Lonesome Dove: The Ties That Bind

Woodrow Cal and Augustus McCrae

There was definitely something unique about the friendship between Gus and Cal, but what is it that made them so special?

Most strong friendships have the longevity and acceptance we saw between them. Cal accepted that Gus would never do his share of work. Gus accepted that Cal would never be the life of the party. Opposites most times do attract that way, but I have always felt that there had to be more to it than the surface friendship most people have.

Perhaps Gus accepting how supremely flawed his friend was in denying Newt as his child had something to do with it. There aren’t too many friendships that can survive secrets, and Gus continued to respect Cal even though he day in and day out saw him deny his own flesh and blood. He understood the root of the problem and didn’t judge him, and for that Cal had to be eternally grateful.

Or maybe it was Cal knowing that he may have played a huge role in Gus losing the love of his life. True, it was Gus’s choice (or Clara’s denials depending on how you choose to see it), but the adventurous life he lived with Cal was definitely the main draw that took him from Clar,a and Cal knew it.

The sins and secrets of the past threaten to tear most friendships apart, but not those two. It brought them closer together and that can be a lesson for us all.

Do we judge and hold things over our friends heads…things like their flaws and bad choices? Have we let past failures strengthen or weaken the bonds we’ve created with our friends and why or why not?

Cal and Gus teach us that no matter how ties are formed, they only unravel when we choose to untie them.


  1. Eric Russell says:

    I appreciate the blog, but the misspelling of Call is very distracting.

  2. Ed says:

    These two accepted each other, warts and all. Both had some pretty big “warts.” Even so they had gone through so much together, and had reverent respect for the other, even loved one another. Their friendship was much stronger than their flaws.

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