Arts & Culture

Tim the Cowboy Security Guard is Charmingly Terrible at Twitter

An exclusive interview with the cowboy in a museum, trying to figure out social media

Cowboy Tim pauses for a selfie.

On March 17, the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City closed to the public, like many museums across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

And then, in a charmingly earnest tweet (and a brilliant social media move), the museum announced that Tim, the “head of security for The Cowboy” would be taking on “the additional duty of social media management while the museum is closed.”

Tim has been touring the empty museum’s exhibitions, calling out his personal favorite mementos, such as costumes from True Grit. (When G&G recently covered this exhibition, John Wayne’s granddaughter and museum board member Anita Swift shared: “Some of my grandfather’s boots will be on display, and people will be surprised: He was six foot three, and if you shook his hand, you would have thought a bear was shaking your hand, but he had little tiny feet.”) Along the way, Tim has been trying to find his social media voice.

He visited the exhibition about photographer Dorothea Lange, someone he could see himself hanging out with:

He struggled with hashtags:

And tried selfies on for size:

And thought about his grandkids when he saw a Toy Story display:

Tim shared that the Western Heritage Awards will be rescheduled for October, and then shared selfies with some of his cowboy friends.

Thanks for touring through the closed museum—and for making us laugh, Tim.

Update: We caught up with Tim about his newfound Twitter fame. Turns out, he doesn’t get lonely when he’s alone at the National Cowboy Museum. Read the interview below, and see more of Tim’s tweets here.

Are you a real cowboy?
No, I’m not a real cowboy. But I am one at heart.

Do you always wear a hat and bolo tie on security detail?
Yes, I always wear the hat and bolo when I am doing security work.

Are you lonely in the museum?
I am never lonely. I am surrounded by cowboy art and history. 

What’s the first thing you hope people come to see and do when the museum reopens?
I hope everyone will come and see our new outdoor exhibit Liichokoshkomo’. It is an exciting new part of our Museum. Liichokoshkomo’ is a Chickasaw phrase that means “let’s play.”

How can people stay safe during this pandemic?
I think the best way to stay safe is to listen to what the experts say. Wash those hands. Remember to help those in need.

What’s your favorite Southern food?
Pork ribs. Mine of course. I do a lot of smoking ribs, bacon-wrapped chicken, and beef brisket. Mmm Mmm.