Roping had always held a fascination for him. Everywhere he went, he had a rope in his hands and was always throwing the rope at something. After a time, he wasn’t missing too many throws, whether it was at sagebrush, a post or a moving object, like a calf. Quite often, as a small child, he would get the lariat wrapped around his legs and trip himself, much to the amusement of his parents. But he soon learned to control the rope, and it didn’t end up on the ground very often.
Each year, the youngster and his dad entered the father-son team roping at the local rodeo, and while they didn’t win all the time, they generally placed in the money.
When he graduated from high school, he had a talk with his dad. “I think I want to leave an’ go out to Nevada or Montana or somewhere else,” he said.
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