I must brag about the Cowboy Channel gang. Jeff Meador is the best at helping the sport grow, and he knows what the public wants and how to put it across. Janie Johnson, one of the interviewers of the cowboys and cowgirls, plus holding Tailgate Parties at the various Rodeos has been a pleasure to watch. This young lady grew up in a great rodeo family who supports her and everything rodeo. She knows just the right questions to ask, and knows much about the competitors background, as well. Amy Wilson, the former Miss Rodeo America, is also a great interviewer and her smile will make anyone smile back at her. She is a real western fashionista and I enjoy seeing what she wears at every interview. The fellows on board, are the best! Justin McKee has just the right amount of western charm and knowledge about rodeo and how he expresses himself it appreciated. I can’t say enough about Steve Kenyon he too knows so much about rodeo. Patrick Gottsch, owner of the Cowboy Channel, and family are truly tuned in to the rodeo world and what the audience wants.
Steve Kenyon was the announcer at the Douglas County Rodeo, at Castle Rock, Colorado. The Rodeo Clown Reunion was held there in early August for two days this summer. He spent so much time with the retired rodeo clowns attending the Reunion. At the night performance on Friday, when the amazing six horse hitch came in to the arena carrying some of the retired rodeo clowns that had worked Douglas County in years past, plus the seniors of the Reunion, while the rest of the Reunion honorees all stood in the walkway of the bleachers as they were introduced. THE AUDIENCE GAVE THEM A STANDING OVATION! How great was that! Thanks Steve.
The first day of the Reunion was spent at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. We began with a program for the public. We had the head honcho of Visit Colorado Springs, become a rodeo clown by putting on the makeup and donning the baggy britches and goofy headgear. Each honoree introduced themselves and told about their rodeo career. They also did acts, signed autograph sheets, and kibitzed with the visitors to the Hall. After lunch, with food trucks in the garden, they did more acts in the arena and more Question and Answer sessions. There were 43 attendees and the oldest was Gordie Peer, age 91, and Dixie Reger Mosley, age of 90. The youngest was in his early 30s, Jay Brainard, who has retired due to an injury. I do believe we can call the 2021 Reunion another success.
I spent a lot of the year at home in front of the computer, working on articles, my present project – the early day rodeos at Madison Square Garden, 1922 to 1959, and so much more. But life is going to get busier the rest of the year. I will be attending the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth at their Induction on the 26th of October at Dickie Arena.
The Rodeo Historical Society Hall of Fame induction will be held on November 12 and 13, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. I will be video interviewing the inductees during the weekend for the Oral History Program, which is always so much fun to get to personally visit with them and learn first-hand about their rodeo history. These interviews are housed in the Dickinson Research Center at the Museum, and are available for researchers, writers, families and such, to learn about early day rodeo and those that competed and performed in it. There will be a Rope ‘N’ Ride Cocktail Reception on Friday, at 4 PM. At 11am Saturday a Rodeo Hall of Fame Panel Discussion will be held and is free to the public with Museum admission, followed by the Rodeo Historical Society annual membership meeting. Saturday evening at 5:00 the Champions’ Dinner, Hall of Fame Inductions and Benefit Auction will be held. Tickets are required for the evening events. For reservations for evening events visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/rodeoweekend or phone 405-478-2250.
My next adventure will be hopping on a plane and going to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for 10 days. I meet and visit with so many rodeo people from across the nation during that time. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame sponsors the Gold Card Room and I get to spend a couple of hours there each afternoon hostessing and catching up with Gold Card Members of PRCA and their spouses and what they have been doing the past year.
The world of Rodeo is unique in so many ways. It is totally “Americana." It has grown from a grass-roots ranching competition of the west to spread across this nation. It includes those raised on ranches and farms but also competitors from the major cities of the country. It is one of the most wholesome sporting events a family could be involved in from the littlest buckaroo riding a wooly sheep in the mutton-bustin’ event to the tough guys that ride the dangerous bucking bulls or using their well-trained horses to rope calves and steers. I am very proud to say this event is one of the most patriotic among all the sports that this great country has to offer. Try it! You’ll like it!