Herb Cohen’s ’70s-era photographs of the cowboys of Cave Creek, Arizona, are collected in the book Cowboys Don’t Do Lunch. Enter for your chance to win a copy.
Cave Creek is known for lots of things that put it on our Arizona itinerary — natural beauty and outdoor pursuits, shopping and gallery-hopping, frontier vibe and working cowboys. It’s the kind of place where the Old West is still alive in storefronts and hitching posts, and where a bar like Harold’s continues to play watering hole to boot-scooting bronc busters, as it has for generations.
Cave Creek’s always been a storied place, but maybe no more so than when Herb Cohen first visited during the town’s hippie heyday and later made it his home. The native New Yorker had gotten lost on a back road outside of Phoenix and stumbled on a for-sale sign for a piece of land in Carefree, the planned community that shares landmark Black Mountain with Cave Creek.
For slideshow, click arrow on right of image.
After years of visiting their property, he and his wife finally relocated to Arizona in 1975. “Herb’s favorite pastime was photography, a hobby that grew as he got to know the colorful regulars on the other side of Black Mountain,” according to a story from Images Arizona. “In particular, he was enamored [of] cowboys in saddle-worn jeans and dusty, weathered hats, and the affable Navajos just west of his tidy upscale community.
“Out of pure love for the art, Herb snapped hundreds of photos or more of local personalities, preserving most of them as negatives in his own personal collection.”
You can see those personalities and imagine those days when you page through Cowboys Don’t Do Lunch: The Photographs of Herb Cohen, an evocative record of an era, a place, and a way of life in transition.
Cowboys Don’t Do Lunch: The Photographs of Herb Cohen
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Photography: Courtesy of Goff Books