June 9, 2013
My first rodeo was in Reno in 1973, and I loved it.
I held no brief for horses. I don’t care about cowboys, except in the Western-movie way. I can see myself as Paladin in “Have Gun, Will Travel,” or Everett Hitch in Robert B. Parker’s novel “Appaloosa,” a sidekick with a shotgun. But I enjoy beds, bathing and a diversity of menu. The romance of riding in the rain wears off, plus I’ve been chased by range cattle. The life of a cowboy: not for me.
Still, I admired the cutting horses and the athleticism of the bulldoggers. It was years before it occurred to me that if I wouldn’t enjoy being yanked down by a rope around my neck, maybe calves didn’t, either. It wasn’t a major cause; I just stopped going to rodeos.