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Giddyap, Springs cowboy 

Street Smarts

With the 71st annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo a week away, we wondered what a western lifestyle means nowadays, and how often it's glimpsed by a bunch of city slickers — albeit ones who live in the "Wild West."

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Glenn San-Nicolas from southern Colorado Springs is a retired military member

When you hear the phrase "western culture," what do you think of? An "Americana" way of life. It seems to me the last phase where people are free to do what they want to do.

What's your favorite part of the rodeo? The excitement part. Here you got this big beast, and the fact that he could get killed ... it's the thrill, man against beast.

What would you think is the best part of living as a cowboy? Free spirit. Being on a motorcycle is the only thing that can come close to the freedom of getting up on a horse.

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Yiu Au from Manitou Springs is a patent attorney

When you hear the phrase "western lifestyle," what images does it bring to your mind? Cowboys, gun-slinging, Western movies.

Have you ever been to a rodeo? No, I haven't, but I intend to go to one.

What do you think would be the best part about life as a cowboy? The worst? Perhaps there's a type of romance about it. It's probably a pretty hard life though, [with] the training [and] the farm work.

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Heather Rober from the South Academy area is a homemaker

Do you think of Colorado Springs as a traditional western city? Not at all, it's too urbanized.

What do you like best about rodeo? Seeing what all can be done with the different animals and the way that people are with the different animals.

What aspect of life from the Old West do you wish would return today? The camaraderie, the way everybody helped everybody and it wasn't each man for himself.

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Adam D'Antonio from downtown is a bike mechanic

What comes to mind when you think of the phrase "western culture"? The mountains are one of the biggest things for me. You always think of the Rockies when you think of western culture.

Would you consider Colorado Springs a traditionally western city? No, the culture here is militant and also very religious, which I don't associate with western culture at all.

What's something about the Old West that you would like to see return? Simplicity. Everyone seemed more dependent on nature and their surroundings, [and] you had to kind of fend for yourself a little bit more than you do now.

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