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THE OLD COWBOY Part Twenty Six
"Even out on the range. In any contest between man an' beast I'd give some thought to handlin' them bulls. Ya know, bein' a bit more careful with the big fellas."
"Grandpa did you ride in the rodeo anymore after that?"
"No sir, not for quite a spell. I figured to much show. But as more and more spectators come to watch them dang fools, I got the fever and a chance to win that prize. So as it turns out I tried again and made 'All Around Cowboy' three years hand runnin'."
"Grandpa, what kind'a prize?"
"Grandboy, they'd give us a cash prize for winnin' the rodeo, and points for each one. They add all the points together at the end of the year to pick the 'All Around' an' award him with a large mostly gold, belt buckle."
"Grandpa, you still got those buckles, I'd sure like to see 'em?"
"No..., (he rubbed the stubble on his chin) I used to gamble and I lost one over the five of spades. Those last two wives took one each as part of the alimony settlement.
Grandboy, a good horse breakin' cowhand like myself would stop in at the local saloon for a cold beer now an' then. Some other drovers came in off the high dry and dusty, an' there ya go. One of 'em always had a deck of cards an' somebody was gon'na lose something.
The bartender kept the beer commin' 'cause that's how they make their money. The boys an' me must'a really loved the beer, most ev'ry Friday night would find me in the back room lookin' for 'aces an' kings'. Mostly I'd find 'deuces an' treys', an' leave the night with just enough cash to get me through to the next Friday night."
"Grandpa, what about Grandma? Did Grandma go to the saloon with you?"
"Whoa now boy. The women in those days went to church an' stayed home and read the 'Good Book', an' went to Friday night prayer vigils for us sinners.
After I lost that championship buckle I met..."
To Be Continued. . .
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