Since Dad was in the Air Force our family often moved when we were growing up. Even after they divorced Mom kept moving us. It just became a pattern I guess, and seemed natural. Finally after we ran out of child support and alimony Mom needed “Plan B”. Santa Fe seemed like a good choice for the three of us. I already painted a mental picture of myself in Art School, my sister planned to rope and brand a cowboy boyfriend for her very own, and poor Mom just wanted a life. A small restaurant with an apartment upstairs over in the Rail Road district was for rent and we got to work. The three of us were excited and all pitched in. Mom is a great cook (she make left-overs exciting even on the third or fourth time around) and got guys from other restaurants to moonlight in the kitchen on their days off. My sister would wait tables and turn her charm up to eleven. All I was much good for was bus tables, mop the floor, and do whatever art work was needed on menus, signs, and such.
We all wanted a south western name for the place. A woman’s name, something with appeal that felt intimate and friendly. Arguing back and forth over “Cowgirl this” and “Coyote that” got us no place. It was my sisters idea to hang around the Central Plaza and ask some of the old-time cowboys for advice. “Fine,” said Mom, “you decide, I don’t care, just hurry up, and tell your brother so he can do the signs and print some flyers”. Sis did go talk to those old boys who sat and smoked in the shade by the bandstand. She asked them, “what is your most cherished memory? The best, most wonderful thing you have ever known? Something that will always, always makes you smile no-matter what.” They were a little shy at first, but finally agreed unanimously. When I heard it, I just couldn’t help but go way-way over the top with the artwork (I thought Mom would be mad).
The restaurant has really worked out ok. Yup, “Rodeo Whore” is quite the little success story, and man do we sell a lot of t-shirts online!
by – Doug Mathewson