English 3

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling, Rawhide!

I could feel disapproving eyes of a locale regular behind me as I stood in the ticket line in Durango, Colorado. “This sort of thing isn’t for you, bucko,” a man I was intimidated by due to the fact of his large size1 declared, he calls2 attention to my footwear. “This guy’s wearing sneakers! To a rodeo! Better get him tickets in the ‘foreigners section’!” [3]

While4 most people only see the rodeo in the movies, the experience of seeing it live is really beyond compare. Each night, even at the same location, being5 a different order of events, duration of the evening, and success-level from the cowboys. Regardless, the spectacle, fortunately for rodeo-goers,6 is always something special. Rodeos in the area where I spent my vacation almost always receive top marks from the Rodeo Panel, an objective group of experts who review rodeos the way Zagat reviews restaurants. The Rodeo Panel’s reviews can be read in online bulletins and in local newspapers.7 For example, the review of Frog’s Ranch, a brand new arena, was legendarily scathing, it’s8 too small to be taken seriously and too smelly to have anyone want to come back. A ranch’s owner will often send a retort to a newspaper offended by a bad review.9 Then there’s10 the inevitable bribe attempt, which will categorically fail to the equitable-minded members of the Rodeo Panel. The irreparable damage has been done.

I was not accustomed to such forwardness from a stranger, but it was soon, little time had passed,11 I realized the whole thing was an elaborate joke. Soon they were putting their arms around me, teaching me how to holler properly, and offering to buy me hot dogs. Those hot dogs were the perfect cap to a great evening, some of the most delicious that had I ever eaten spent with great new friends.12

Rodeo really is a way of life out there. It is a social scene, much like going to the mall was where I grew up. Even the elders of a community enjoy13 the evening in the fresh air with several thousand revelers screaming at the tops of their lungs. I hope to make it back to one of those events some day, but one was still14 the tiniest bit wary. I have to make sure to bring the proper cowboy boots next time. [15]