Barbara Anderson considers herself to be a “fantasy cowgirl” ever since she was young. All she ever wanted was a ranch with a horse. On Western day at school – the only day of the year girls were allowed to wear pants – Anderson donned her Annie Oakley outfit. Only, one thing was missing: boots. Her parents finally got her a pair – white ones with gold trim. Anderson passed her love for cowgirl culture down to the next generation: her son who lives in Berkeley, California, wears boots so often that his friends call him “Tex.” And even though she’s older now, boots still delight Anderson just like they did when she was a kid. That was especially true one Christmas when she and her husband Jim were visiting family for the holidays.
“We were at Jim’s sister and brother-in-law’s house for Christmas Eve, and a little niece named Georgia was there from Seattle. … Georgia also has this wild head of curly, strawberry-blond reddish hair. And she was just in that little child exhilaration about Christmas and she had a little flouncy denim skirt on and a pair of red cowboy boots. And I looked over at Jim and said, ‘Those are what I want for Christmas.’ And everybody just laughed.”