Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Have a New Boyfriend

He’s 81-years-old and his name is Skeet.

He guards the entry to the chutes – and he’s about the only “bouncer” I haven’t wanted to ruin.

Our relationship goes back a week, which doesn’t seem long in real-time, but in Frontier Days-time it seems like forever.

It all started on the first day of the rodeo when the camera crew and I were headed to the chutes. The crew I’m with is a family operation and they had with them a family friend from England who was visiting. She was not dressed in cowboy attire.

We tried to get down the entryway when two old cowboys jumped up and stopped us.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! She can’t go down there lookin’ like that!” one of them said, singling poor Harriet out.

We were running a little behind for getting set up and just didn’t remember someone was with us who wasn’t dressed according to CFD rules. Oops.

I ran Harriet up to the Press Deck where she could hang out in her summer skirt, sleeveless top and sandals with no worries.

When I came back one of the cowboys stood up and came toward me. I told him how sorry we were and how we did indeed know the rules then apologized again. He patted me on my arms, smiled and said it was alright.

Every day the same old cowboy greets me with a big smile and a, “Howdy!” as I go in and out of the chutes. It wasn’t until yesterday, however, that either one of us made a significant move.

I was drenched from the downpour we had just weathered in the arena and hungry. I got a soft pretzel from the concession stand and was about to sit at a picnic table when I heard, “Hey! You gonna give me a bite of that?” It was my old cowboy.

I sat down next to him and said, sure. We ended up talking all through barrel racing and most of the last bull riding event.

I found out he’s been volunteering on the Contestant Committee for over 40 years. He’s a retired elementary school principal, also after about 40 years, and knows just about everyone and everything about CFD.

He told me he’s made more work for himself at CFD since he’s started hosting a Bloody Mary morning at the Contestant Committee’s house.

To which I said since I shared my pretzel with him he’s going to have to share a Bloody Mary with me, which is just what he did after the rodeo yesterday.

He walked me over to the Contestant Committee house, introduced me to everyone as his new girlfriend, even though he’s still married to his wife of 60 years, and whipped me up a nice Bloody Mary that we sat out on the porch and enjoyed.

Skeet’s one of those spry old men who still has a firm handshake, a jaunty walk, and a light in his bright blue eyes. And he can talk smack with the best of them! As he was introducing me and getting razzed for the new girl on his arm, he threw it right back at them. That’s my boyfriend for ya’.

And afterwards, as a proper boyfriend should, he walked me “home” to the PR house.

True love.

1 comment:

artemisia said...

You have a knack for finding these wonderful people.

Also, isn't it just exhilarating and hopeful to know there are people out there like that? that YOU are one of those wonderful people? No, really.