Drugstore Cowboy part#5----1967
During the coming week I bought a new pair of Levis that were the proper length,got a friend from Oklahoma to shape my hat for me and cleaned my car--I was looking forward to going to this rodeo and feeling like I was a member of the community-----what's funny about all this is--that many years later in my 50's I would learn that a huge amount of my ancestry had come from Texas--they were early pioneers and ranchers--and town builders--I was trying to be something that was already in my blood--I just didn't know it.
The big day came and I drove to Skidmore--and this little rodeo arena was filling up fast--it was kind of exciting--I found a seat and started scanning the stands for my new friends--after a while I saw them and they waved---The announcer was talking about all the upcoming action---I inquired from someone near me about what the term jackpot meant--and basically --you pay an entry fee per event and ride--the livestock people use it as practice for their animals---and the cowboys to work out for the upcoming season.
I was settling in nicely--when I noticed my new friends collecting money from people in the stands--they were working their way towards me--I said hi guys--and they said " Rick how are ya, ready to see how real cowboys spend their time?" I said sure am---they said they were raising money for a friend in need would I like to contribute--I said sure and gave them a five.
The bareback bronc riding would be the first event--and as that gate sprang open these powerful mounts would jump and twist and do amazing gyrations to to throw their riders-often slamming them to the ground in a heap--this was not a sport for a candy ass--you had to be tough and strong---I was enjoying the action and respecting the world of the cowboy--when suddenly two guys behind me grabbed my shoulders and said "get up cowboy, it's your turn"--my turn for what was my reply--
You wanted to be a cowboy--now your gonna get your chance--these were my new friends-I guess I was gonna pay for that night in the Zeebra Lounge--I tried to move my feet South but my body was moving North toward the chutes--you have got to be kidding me--you said you liked to ride, we've paid your entry fee---One of them handed me a rawhide
glove and said put it on --the other was giving me the two minute course in bronc riding 101--saying a rope will go around the horse and you will slide your glove under it and get as tight a grip as you can--when the gate is opened -just hang on for dear life--and use your free arm for balance--
By now I was nearing the chute--and that horse was going crazy--slamming back and forth--trying to leap out of there--I said Oh No--there gonna kill me--some one gave me some of that sticky stuff--Rossin to put in the glove--about that time the announcer got into the action---oh brother---he said " Ladies and Gentleman--we have a real treat for yall today--riding his first bronc-- is a member of our Naval community at Chase Field--his name is Rick and he hails from Orlando Florida---he's been given the name of Rexall Rick the drugstore cowboy--and he'll be riding the horse known as killer--lets give him a big hand and wish him well--I got a push from behind as I climbed the fence to straddle the horse---forced my hand under the rope which was very tight--one of those fools poured beer in that horses ear---which really infuriated him--even more--my new friends said good luck cowboy and laughed---the gate swung open--and that's where my memory has a lapse---when I came to a millisecond later--I was being drug backward by my arms and my boots were making little grooves in the sand---I said what happened----they said that horse bucked once and you flew into the air-flipped --and landed on the top of your head--knocking you out--it have been the shortest ride of the day.
I sold my cowboy cloths to get a generator for my car--became friends with those guys and went out to their ranch house to eat and go hunting many times--They had some good looking girlfriends but ya wouldn't know it--cause they talked about their horses more than their ladies--but I wasn't gonna fall for that trap--I don't believe the end result would be that healthy. The Codge