Team Roping and Memory Loss
- September 19, 2016
- Yvonne Hollenbeck
Although team roping is not exactly known as a popular spectator sport, the most positive statistic is that it is good for a concession stand. It has been found that more people visit the food booth at a rodeo while the team roping is on than during any other event. I don’t mean to sound demeaning of the sport as I know there are probably more cowboys involved in team roping than any other event, and it also involves both men and women of all ages, making it quite popular to many folks.
I have learned through hands-on research, however, that many team ropers find it difficult to coerce their better half into accompanying them to these ropings. It could be due to the fact that it can last for many hours and the roper tends to lose track of time or remember whether or not he was alone when he arrived or in the company of a spouse or other family members. Take for instance, a couple of friends who ranch in Mellette County, South Dakota.
It seems that several years had passed since the missus had accompanied her husband to one of his numerous team roping events. The reason for her lack of interest could have been due to the fact that she had three children under the age of five and was more comfortable spending lengthy days and nights at home. However, after much encouragement, she finally relented to packing lunch, diaper bag, extra clothing, and riding along to the roping in White River, which was only 16 miles from home.
Besides, it was a nice summer day, and after months cooped up, she was ready for a break. After arriving at the rodeo grounds, she had no problem finding an area to spread out blankets and a few toys and all in the shade of the bleachers. The little ones seemed to enjoy the picnic lunch she had brought along and all was going well, including the husband’s roping. Although there was not much of an audience, there were many contestants and she was beginning to think the initial round would never end. As luck would have it, her husband made the short round and by this time the shade was no longer available, the kids were tired, dirty and fussy, and she was beginning to question her own sanity for not staying home.
A few hours after the sun had gone down, the two older children were sound asleep. As she held the fussy baby in her arms, she saw her husband finally loosen the cinch on his horse and head for the trailer. Alas! He would soon help her transport the sleeping children to the pickup and they would head for home! She watched as he loaded his horse, but rather than come to her aid, he hopped into his pickup and out the gate he went, heading home without his family. Perhaps the heat of the afternoon sun, or the exhaustion from a long day in the arena, or the disappointment of losing his dally on that last run made him forget that he had not come alone that day. Fortunately, the committeeman turning the lights out lived just a few miles from her and offered her and the children a ride home.
As soon as hubby arrived home, turned old Dobbin out to pasture, and entered a dark and silent house, it dawned on him what he had done. As he hurried to his pickup to drive back into town to retrieve his family, he was met with the headlights of the kindly neighbor and his precious cargo.
Yes folks, this is a true story. It has been quite a few years since that fateful day. The husband still partakes in an occasional team roping, but as far as I know the missus has yet to accompany him.