The appellation cowboy is often used - but rarely earned.
One of the last local representatives of the old style breed is Steve Tellam of Ramona in San Diego County. The above linked story explains why he is the last full time traditional cowboy of his family - and likely one of the last in that part of San Diego County.
But the future of the American cowboy (though on my old range - cowhand - or just 'hand' - was preferred) is - fortunately - not restricted to the daily interaction of man and cow.
In my case, while I did my share of turning little bulls into little steers - though I declined to use my teeth for the task - and while I pulled more than my share of reluctant calves out of recalcitrant cow's rear ends - I found myself quickly gravitating to the catching and breaking of wild horses and - eventually - the training of rodeo stock.
But soon the ten of us found ourselves overseas and rather than roping up wandering cattle - we found ourselves lassoing stolen airplanes for insurance companies. And then - just when we thought we had gotten as far away from our Western ways as we could - there was the day that... well.... that's another story in the life of a 20th Century cowboy....