Sing along with me "the boys are back in town, the boys are back in town" and you bet there are plenty of "buckle bunnies" (the rodeo equivalent of "snow bunnies") that are happy as happy can be about that. Some of those cowboys are pretty darn cute. Wait, before you remind me, I can't forget to mention that there are plenty of cowgirls competing these days. So, I'm not slighting anyone. It's true, in small town USA, nothing says summer and the 4th of July like a rodeo. And, living in this little community -- there are two rather large and well-known ones going on in neighboring communities, Mollala and St. Paul. I say "neighboring" but each is about 15 miles from town center in opposite directions. And since riders compete in events at both venues -- the sight of horse trailers being hauled back and forth on the road that runs between the two cities is a common one during the holiday weekend. The driver hauling this rig was kind enough to let me ease into the traffic -- maybe hanging out my Jeep window and snapping his pix with the mobile got his attention! That is a gift I learned from my brother -- do what it takes to get the shot. I just don't take it to the extremes that he does.
I honestly know very little about the rodeo other than it can be pretty tough and dangerous at times for rider, horse, bull or cow. My brother, who is a photographer (and a fabulous one at that), was the official photographer at several rodeos around the state. And, being one of those kind of guys who doesn't want to snap pix from the sidelines -- he would be in the arena so he was sure to capture the action up close and personal. Yeah, that's my brother...nuts; but boy does he enjoy life. After several years of running around the arena, one day he decided the job was best suited to a much younger person -- so he handed in this boots, so to speak. He still continues to capture the spirit of whatever he sees such as this working American cowboy and the wild mustangs below -- and his love of the skill shows in his work. It's just that these days, he's not diving behind barrels in an effort to not get kicked by an animal! Wisdom comes with age...isn't that the line? Anyhow, hope you are all having the happiest of holidays. What a joy to celebrate our good fortune to live in this great place....this country.