Rodeo Limo

by Jean Wayt


One of my earliest memories took place somewhere in Idaho, I think, at a rodeo. It was in about 1936, making me about 4 years old. We were camped at the rodeo grounds in a tent, as were a bunch more contestants. A Father and Mother along with a little girl, their daughter, were walking around looking at the horses and visiting with people before the show started. During that time their little girl, who was about my age, and I got acquainted, and by the time they had left it seems as how I had been invited to a her birthday party the next day. They agreed that my Mom and Dad would bring me to their house and they would return me to the rodeo grounds after the party was over.

So the next day I got all dressed up in my finest and with a big pretty ribbon tied in my long curls bouncing down my back, off I went to the party. When Dad delivered me to the front door all I can remember is this great big red brick house! Now I know there must have been a lot of other kids there and many presents to open and games to play. There surely was the biggest birthday cake in town and 20 different flavors of ice cream and the works! But I couldn't remember a thing about it until it was time to return to the rodeo grounds.


Now we must have exchanged our good-by's and I was walked to the car, that was black and must have been a hundred feet long if it was five!! Their chauffeur, who was standing by the car with the back door open, looked to be ten feet tall and had on black leather boots that went to his knees with his pant legs tucked in. His uniform was topped off with one of the old time six-cornered hats with a bill on it just like policemen wore!


Somehow I must have crawled into the back seat and got curled into a ball about the size of a grapefruit. I can remember the ride to the rodeo grounds as I sat there looking at the chauffeur's back thinking, "This is a policeman and he's taking me to jail!" I sure do remember that!


By the time we got to the rodeo grounds I had worked my self into quite a state, I'm sure, and when the chauffeur opened the door to "release me", I hit the ground running and crying, leaving him standing there with this bewildered look on his face. The poor guy still is probably wondering what happened. Mom and Dad finally got me calmed down and explained away my fears. They probably asked all about the party and I probably told them everything, but I don't remember that either. But I do remember Shorty Ricker, who was one heck of a bulldogger, standing nearby doubled over pounding his legs just dying laughing. Matter of fact I have a picture of him and his wife Roxey taken at that very same rodeo.