I don’t remember my first rodeo. Or my second rodeo. While I have memories of many, many rodeos over many, many years those memories are somewhat muddled and there are no numbers assigned.
Most likely, my first rodeo was a hometown Pioneer Day affair during which little kids like me were screwed down onto the backs of Hereford or black bally calves, with two hands in a death grip on a loose rope, then turned out into the arena for a few (very few) frantic seconds of jolting and jarring and jerking before landing in the dirt with a better than even chance of getting a mouthful of the stuff.
The first rodeo I have record of was a Little Buckaroo Rodeo in Orem, Utah, on Friday, May 31, 1963. On the printed program, right after “Specialty Act—Trampoline” came Section III of Pony Bareback Riding, and there I am, in black and white, with my age listed as 10. Next to my name, in my dad’s handwriting, is my score: “0.” I learned nothing from the experience. For several more years I kept getting on bareback horses that didn’t want me on them—through high school, amateur, college, and pro rodeos.
I am now of an age that my last rodeo, like my first, is so long ago that any memory of it has leaked out of my porous brain. There may be a connection.
P.S. My latest novel, All My Sins Remembered, is now available in hardcover from Amazon and other online booksellers. Your local bookstore can order it, and it should be in libraries soon.