“I’m Just Happy to Be Here”
My inside man, Thumper, who worked the left back behind the chute gate at Cheyenne Frontier Days said, “Be behind the chutes at 5.” I had been shooting the rodeo all day and the hot July sun had me exhausted. Truth be told, I needed a quick nap and a shower.
I didn’t have batteries for my Pentax camera. I did, indeed, have my notebook and tape recorder, though. So I hung out. Thumper said it would be worth my time.
Chris walked in and out of the tan dusty, empty chutes with the Japanese film crew, who were doing a documentary on him. The chutes were absent of the noise and the beautiful clutter and clang of spurs, boots, chaps, and the colorful cowboys. The clutter free chutes, absent of cowboys and animals, were enchanting. I got to tag along, thanks to my inside man, Thumper. I remember I was told to be absolutely quiet. Not a word from the rookie. So I kept real quiet and just watched Chris. The contrast of the Japanese short men and him, against the empty chutes, backdropped against a crisp July Wyoming sky was striking. Chris just had an ease to ease.
Chris got in the CFD pick up truck, after the film crew finished the segment. Some silver fox cowboy of a committee chairman was driving. Chris was in the passenger’s side, leaning out, smilin’, with his crisp clean white cotton country sleeve shirt on. The truck was about to zoom off.
It looked out of place, all big and red there parked dead square in the middle of the cowboy ready area — all cowboys cleared out — not a cowboy anywhere.
I skipped over there, as Thumper, gave me a clear Wyoming handlebar mustache look and said, “Now’s your chance, kid.”
So, I was nervous as all hell and grinning from ear to ear. I giggled out, looking into his Montana sky blue eyes, that glistened gorgeous, and said,
“Thoughts on being at the Daddy?” Holding out my handy-dandy tape recorder right up to his chin.
Wyoming cowboy and poet crooned out with that truer than true Wyoming glimmer, “Just happy to be here.” It was one of those moments you only hear in a country song. I was lucky enough to experience it with a legendary cowboy.
Please vote for my photo of Chris LeDoux: http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a0f9dff66f714fed1a26d107a29d7516/507 As promised, I sang for my supper (your vote). I hope you enjoyed the story and you enjoy the photo. I just love me some country.