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Oh sweet temptation. Last night the big choices were "should I eat the cake left over from the party or should I opt for the healthier yogurt which will in turn help restore balance to the ravages of my lower digestive tract left by the Keflex?" Hmmmm hard choice. After talking to a friend on the phone for 3 hours I decided to have my cake and eat it to so to speak. Had both cake and two containers of yogurt to counterbalance the cake. Plus I threw a Kosher Dill in there for good measure. Maybe I'm pregnant?

It's official, I'm now a redneck...as if there was a question in anyone's mind. Mine and Deb's favorite thing to watch on TV now is...are you ready for this?...Professional Bull Riding. Monday night at 1o on TNN right after that goofy ass wrasslin show Raw is War.

I've actually known a couple of professional bull riders over the years. My friend Dave Summers in GA was a bull rider for a long time before he married the chic who then left him for a lucrative career in nude lap dancing. Dave's a family man now and remarried with a wife and two girls and living a respectable life. You'd never guess he was once on the back of a ton and a half piece of angry beef and loving the hell out of it. Dave was really from San Antonio where a lot of good rodeo cowboys come from. I asked him why he got out of it. Not because of the big injuries really but he got tired of having his balls beat black and blue and swelled to twice their normal size every night. Sex is not fun when your balls are black and blue. Dave and I had a lot of fun getting to know Mr. Jack Daniels while sitting around a campfire up in the Rockies and reminiscing on all the good times.

Knew three other rodeo cowboys when I was working out Denver way back in 93 at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. We were putting PVC liners on big holes in the ground so they could convert them into toxic and radioactive waste ponds. What fun. We had to be tested for radiation each night after we got off work. If I wasn't sterile before then, I sure am now. Anyway, these three guys hired on. Stacy, Tracy and Juan. They'd all grown up together and now they were following the rodeo circuit together. They signed on with this job because they were bruised and broken and tapped out and needed to earn some bread to go on. Stacy had a broken nose he got when his head was going down and the bull's head was coming up and the two met about halfway. Tracy showed me where his upper right incisor had come all the way through his cheek when a bull had thrown him into a wall and broken his jaw a few months earlier up to Cheyenne. And Juan was just plain bruised and sporting a cracked rib from where he'd gone under the bull and gotten trampled down in Dalhart. They wore their injuries like badges of honor and their gold and silver belt buckles like trophies and I knew as soon as they healed and got a little scratch in their pockets they'd be back in the ring with the other big dogs. We hung out at the Grizzly Rose together for a few nights until I got tired of seeing them going home with all the good looking women and I struck out for Durango to hunt more work. Aside from all the injuries, that would be the life for me. Of course I do have the fireworks when I want some real excitement.

Speaking of fireworks. We've been asked to do a barge shoot next year. As far as shoots go, this is the most dangerous kind of shoot there is. A few folks died down around Alton, Illinois three years back on one of these shoots. Not much to explain, it is what it says it is. You set up racks of mortars on the decks of two floating barges. Then two people stay on each barge and fire the mortars electronically. In addition to fire helmets, full face shields and Nomex clothing you also have to wear life vests and cary Cylume glow sticks so if you get blown off the barge and die, the search party can easily locate the body. Biggest danger in this type of shoot is if something goes wrong, there is no where to go but down into the water. And the Big Muddy is not known for giving up her dead very easily. If you have to go in, you have to remember to jump far enough out so you don't get sucked back under the barge. Then if you manage not to drown and hopefully you are not in shock or burned beyond recognition, you gotta start yelling and waving your glow stick and hope that someone will come find you. Or make it to shore and try to figure out where the hell you are in the dark until a rescue party comes. Of course the better chance is that everything will go just as planned and you just clean up and go home afterward. The big thrill is we will be firing 10 and 12 inch shells that make the barge rock in the water each time they fire.

Two days of back breaking work and one night of firing everything and then cleanup all for $50 each. So what do you think our answer was? Hell YES!

Our next shoot is over Labor Day out at Colchester in conjunction with the Antique Gas Engine days where Deb and I will have our jewelry display set up and working. We spent Sunday and we'll spend all this weekend working on jewelry for that show. Hopefully we'll make some good money hopefully it won't be so damned hot a it was last year.

Well nothing else to say for now so I better dive into my work.




( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2001 10:41 am (UTC)
As a kid every time I took one of them stupid tests that tell ya what job you should have I wound up with Rodeo Clown. Ah well I guess it beats being a crash test dummy.


Aug. 22nd, 2001 10:47 am (UTC)
Re: Rodeos.
I actually got one that said I should be a bum one time.

So much for tests.

Aug. 22nd, 2001 01:56 pm (UTC)
Two days of back breaking work and one night of firing everything and then cleanup all for $50 each. So what do you think our answer was? Hell YES!

*chews on a piece of cheese and nods her head*

yep...I was right... you're fucking insane....

ah, but what fun....

I just want to know one thing -- it that $50 per person of your crew...that doesn't seem like much pay...

and for bull riding -- we are just as redneck as you -- Sam's been watching this stuff pretty heavily the last two weeks -- I'm not amazed, but not bored, by it either.... I'll have to tell Sam about the black and blue balls part -- he says they make it look too easy...
Aug. 23rd, 2001 07:10 am (UTC)
You should see what an old bull rider looks like. It's no wonder they retire when they are still in their 20's. It's definitiely a young man's sport. I know lots of REAL cowboys who spent time on the rodeo circuit in their youth. Around 40 they find it hard to stand up straight and thier joints creak and pop when they bend. And that's just if they managed to avoid getting trampled or gored. Lane Frost was in his early 20's when he got gored by a bull and died. Definitely not an easy sport. Plus if you don't place in say the top 10, you get no money at all. So you just spent two days getting beat up for free.

And yes, I am fairly insane I guess but it's a rush if you do it right. And yes the $50 is per person and no it's not a lot of money. But people do this for the fun and to put on a good show. The real money is in the sales end of it.


Aug. 22nd, 2001 10:47 pm (UTC)
Lemme know when you drift into Blue Ridge. I am from Boone, do you know King Street.or Stateline fireworks. On the other..hand.....I can relate to $50 pay, and those bullish rings. You are crazy.....I admire y0ou even more and more.I hope the day we meet you start seeing double....and Mr Daniels and his crew are far out sight out of mind....
Aug. 23rd, 2001 07:25 am (UTC)
Re: Dude
Ah so you're not a flatlander after all. Don't know those fireworks companies but then when I lived in NC, I always got my fireworks from TN. I didn't get into doing professional shows until about 6 years agoa when I was living here in Illinois. I'll let you know when I'll be in NC next. You want me seeing double eh?


Aug. 24th, 2001 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh for shame!
What? No cake for me?

Hey you, if you're pregnant can I be the baby's godmother? *grin* Just kidding. Just thought of posting a little hello here for you so...

little hello

...there you go. Give my regards to Deb. Take care and be safe. Have a nice weekend, sweetie.

Aug. 24th, 2001 07:10 am (UTC)
Re: Oh for shame!
You've been pretty quiet lately kid. Whas up?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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