Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Inklings told me that I should do a post regarding my addiction to adrenaline. I've thought about it for several days and have figured out that it'll take more than one post to cover it so here is the first.

My first year of college a whole group of us went to the Alamo, Nevada rodeo. Now this isn't just an ordinary rodeo. They gather their cattle off the range in the fall and put all the bulls in the town rodeo arena so they can sort them out by owner. But before they do that they have the rodeo and the cowboys get to ride the bulls from the range. So they are not rodeo bulls just rank bulls from the range.

I was really wanting to see my friends (the real cowboys) do well at this rodeo. I had absolutely no desire to ride a bull and didn't even have any of the required equipment. BUT--them being the good friends they were told me they would loan me everything I would need if I would just ride. Well it was pretty tough on me at that age to be called a chicken so I paid up my entrance fee and drew my bull and got ready to ride him. He was a little (and I do mean little) black angus but he was as mean as they came.

I watched as my room mate rode his bull and got a pretty good score (mid 70's if I remember right) and the rest of the guys I was with either rode or bucked off and then it was my turn. I was scared---bloody scared---I didn't have a clue how to ride a bull other than what I was told behind the chutes during the bull riding. With all that coaching anyone could ride a bull---right? Well probably not---but I was so scared I wasn't about to buck off---I got this unbelievable high as I settled onto the bulls back and wrapped my hand in the bull rope. I knew I was going to ride him. I did---for a score in the mid-80's---which was enough for me to win the bull riding and the money. Man you can't believe the high I got. As soon as the rodeo was over we went to Vegas where we promptly lost all the winnings.

That was just the start. I went to the arena with my room mate every night after that and rode the practice bulls, the bareback horses and the saddle broncs. I wasn't a good cowboy but I could ride all three types of bucking stock a little. I was hooked. We went to all of the rodeos all over the south west. I won some and lost some but I did win the all round cowboy at three rodeos for getting the best score for riding all three. I was sad that year when the rodeo season ended---the last rodeo of the season was at Alamogordo, New Mexico. Six of us went down, three of us came home with some pretty good money. I was one of those.

In the spring we went to a few rodeos and then school was over for the year. That fall we picked up where we left off and rodeo'd like crazy. I was also wrestling at college so there was a lot of conflict regarding meets and I had to drive late into the night every week after we got home from wrestling to make it to the rodeos. I won a few more rodeos on individual animals but never won another all round cowboy. In February I wrestled for the National Championship and lost so got second. I was ahead 18 to 2 and decided to pin the guy. He was double jointed in the shoulder and rolled through the guillotine---if you know anything about wrestling---when the opponent does that there is no hope for you.

The day after the wrestling meet I reported to Basic Training for the Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. They extended my reporting date two weeks to allow me to wrestle in the Nationals. I look back at that now and am overwhelmed that they did that.

To end this little post I will tell you that this was the end of my rodeo days---but my college room mate continued to ride bulls and do well for over thirty-five years. Now that my friends is a real cowboy. Today he raises bucking stock and produces his own rodeos from Tulia, Texas. He has always been my hero. ALWAYS.


Amber said...

That is so so cool! I've always wanted to ride one of those mechanical bulls for fun to see if I could hang in there or not LOL. I dated a former bull rider once, it is quite the dangerous thing to do!

Delirious said...

I knew you were the right person to ask about what to do if a bull is chasing you. ;) Too bad I didn't have a rodeo clown with me.

Dee Ice Hole said...

Turn your dog loose---she'll know what to do with the bull. Especially her breed---they were raised to hunt.

Stick said...

I had the chance to be a rodeo clown, and the adrenaline rush was amazing. It seemed like everything slowed down, and I could see the bull and the situation in clear detail. Even with that, I NEVER wanted to tie myself to the back of one of those big animals.