This category contains 6 posts

First Ride at Kowbell Rodeo

One evening, while stocking the ketchup aisle at the local grocery store, the boys and I were talking about rodeos, a subject that had been on my mind for months. Earlier that year, in the locker room at school, I overheard some guys talking about a boy who had won a buckle riding a bull. … Continue reading

Sunday on the Rodeo Trail

My parents were gone to an out-of-town church meeting. I had been daydreaming most of the morning, cleaning my rodeo gear and listening to Chris Ledoux tapes. The more I listened to those songs about the hardships and the glamour of rodeo life, the more I wanted to be the person in the songs. Restless … Continue reading

Just Because You Ride Him Once Doesn’t Mean You’ll Ride Him Again

“What’s going on out there?” Debbie asked the chubby young boy who was buying a Snicker’s bar. Debbie worked in the concession stand at Kowbell on Friday nights. She was older, older than us anyway (30 at most), and kind of a motherly figure to all of the regular bull riders. “John Bird got thrown … Continue reading

How to Ride a Bull

You’ve showed up at the rodeo, paid your fees, and signed the waiver. Now what? First, you’ll need to know what bull you’ve drawn. Your “draw” is the bull you are going to climb on and try to ride. Before you get to the rodeo, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary … Continue reading

Kowbell Rodeo and Travis

The following is from my book, “Used to Want to Be a Cowboy.” Kowbell Rodeo was the only year-round, indoor rodeo in the state. Whether Christmas, Easter, or Super Bowl Sunday, the rodeo went on. By the time I was a senior in high school, I headed over from Joshua to ride bulls every time I … Continue reading

The Biting Bull

From my book, “Used to Want to Be a Cowboy.” I didn’t like going to the Mineral Wells bull-riding jackpot. The stock contractors were a rough group, bull riders from the ’60s and ’70s who had no sympathy for the “new” generation. One of them, I had heard, killed a man when he was younger, … Continue reading

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