His old roping partner called him up about three weeks ago ..
He was going to be back in town and thought it would be fun to enter.
The Cowboy didn’t want to do it. Doesn’t like the thought of ‘doing something half-assed,’ he always tells me. Or putting money up to rope when he hasn’t been working at it.
The Cowboy hasn’t been doing much rodeoing for a couple years now.. since the divorce and especially this past year. Many weekends are spent on the road between South Dakota and Wisconsin. To which I am grateful for, but I know they have put a serious dent in what used to be his lifestyle.
He told me about the call.
“C’mon,” I said. “It’ll be fun .. plus, I’ve seen you teach others how to do it, I’d love to go watch you actually rope. And I’ll be at the ranch that weekend.”
Reluctantly, I believe, he agreed to go.
We all piled into one of the Cowboy’s best buddies trucks just before noon Sunday, me, the Cowboy, Scuba Steve and his pregnant wife, and Little Brother Trucker ( .. his partner. They’re going to kill me for the names.) yesterday, horses in tow and headed for the Foothills Rodeo.
“You’re on the hot and dusty now,” said the Cowboy. Laughing.
It wasn’t long .. stories started flying about their history together. Their travels. Their friendships. And all the things they would do to one another while on the road. The Cowboy says these are among the best friends he has in the whole world. He’s spent a lot of time with them over the years and he laughs as he tells me, you really get to know someone after spending 48 hours together in the same vehicle, sleeping in same bed, living in 5×5 quarters. You have to learn a lot of coping skills on how to get along.
For them, and I would assume many others in their shoes, it’s meant a lot of pranks and joking around.
And it literally didn’t take long for the sh*t to start flying yesterday. We no more than parked on rodeo grounds. They get the horses out and the Cowboy goes back into the horse part of the trailer to take .. um, use the facilities. Just number one for the record. (If the horses can do it, why can’t they? Had never thought of that.) The trucker locks him in. Apparently this is a regular thing they do, or did in the past .. to each other.
The Cowboy says, “Remember what I did to your brother the last time he did that to me?”
“N …” says the Trucker.
But before he could even finish that one small word, a wad of horse sh*t schmucked his shoulder and face. We all bust out laughing and immediately starting wondering, worrying a bit actually what the Trucker would do now, to get him back.
Thankfully he had brought another shirt.
The rodeo came and went. None of them did as well as they had hoped. But where they may have taken it hard in the past, life has them all in some very different places now. And it seemed …
.. they were just happy to be back together.
Win or lose.
Even locked in with the horses again.
You would have thought the bathroom at the restaurant where we stopped for dinner on the way home would have been as easy to use as the back of the trailer .. but Scuba Steve’s pregnant wife, who was about fed up with the teasing, decided it was too easy two of them were standing in there bonding with the horses, again. She locked em in. Said to the rest of us, get in the truck. And away we drove ….
Looking forward to the next rodeo.