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Rodeo Ben the "Polish Cowboy"

26 Mar 2020 #31
beckski Why not call him the "Polish Jewish" cowboy? Clearly he was Jewish(as someone remembers him conversing in Yiddish), and probably immigrated from Poland
Provessive Pole
26 Mar 2020 #32
It's fair to say that most people never heard of this character. Not just today but in any previous decade. And in today's gynocentric, throw-away, consumer culture most will never care about someone like this anyway.

But from what is available online he was just another immigrant among millions who passed through or settled in 1940's Philadelphia which as an East Coast city of the United States is as far removed from "cowboy" as anyone could get.

Like the "spaghetti Western" films of the 1960s this Jewish tailor's take on America was simply a result of having an extremely limited knowledge about his adopted country and creating his own exaggerated stereotypes about America. Note well that many stereotypes about America have their origins in Jewish Hollywood and Madison Avenue and are usually fodder for the many Eurotrash PF posters who use them to attack Polonia living in the US (but I digress).

Philadelphia has largely had a predominately Roman Catholic population. However, America itself has been mainly Protestant all due to the British occupying, pillaging and displacing the native population over centuries.

Although most American Protestants are Zionists today that was not always the case. Therefore it was very likely that this Jewish immigrant found it convenient for marketing purposes not to reveal his true heritage.

Certainly Jews see little difference between Catholics and Protestants. However, claiming he was "Polish" wouldn't have opened many doors in WASP America either.

So why cast himself as Polish?

Well, if you peruse posts on PF you'll find many baseless, bigoted, contemptuous remarks (from non-Poles and former communists) about true Poles being nothing more than unsophisticated, brutish, village idiots. While Jews on the other hand are always applauded for being cosmopolitan, always somehow educated beyond belief, always beyond criticism, and always, always the victims of others.

So, if you are an Jewish immigrant to America and never learn much about it, but you need to flog tough-guy image cowboy outfits to what you assume is an unsuspecting public, then you'll cast yourself as a rugged Pole rather than as an effete Jew.
3 Aug 2020 #33
I used live in West Oak Lane. I think it used to be on the corner of Ogontz & Cheltenham Ave. I got my first pair of cowboy boots and hat from there when I was in high school back in the 80's.

I was the lone black teen in my neighborhood, who had his own sense of style. Lol
Cowboy PHIL
5 Aug 2020 #34
I buy and sell vintage western wear at Pioneer House in Knoxville Tennessee. I have had many beautiful Rodeo Ben items come thru the shop . Also Globe Tailors of Philadelphia that made Western wear very similar to Bens designs. Most western wear enthusiasts today know nothing of Rodeo Ben. He made Satin outfits of Rodeo performers at Madison square gardens that would shine under the lights. He put the cowboy stars in fancy outfits before the famous west coast rodeo tailors. Yahoo!
The Avant Mag
23 Dec 2020 #35
Hello sir ! I am an historian and I would love to chat with you. Can you send me an email to please ?

Thank you very much
20 Feb 2021 #36
As a kid I remember going there (was near Broad and Stenton) with my dad and wondering/laughing why he wanted Cowboy clothes. My guess is he was emulating his older cousin Arnold Goldberg, who everyone called the Jewish Cowboy, because he of course dressed the part. I still have a bolo tie of dads, that I cherish, which he bought there.

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