In my post of November 21, 2013, I mentioned how my parents had put me on a train bound for Denver when I was 10 years old. “Don’t get off ’til Denver” my father had said. And that was that. I was off to Skyline Ranch – a camp for boys in Estes Park. Once at camp – after the homesick tears ended – I settled in pretty well. Riding horses, hiking, swimming and shooting every day.
The big day came when we all participated in a junior rodeo in Estes Park. And I won. I still have the trophy. The events were pretty tame. Barrel races. Flat out races. And then there was the potato race. Each kid mounted his horse and got a spoon and potato. The potato went in the spoon. And you trotted toward the finish line. If the potato fell, you had to dismount, pick it up, put it on the spoon and get back in the saddle. I won the event. No one told me I couldn’t put my thumb on the potato to hold it in place.
Then there was the balloon pop. Every kid had a balloon tied to his saddle. And each got a sharpened 9 inch nail. When the starting gun went off, everyone flurried into the mix. Trying to pop the other kid’s balloon. Once popped, you had to move out. Well I figured I was toast if I got mixed up so I slung one leg over the saddle horn. And waited. When there were two boys left – going round and round stabbing and yelling – I said “giddup” and suddenly appeared. And I popped their balloons. I won that event too. I won’t tell you how I won the barrel race. . . . .
I’m told that these instincts probably have helped me as a lawyer.