If all goes as planned my wife and I will be in the west this coming June. We are leaving June 1st, taking a three week extended car trip to a number of places and states out west and south.
Hopefully say around, Cheyenne, Sheridan, Jackson Hole or Cody, Wyoming we will see a rodeo. A real rodeo with real cowboys.
I have always been fascinated with folks who have given so much of themselves to a sport they love. Such as race drivers, professional golfers, rodeo cowboys would be three good examples.
One of the best rodeo cowboy books I have read is W.K. Stratton's Chasing the Rodeo. The author's father was such a cowboy. One who never had much success and one as Stratton wrote "his name was on my birth certificate but one I never knew." He goes further by saying "I've call Cowboy Don a rodeo cowboy, but some people would take offense at that."
"A rodeo bum. There's no precise definition for it. It can be a good-natured term for anyone associated with rodeo. But it can describe a character whose soul is infected by rodeo addiction. He can't make any kind of living from it, yet he can't turn loose from it, either." --to quote Stratton. I must say that aptly described a few folks over the years I have known yet there is something inside of me that also respects.
"He batters his body, has no future, and has left a long string of friends some sheets in the wind and some satisfied women behind--- that's a line from a Billy Joe Shaver song--"Ride Me Down Easy." He has few possessions besides what he is wearing on his back. He knows the finer points of hitchhiking and sleeping out in the rain. He shows up at a rodeo, looking for whatever work he can find, maybe persuading the stock contractor to give him a job bucking hay or wrangling the cattle and horses, in the pens behind the arena. If he draws enough pay for this, he'll blow it on entry fees. And he'll lose his events. Then he off for the next show."
Chasing the Rodeo--W.K. Stratton
Who knows maybe this year we'll see Stratton's long lost cowboy dad---Don,
Well I think not as too much time has now passed....but I bet there will be some who still fit Stratton's description of "A Rodeo Bum."
March 30, 2017