Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rodeo Tough

For no good reason, a phrase from long ago drifted thru my mind the other morning. “Rodeo Tough”, it took me back about 40 years or so and I’ve seldom heard it since. Now days the catch phrase seems to be “cowboy up”. But, in my mind, they don’t equate.

From first hand experiences, “rodeo tough” is dislocating your riding shoulder on a head of rough stock Friday night, jamming it back in place behind the chutes, loading up, going on down the road, being up on another bull the next day and taking him to the buzzer. It’s going to the hospital to get a bone set and cast and then hurrying on to the next “show” ‘cause you’ve already paid your entry and you know you can still ride hurt. It’s a 135 lb. cowboy-clown-bullfighter putting himself between a bucked off cowboy and an 1800 lb. bull and taking a real beating because “that’s his job”; sacrificing himself to keep another cowboy safe. In short, it’s doing what has to be done, irregardless the cost, how broke up you are or how much the pain you’re in when the chute gate opens because that’s how you’ve learned to live your life. No-Matter-What!

Today’s rodeo cowboys still have a “get-r-done” attitude and do play hurt. They’ll “cowboy up” and give a better try than most because that’s their nature. But, rodeo’s changed over the years and today’s cowboys are athletes. They take care of their bodies and don’t seem as prone to take the extreme chances as their predecessors did before them. Probably, that’s a good thing because you don’t see as many hands ruined for life being that they’re too stupid to take any care of themselves and instead just tough it out. However, I miss the old time attitude. It strikes me as much the same thing that made our country great: “Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead!” Don’t hear that any longer, either.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The grey middle way

Spent yesterday out of town at a Diocesan meeting to "profile" our next Bishop Co-Adjutor (election presumed to be upcoming in May or June of next year). It was interesting in that I was seated at a table with 6 staunch conservatives. I guess they needed a designated moderate.

I was pleased in the way the profile workshop took place. Only uncomfortable times were:
1) When I was asked what I meant about a comment regarding the Via Media,
2) When I was asked what I thought a definition of traditional family values was.
In both cases my answers were something along the lines of: "I can't really define it/them but I know when I see it/them." Guess someone was trying to put me in a box but I've long ago given up being boxed in anywhere. When I was young I could see things as black or white; but eyesight seems to dim with age and all I seem to get now are varying shades of grey. Maybe I should have used that as a definition of the "middle way".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brazos Valley Boys

News from yesterday is that Country Music Legend Hank Thompson, a native Wacoan & graduate of Waco High School died at age 82 in Ft. Worth. Ironically his last performance was in Waco at the Heart of Texas Fair just this past month. I'm sorry now that I missed seeing him though they had him scheduled Monday at 5:30 pm. which is a rotten time for any performer. With work, I just didn't seem able to make it. That makes two of my favorite performers I missed seeing in person and won't have another chance to do so, Bob Wills being the first.

Hank is best known for his classic "Wild Side of Life". He never played Waco in those days, I'd been told it stemmed back to resentments he had from High School. His classmates supposedly made fun of his interest in country music and he couldn't put it behind him. Even in your teens you can be seriously injured by your peers.

Each time Bob played around here it seemed someone else special was performing too. Since The Playboys were more or less "local" and the others weren't, we felt like we'd catch them next time. Yeah, well next time finally turned into a stroke for Bob; so he and The Texas Playboys went down as an opportunity missed ... and regretted.

Every time I hear music by Hank or Bob or any other of the "Legends" of the era, I'm transported back to another time and place. It was classic Honky Tonkin' and we polished many a belt buckle to some great music. But, to quote Ray Price from a previous post: "Time takes no prisoners, and nothing but time marches on."

Y'all don't miss any opportunities, you never know what tomorrow may hold.