The Old Cowboy had a little time to think just a bit more about the experiences Patty the kids and I had while living at Picket, Oklahoma. As I have alluded to through all of this we made a lot of friends. We all played together, cired together, and worshiped God and studied the Bible together. Our kids all played together. There were a lot of discussions about Bible lessons too. The elders and my preacher friend Tom Wacaster taught a special series of lessons from time to time. At the moment I don’t remember what the year was, but it wasn’t long after we had moved to Picket that the Southwest congregation played host to the Brecheen/Faulkner Marriage Enrichment Seminar. Now that was a good weekend, and being able to talk with Carl Brecheen and Paul Faulkner in person was a treat. I have many times thought if Patty and I had experienced another round of that seminar about thirty years later, maybe things would have turned out better.
To fill in a couple of blanks in what I have written thus far, and to help lay the groundwork for a couple of personal comments, I offer a comment about an uncomfortable subject. While growing up in Seminole, I grew up in a very racially prejudiced home. If you weren’t white, well you were talked about rather harshly by especially my father. He didn’t make any exceptions, simply put it didn’t much mater if you were African American, American Indian or even Jewish or anything else for that matter. I bring that up because the issue is going to rear it’s ugly head through out my life, right up to today. At home I learnd all of the ignorant words that a person could spew out of their mouth. There too was quite a contrast between home life and what I experienced at school. We kids pretty well didn’t care what color your hide happened to be, it was all in how you acted. Unless you got into one of the larger cities at that time, for the most part the white church congregations were white, and the black congregations where black, and for the various folks with an American Indian heritage they stayed in their own tribal groups or attended where they felt welcome. If you are getting the point, all of this included the Church of Christ.
Shortly after I got my announcers card for the International Rodeo Association, I figured out that I wasn’t going to make much money if all I did was announce rodeos for the Burk Rodeo Company. I then started calling all the other rodeo stock contractors around the state. It didn’t take long and I made friends with Elmer Anderson the owner of the Circle A Rodeo Company in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Elmer was a true to life Oklahoma black cowboy, a cowboy right to the bone and a very good businessman. I would learn a great deal about being a rodeo announcer from Elmer, and even more about people. You see, Elmer didn’t have time for and didn’t put up with racial attitudes on either side of the issue. He would give me little hints about how to approach certain cowboys, and I never heard about any problems. I do remember anouncing some great rodeos. Elmer is one of the real cowboys that I really miss sitting down with today.
I think the story about our time in Ada and Picket, Oklahome is about told at this point. I’ll likely drift back from time to time I expect, these were special days in my life. Next is going to be a move back home to Seminole, Oklahoma, then Atoka, Oklahoma and on to Omaha, Nebraska where this story gets real interesting.