The Last Days of a Rodeo Cowboy

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Published! In JPG Magazine Issue 20
Uploaded 16 Oct 2008 — 63 favorites
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© Robert Clayton
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

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

42 responses

  • Jesse Nicole

    Jesse Nicole gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    beautiful... you should add to beloved theme!

  • Robert Armstrong

    Robert Armstrong (Deleted) gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    Love it! What a wonderful shot!

  • Teresa

    Teresa said (16 Oct 2008):

    This is a wonderful shot!

  • Spectre Photo

    Spectre Photo gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    This says everything. You have my vote.

  • Amber Gregory

    Amber Gregory gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    this is amazing

  • Richard Long

    Richard Long gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    great lighting.

  • Brandon Kalpin

    Brandon Kalpin gave props (16 Oct 2008):

    Amazing, amazing shot. Beautiful.

  • Rebecca Winters

    Rebecca Winters said (18 Oct 2008):

    intimate and tender moment-

  • Vicki Koch

    Vicki Koch said (18 Oct 2008):


  • Sara Elena

    Sara Elena gave props (19 Oct 2008):

    so sweet and nice!!!!

  • Alexis - Now on Flickr

    Alexis - Now on Flickr gave props (20 Oct 2008):

    Just superb. My enthusiastic vote

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (24 Oct 2008):

    Very touching. Got my vote.

  • Juan Carlos Rodriguez

    Juan Carlos Rodriguez said (25 Oct 2008):

    incredible beautiful. its lights. its contrasts. everything is very good here. you've got my vote.

  • Kristin Charles

    Kristin Charles gave props (26 Oct 2008):

    So beautiful and touching. Great composition and lighting.

  • nema' etebar

    nema' etebar said (28 Oct 2008):

    all around//great stuff..

  • nema' etebar

    nema' etebar said (30 Oct 2008):

    great mood..

  • Chelsea Rising

    Chelsea Rising   gave props (30 Oct 2008):

    Cute : ) Voted

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (30 Oct 2008):

    Superb shot, robert!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (1 Nov 2008):

    Oh yeah! It rocks!

  • Carlos Aviles

    Carlos Aviles (Deleted) gave props (2 Nov 2008):

    Very nice

  • Craig Fraizer

    Craig Fraizer gave props (3 Nov 2008):

    great work, voted

  • Nina Huettmann

    Nina Huettmann gave props (4 Nov 2008):

    great capture, my vote: yeah!

  • Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson (Deleted) gave props (13 Nov 2008):

    big time wow, great title!!!

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (21 Nov 2008):

    A loving portairt, great warmth and composition.............(voted)

  • Judy Wanamaker

    Judy Wanamaker (Deleted) gave props (23 Nov 2008):

    Very dramatic and eloquent. Touching and beautifully captured. Nice entry. Voting Yeah.

  • Claire Organ

    Claire Organ gave props (24 Nov 2008):

    So Beautiful

  • David Niles

    David Niles gave props (25 Nov 2008):

    Beautiful shot!

  • Billy Houckham

    Billy Houckham said (1 Dec 2008):


  • Oriel Banne

    Oriel Banne gave props (8 May 2009):

    story telling photography. beautiful

  • Paige

    Paige said (22 May 2009):

    The picture alone almost made me cry but then the story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and very touching picture with us.

  • Kristin Charles

    Kristin Charles gave props (28 Oct 2009):

    Congratulations on getting such a great photo published!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (29 Oct 2009):

    Congratulations on getting published. This is an incredible shot!!

  • Simon Sawyer

    Simon Sawyer gave props (13 Nov 2009):

    excellent work

  • Paul Soso

    Paul Soso (Deleted) gave props (3 Jan 2010):


  • Francis Marquez

    Francis Marquez said (14 Jan 2010):

    damn that's good

  • Buqing Fabien Xu

    Buqing Fabien Xu gave props (4 Mar 2010):

    Great picture, intense.

  • William Pierce

    William Pierce said (8 Mar 2010):

    There are times when we just don't need words and we let the picture do the talking

  • milan banik

    milan banik gave props (13 Mar 2010):

    geart story ad ph

  • Claire Crocker

    Claire Crocker gave props (22 Aug 2010):

    A beautiful photo and a moving story.

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (15 Feb 2011):

    Lovely photo and words. Wonderful.

  • Patrick Mitchel Haug

    Patrick Mitchel Haug said (21 May 2012):

    Wonderful and touching photo.

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