Sunday, May 15, 2005

Broke nightly fast via mac & cheese, then walked three blocks to Killdeer arena for high school rodeo action. Gramps was there with some buddies. I withdrew to the west hill with a can of Red Bull and $2 burger, and squatted on the dirt to watch it alone. Rodeo is concentrated cowboy culture and it's been years since my last one. I've never liked seeing animals/people get hurt: necks snapped, legs broke, ribs cracked, etc.

As I studied the scene, though, I started to feel ashamed that I've ever called myself a "cowboy." I grew embarrassed thinking about the baggy Carhartts and Adidas sneakers I've often performed in. I consider myself a Neomodernist with anarchistic/hip-hop tendencies (how pretentious, right?), which oughta give me psychological leeway to wear what I want and be who I am. But for a couple hours on a hill, the feelings of fashion failure kicked dents in my chute.

But enough with that. I found Gramps who broke it down for me. He's a rodeo afficionado but never rodeoed himself because it's hard on family life and costs thousands and thousands of dollars. He was handy with a rope. His son Josh became a pro roper for awhile. His daughter, Christi, was involved with rodeo pageantry. My dad was more of a horseman, like Gramps. Grandpa said he might try to find me a lariat to practice doing tricks with.

Anyway, I drove Grandpa to the nursing home to find Farmor who was making the rounds. Alice and Orris Bang now stay there as does Dot Pelton. I was only going to stay for twenty minutes and then leave before the Sunday live entertainment started, but auspiciously the week's scheduled singer didn't show up, and so I offered to fill in. I did four cowboy poems and three songs: "Saddle Bum," "The Old Chisholm Trail," and "The Cowboy's Life is a Very Dreary Life." Grandpa sang "Frankie and Johnny." The nurses liked it and want me to be a regular! I'll bring a guitar next time.

P.S. Neomodernism = "the paradigm of free and undistorted communication leading to mutual understanding, coordination of actions, and consensual resolution of conflicts."

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