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The Rest Of The Rodeo

My First Horse
October 17, 2022
Seein’ Gratitude
November 2, 2022

Paul Harvey is, sadly, gone now but who didn't enjoy - look forward to even - his behind-the-scenes, informative program we lovingly recall as, "The Rest of The Story"?  If I might be allowed a little confessed plagiarism, I've taken that theme to express my own heart about the parallel, more-subtle action integral to the All-American sport of rodeo. Though perhaps not quite so exhilarating as bucking and roping, those team members who ensure the smooth flow of rodeo events (not to mention the safety of the athletes) can be very entertaining in their own skilled way as they humbly and proficiently conduct their assignments throughout the rodeo day.

The Rest Of The Rodeo

At the end of the day the buckin' stock
Was turned out to pasture overnight
What a great outdoors day this had been
Notch one more 'ol rodeo lover's delight

We'd watched some mighty fine athletes today
Wowin' the crowd, two legged and four
Once, when both had whirled together just right,
We even witnessed a record-settin' score

Pro athletes always get paid win or lose
But rodeoin' ain't like other pro action
No Sir, you actually pay out of pocket to play
But cash only goes to the winnin' attraction

Yet there's more to rodeo for this fan
Than just buckin, ropin or bendin' barrels
Look, I appreciate the entire show
That includes those folks alongside the perils

See, for me, there's an attraction to rodeo
That's one notch below the contestants
Because I so admire the quiet competence
Of the unsung who facilitate rodeo events

I watch bullfighters and pick-up men
The judges, announcer and gate man
It takes all of them and more
To bring a cowboyin' show to a rodeo fan

I'm awed watchin' the daring bullfighters
Keepin' all the brave bull riders alive
They dance with danger time after time
Ensuring those Cowboys survive

Displaying daring agility and grace
They leap over bulls in a bound
Dodgin' and twistin' for distraction
Quick-steppin' pirouettes on the ground

I so admire the competent, modest skill
Of a pick-up man stayin' ahead by a jump
When he easily ropes a ton-sized bull
By both his head and his rump

He'll guide that snorty bull or bronc,
After providin' a cowboy a lift,
Right on outta' the arena gate
Then go invisible 'til his next shift

And what about the prudent judges
Analyzin' bulldoggers twistin' necks
Or keepin' a close eye on calf ropers
To see who takes home the checks

They'll allow a barrel to tip a bit
S'long's it don't fall to the ground
And score them saddle bronc boys after
Stayin' aboard til the eight second sound

Who doesn't treasure the skilled announcer
Tellin' us who's in which chute and all
Plus prayin' and honoring Old Glory
At the traditional grand entry call

The gate man never gets acknowledged
Although his job is an integral part
Cuz without his keen eye on the riders
Some events would never even start

It takes a lot of folks beyond
Those I've mentioned above
To gather a whole rodeo together
Pullin' off the sport I most love

So I bend my hat brim to those hands
All dedicated to their essential parts
They work intently makin' clean, family fun
For top-entertainin' all-American hearts

by Rik Goodell

© 2022. All rights reserved

I am grateful for the use of this painting by Rowdy Barry, fine artist, cowboy, rancher and a well known bullfighter himself. No copyright infringement intended. Permission pending.

 

See more of this artist's work at http://www.rowdy-barry.com/art.html


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