Behind the Chutes and Elsewhere
Former rodeo clowns, bullfighters and barrelmen arrived in Wyoming in July just in time for the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. July 11th through the 14th. They donned their famous make-up and clown attire to interact with fans, contestants and committee members. What a great time everyone had! The entire town made the Honorees feel welcome.
Their time during the day was spent visiting the Sheridan Senior Center, during the lunch hour, where the laugh-getters ate with 110 local people. Some even came in costumes and wigs. The Honorees had the entire room wearing red noses by the time the food was ready. After dinner a short âclown actâ was performed by John Stokes, Travis Gidley and Jess Franks. Gordie Peer quoted several poems and did some trick roping to the delight of the audience.
Next the group went to the Veteranâs Administration Hospital and visited with those working there, as well as the patients. A car-load then went to the Farmers Co-op in town where youngsters got to interact with a dozen funnymen while enjoying punch and cookies.
Every night the Honorees signed autographs prior to the rodeo and had numerous photos taken with fans. The Honorees performed three old-time rodeo clown acts to the delight of the spectators just before the rodeo began. They even had an exploding outhouse, and a car act that was used years ago. During the performance all Honorees were introduced and received a standing ovation.
The parade on Friday showed that everyone in Sheridan went âRodeo Clownâ. Floats, buggies, wagons, etc., were all decorated with rodeo clowns, including the local hair salon named âCurl Up & Dyeâ. The Honorees rode on a float with their familiar âouthouseâ covered with western cartoonists drawings, our barrel, and some even rode in buggies, wagons, and a restored 1934 Chevrolet pickup.
The Honorees were thrilled to see old friends and meet new ones. A family from Thailand, that had never been to a rodeo, tried to get tickets. When they found out the final night was sold out one of the Honorees scrambled around and found tickets for them.
The Sheridan WYO Rodeo truly has an outstanding rodeo, as agreed by the entire Reunion. After all, these senior laugh-getters and cowboy-savers have been to a few thousand rodeos during their careers. They begin, after the National Anthem, a prayer, and introductions, with four heats of five Indian relay race teams, from tribes in the north, such as Crow, Sioux, Shoshoni-Bannock, and Cheyenne. Each rider had to be in their typical native dress. The crowd found it very exciting to see these young bucks and their teams trying ride and hold these horses who are determined to run. A few wrecks happened, and occasionally a horse completed the race without his rider. These fellows are tough!
The rodeo committee was everywhere and didnât miss a thing. The Rodeo Clown Reunion can report if you are a true rodeo fan, donât miss Sheridan WYO Rodeo next July!