The Last Days of a Rodeo Cowboy
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She tells how they met. "Mama decided she wanted a recipe from his mother. I never did ride-we didn't have saddle horses. But I came from Arkansas, and that means you'll try nearly anything! So I got on this old horse and rode over. Buck, he was kinda eyein' me up. He had a patch on his jeans and he was standin' out leanin' up against a post when I started to leave. He said, I'll trade britches with ya.' I thought he was real fresh. I just turned around and walked to get on my horse and the stirrup broke. He had to come out and fix it. I was easy embarrassed then."
They made a handsome couple, him with his lanky good looks and her a beauty in her high school graduation banquet dress. It was the heart of the Depression, and the dress was borrowed, but that didn't seem to bother anyone's pride. "Like my mother said, we never knew there was a depression, because we were in a depression all of our lives. Buck's was a poor family, but they did have a home of their own, a lot better off than most. My family was about the same way. We had none of the luxuries but all of the necessities! So we lived, well, about like we live now! Except we've got a few conveniences that weren't available then. Electricity. We only got electricity here in "42."
The Goodspeeds are lucky enough to still love deeply, each knowing and appreciating the other's worth. Decie felt for years that her husband and his brother deserved more recognition. She tirelessly lobbied the Cowboy Hall of Fame, writing down, documenting, and sending in her husband's stories and exploits. Finally, the coveted nomination came-tribute, in a way, to their enviable partnership."It is just kind of a life story of Buck and I. He had the ability and I kinda pushed. He is not really an ambitious person. He liked to do what he liked to do, but it wasn't for the glory. It was just for the money and the livelihood, and he did love the sport"
Her spunk is as legendary as the stories they both relish. "Yeah, Buck could tell tou about his stapdad's cattle drives. He went from Childress, Texas, to the Black Hills of South Dakota. He said they wore their clothes until they could get to town where they could buy a new outfit and just throw the old away. I've heard them say they slept out when it was stormin' in Kansas. They'd have their head on their saddle and the water would get up around their neck. He said he seen the lightin' play across them old steers' hornes. It was 'a little Western' out there."
Buck died shortly after our interview.
About Buck and Decie Goodspeed, Wetumka, Oklahoma
Writer; Bourge Hathaway
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