I found the following in an old magazine, as an advertisement for Levi Strauss & Company, by Lynn Downey, the Levi Strauss Historian. Around the pictures of three styles of Levi jeans were these facts: 1. It takes approximately 213 yards of thread to make a pair of jeans. 2. Many of the extras in silent movie cowboy films of the 1910s wore their own jeans while shooting, as they had been real working cowboys and wore denim as a matter of course. 3. The blue jean was invented in 1873 by Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis. They were the first to put rivets in men’s denim work pants, and patented this process on May 20, 1873. 4. The word denim comes from the French “serge de Nimes,” referring to a fabric that originated in Nimes, France. 5. The first printed use of the word “denim” in England was in 1695. 6. The first printed use of the word “denim” in America was in 1964. 7. In 1789, George Washington toured a fabric mill in Beverly, Massachusetts, where he saw denim being woven. 8. In the Fall 1964 issue of the magazine American Fabrics declared: “Throughout the industrialized world denim has become a symbol of the young, active, informal, American way of life.”
In a June 15, 1958 Rodeo Sports News an article on “How to Upset a Rodeo Secretary”. It was written back in the day that the contestants had to pay their entry fee to the secretary and after each go-round they would go check the board, by the desk or where ever the secretary performed her job. They also were paid by the secretary after the rodeo was over. There was much interaction between the contestants and the secretary.
One unknown secretary responded to the Rodeo Information Commission by saying, “Honestly, have you ever seen a job that is so completely thankless as the job of secretarying?” There are times when I feel like judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. The boys come in and look at the books after a go-round is finished and glare at me if they didn’t win and growl, ‘What kind of a judge are you hiring?’ It doesn’t do a bit of good to say I didn’t hire him. Then another comes in shouting, ‘Who in the h_ _ _ _ cut those steers. Did you tell them to cut out No. 77? He’s the best steer in there.’ The next one comes in screaming: ‘That dirty so-and-so told me to take a long rein on that horse. You knew better than that, why didn’t you tell me?’ Then someone is sure I must have set that other guy up, he just couldn’t have accidentally drawn up so good. Then there are the ones who do accidentally draw up the way they want. They come around smirking smugly and say, ‘You’re a pretty good kid,’ and think their manly charms have bowled me over and that I really did fix it up for them.”
She went on complaining with another paragraph full of problems and finished with –
“When the rodeo was over, one man, Buddy Groff, made a special trip to the office to thank me sincerely for all my trouble. And he had caused me no trouble at all! Believe it or not, that was the only time anyone ever thanked me. If Buddy Groff ever wants to run for president of the United States, I will drop everything and go campaigning for him!” End of article.
Well, those days are long past so I am told. The secretaries have little contact with the contestants any more since so much entering and payoffs are computerized. They enter by computer, they can find results on social media, their winnings are sent to them. But secretaries are still very important to a rodeo and their responsibilities are vast. I was also told by a long time secretary that one thing in that article was still true. “We very seldom get thanked for the job we do.”
I’m sure some of you heard that Jackie Crawford, the new World Champion Breakaway Roper, at the PRCA National Finals Rodeo in December, 2021, made one head catch that was illegal, but the judges didn’t catch it and gave her a score. Jackie went to the judges and told them what she had done that they did not see, and then she got a ‘No score’ on that run. Even with that happening she still won the title.
Fifty years before in 1970, a similar situation happened to Loretta Manual Schuler, a World Champion Barrel Racer, (1963 & 1967). Loretta was using Martha Tompkins Jordan’s, 4 year old barrel racing horse, ‘Cowhand Breeze’. As they started their run for the fourth go-round the horse raced around the first barrel just fine but ducked just before the second barrel and went straight for the last barrel. The judges did not see the mistake and gave her a time. Loretta went to the judges and admitted she had not run the barrel pattern properly. The judges then gave her a ‘No time’.
Loretta split the first round with Anita Kilgore, then won rounds 5, 7, 8 and 10 with a 4th in rounds 2 and 6, and a 2nd in round 9. This cost Loretta winning the average, for that year, but those things happen. When talking with a good friend of Loretta’s, Judie Fields said “Well Loretta has always been as honest as the day is long. I’m not surprised.”
Judges are human, they occasionally miss an infraction or error that happens, but generally it is not brought to their attention by the erring contestant. No doubt, the contestant considers it a lucky break. However, once in a while, you have that person that believes admitting they made an error, even if it isn’t caught by the judges, is more important to them than winning.
Until next time . . . . . . . . .