You might think these are stupid questions but, I’m wondering if you have ever gotten a birthday present? Or a Christmas present? Well, I know some people who haven’t. But we’ll get back to that in a minute.
This is been a special week for me. As executive producer of a television show entitled “Special Cowboy Moments” that airs each Wednesday night on RFD-TV, I had the opportunity to spend last week at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyo., interviewing cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo legends. In case you’ve never been there, CFD is nothing short of a rodeo mecca.
Afterwards, Ken Howie, my videographer partner and our crew stayed behind to tape more colorful characters who live in the area. One of them was rodeo legend Bruce Ford in Kersey, Colo., who absolutely revolutionized how cowboys rode bareback broncs.
You see, before Bruce, everyone rode bareback broncs sitting straight up. He was the first cowboy to lay back, flop-around so to speak, and really expose himself; giving the horse more of an advantage and giving himself more points.
In the process he won five world championships, an Olympic medal, rode in rodeo for about 20 years and shook the hand of former President Ronald Reagan. He’s another American success story, and a precious legend that belongs to all of us.
Just so you know, when we interview someone, we don’t just try to get the facts. Instead, we try to ask questions that will enable us to jump inside them and see the world as they saw it when they were accomplishing these phenomenal feats.
We learn what they were feeling, what they were thinking, and what they were dealing with at that moment. And invariably we learn that, at some point in their life, no matter who they are, while they were in the process of climbing up the ladder, there was more than one moment when they could easily have thrown in the towel, when it looked like it was nothing short of a stupid idea to continue on.
But for some reason they did and thank God they did because what their lives then represent for the rest of us is hope.
I tell you this to give you an idea of just how special this past week was for me. But I want you to know that, this upcoming weekend is going to be even more special because this weekend we get to help some disadvantaged kids who’ve never gotten a birthday present or a Christmas present.
You see, I am on the committee for the Home on the Range Champions Match Ride Rodeo that is being held in Sentinel Butte at 1 p.m. MDT Saturday. It is a PRCA sanctioned event that will feature 32 of the top saddle-bronc riders in the world. That’s very special.
But what’s more special is that the event exists to raise funds for Home on the Range, a working ranch that gives kids, many of whom have never gotten a fair shake, some new hope.
I’m telling you this so that you can go there have a special moment too.