This Coso Cowboy Was the Most Badass Buckaroo in Bernal Heights


We don’t know much about him — his tale has been lost in the foggy mists of Bernal Heights lore.

But while doing some archival research at the San Francisco Public Library, celebrity artist and Bernal native Amos Goldbaum recently uncovered this insanely adorable photo of a proud cowboy riding the range at the foot of the Coso Triangle in Precitaville.

We’ll call him the Coso Kid, and we’re confident his frontier spirit inhabits the mini-park there to this very day.


9 thoughts on “This Coso Cowboy Was the Most Badass Buckaroo in Bernal Heights

  1. It’s amazing how large the street trees can get if you let them grow without cutting them down!

  2. I see by his outfit…
    Don’t know for sure, but this looks like the same kind of photo op we had as kids in LA in the early ’50s. Someone with a pony and a mini-cowboy outfit set wandered the neighborhood; this was an offer few kids would let their parents refuse. Go Coso Cowboy, ride ’em!

    • I have photos of my dad and his sister, born in the 1930s, in the LA area in the same getups, complete with pony.

  3. Showed it to my mother, and for what it’s worth based on the boy’s haircut and print style her guess is that it’s from the late 40’s.

  4. In 1968, I had a job with a small El Cerrito photographer who specialized in taking kids’ pix on a pony. Every morning we’d drive up to El Sobrante, pick up two ponies, put them in the horse trailer and drove into SF. We then walked up and down the streets yelling, “Free pony rides.” We’d then dress up the little kid in a cowboy or cowgirl hat, vest and chaps. We’d put the kid securely on the pony, walk one-third of a block, return and take photos of the little buckeroos atop the pony.

    (Salespeople later went to the homes to shill the sweet little photos to the parents.)

    I was new to California and was never too sure of what neighborhoods we roamed, but I do remember that all the homes, no matter how shabby some looked were full of flowers and flowering bushes. What I do recall is the barbershop on Cortland, and laughing uncontrollably as we watched the barber cutting hair. (It was the summer of ’68 and lots of things that weren’t usually funny were when experienced under the influence.)
    Thirty years (or so) later, I roam the same hill, but with a little doggie instead of a pony.
    In other words, I could have been the photographer.

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