Wednesday, February 23, 2022

My first rodeo.

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.

 When circumstances require, I can honestly say (for what it’s worth), “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

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.


  1. I have to admit that being bucked off a horse or steer and "getting a mouthful of the stuff" hasn't sounded appealing at any age. :-)