Old B&W westerns with stagecoach chases are near the top of my list for mindless downtime. Invariably, the robbers wait on a hill, let the stagecoach pass, and then give chase. The chase can go on for miles with both the chasing horses and the coach at top speed. I have never understood why the robbers don’t surprise the coach from the front rather than chase it from behind. (I suppose stagecoach robbers are not too smart and chase scenes are more exciting for movie audiences.)
Here are a few truths about stagecoach chases that apply to a lot of things in life:
No horse on planet earth can run as long and as hard as the ones in stagecoach chases. Not even Sir Winston (who ran the 1½-mile 2019 Belmont Stakes in 2 min., 28 sec.) could chase down a stagecoach from 300-400 yards behind. Do you think a run-of-the-mill cowpony could?
You can’t shoot a stagecoach driver with a six gun from 100 yards while riding a horse at full gallop.
The cash box always has the miners’ payroll. Miners aren’t paid much so don’t expect to get rich chasing down and robbing stagecoaches.
There is rarely a beautiful girl in the stagecoach waiting for you to rescue her.
If your horse doesn’t die and you get in a lucky shot, you don’t get to spend the loot in Acapulco; your reward is getting to hide out in a rundown cabin at the end of a dead end canyon with John Wayne waiting to pick you off when you make a trip to the privy.
So how does this apply to you? If you are worn out chasing something and your horse is about dead, if all your best shots have missed, if your dream (the beautiful girl or miners’ payroll) seems further away than ever, the remedy is QUIT CHASING SOMEONE ELSE’S STAGECOACH AND GET YOUR OWN. Quit chasing and get out front. Quit dreaming and go to work. Quit wishing you were Steve Jobs or whoever, and be yourself. There are a lot of successful stagecoach lines and there is always room for one more, but put your own name and brand on it rather than trying to borrow (steal) someone else’s. It’s a lot easier, and a lot more satisfying.
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© Copyright 2019 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company: www.hard-lessons.com
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