Piggin’ strings and bucking shoots used to be a part of my everyday life. Rodeo clowns were constant companions and mutton busting came to be one of my favorite things. For one year, I spent days, nights and weekends on the PRCA trail with top ropers and riders from all around.
Founded in Pecos, Texas, years ago, rodeo has become synonymous with America’s wild west legacy and the standing has been well-earned. Competition consists of non-paid athletes who need those prize dollars to keep’goin’ down the road.’
As a national spokesperson for the Adolph Coors Company, I lived on the street and attended one event weekly. Peter Coors signed my test and his new passion was rodeo, therefore , I saddled up. For forty six months straight, I rode horseback in professional rodeos across the country-from Albany, New York to Poway, California.
Host hotels often booked me in their finest rooms and re-named them the”Bridle Suite.’ I held press interviews from my parlor many times.
One day, we were lined up in a rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to ride the”circle 8.” By the time we completed the opening routine, Lane was dead.
Lane Frost had been my friend in rodeo. His last interview was with me in Santa Maria, California and I saw snippets of that interview on the news over and over and over.
The film did not touch how deep the friendship between Lane and Tuff Hedeman was. I was with Tuff in the very next rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa, and he showed up, ready to ride and perform the press tour. Tuff and I had been auctioned off at a benefit for some charity. We both had to dance with somebody who’d bid on us. “How are you here?”
One month of the year, I did an alcohol awareness junket. The goal was to balance the marketing of beer with a fair warning of its own danger. No press was booked and I was sent to Indian reservations-mostly in New Mexico and Arizona. 1 visit to the Navajo reservation in Window Rock, Arizona, was sufficient to get the full impact of the disadvantage of alcohol use among the Native American people.
So Native American lives have been obliterated by ethanol alcohol due to their inherent trait of never having consumed’fire water’ before white man brought it from Europe. We brought the potent beverages when we arrived to develop and settle to the territories which would later become the fifty states. The signs of alcoholic damage is evident and far-reaching when one visits the reservations.
In a time when family events are infrequent, rodeo still holds the attention of all ages. There are two sorts of competitors-riders and ropers-and it is thrilling to see a horse and rider compete as one in the arena. I will never forget the year that I spent”going down the road” with all those proud horsepeople and of my brief exposure to the damage caused by ethanol brews to our Native American population. Go to Fort Lauderdale Wildlife Removal for more