.

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Vickie, great post! In my third book that I'm writing now, I have written a stagecoach scene. I've always been fascinated by stagecoaches since I was an adolescent! Love the hat info, too, especially since I wrote about cowboy boots and Jeanne wrote about spurs:)

Terry Burns said...

Hats come off in elevators - disagree on eating, out here men tend to wear hats eating in restaurants or someone else may decide it is their hat - when acknowledging a lady in passing the hat may either be removed or the brim touched in acknowledgement. If she stops it comes off. Never worn in church.



Molly Noble Bull said...

I learned a lot from your article. Thanks.

For His Glory said...

this is great - wherever did you find it?