My husband was a professional calf roper for around 20 years. While he was pounding the rodeo trail across the American mid-west during the eighties I was braiding My Little Ponies tail and pretending to be John Wayne. In the early nineties he was winning belt buckles, saddles and cash whilst I was lip-syncing to Garth Brooks and playing horrid ice-breaker games at 4-H camp. Then I finally grew up (kinda) we met and Ta Da! Martial Bliss. A little proof……
A few more…..
While he hung up his rodeo hat about 12 years ago that hasn’t stopped his son, Gus, from being totally afflicted. Gus is a funny creature. He came into my life a really cute, fat, fuzzy-headed 7-year-old. His dark complication, black hair and almost black eyes led many people to ask me, whispering in my ear so’s not to offend, “Hey, did y’all adopt a Mexican?” At which point I’d always burst out laughing and shake my head to the contrary.
I’m sure there is some great parallel here that could be explored by minds greater than my own but we’ll just leave it there.
Let’s simply state the fact. Gus wants to rope. And that’s it. He talks about roping constantly. You can be having a conversation about the Middle Eastern crisis, what color Gerber daisy looks best on canvas, how much organic milk costs and all Gus would have to say would be something along the lines of “I saw this match roping the other day….” He will say he’s going to watch tv, he’s watching roping. He will talk on the phone but only about roping. He will say he’s going hunting, 20 minutes later, he’s roping. He will say he’s cleaning his room….nope. He’s roping. He has been like this forever. His father, though similarly afflicted, does has other interests. Not our Gus. If it doesn’t have hair, horns, hooves and a timer involved you can forget it. And the scary thing is, he isn’t half bad. In fact, he is pretty good. It has taken hours upon hours of practice, several horses, miles of travel and let’s not even think about the money. But it is finally starting to pay off.
He went to his first real, live, gotta-pay-to-play roping last month. He had 4 steers, caught 2 then the heelers missed but such is life.
One thing I have learned about roping. You must bring snacks, chairs, beverages, books, games, blankets, a camera, tissue paper, hand sanitizer, fans, raincoats and the kitchen sink.
And while Gus has yet to win his first buckle you can bet on one thing, the world will know when he does!
And then we are all doomed.