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Posted 12/16/14 (Tue)


Well, the WNFR wrapped up over the weekend. Ten days of the best cowboys and the best livestock in the world. And the highlight to many of us was watching that little cowgirl from North Dakota, whom we had watched through high school and beyond win a go-round in the barrel racing. Brittany (Fleck) Diaz made us proud! Congratulations.
This is a young lady I saw riding horse in Disrud’s arena in the winter, when many were bundled up in front of the TV. Riding a horse raised in North Dakota, bought for a few hundred dollars, and trained by herself, she earned the respect of the rodeo world.
I haven’t been to the finals for several years. I may go again someday, but every year it brings back great memories.
One of my favorite stories is the year Shirley and I went with Doug. Doug was one of the Bowman guys that bought tickets when the finals first moved to Vegas from Oklahoma City.
They had great seats for a number of years. Stock contractors Cervi and Vold were right in front of us. As we walked in with our beer and popcorn about a half hour before the grand entry, Doug pointed out a seat three or four rows above ours. An aisle seat.    
This is where Ben Johnson sits, Doug explained. “Every year I visit with him and get his autograph.”
I’m thinking to myself, “Yeah, right. Like you know one of the greatest actors of our time. Yeah, right.”
About 10 minutes later, Doug looked over his shoulder and saw Ben sit down.
“Well, there’s old Ben now,” he exclaimed!
We got up and went up the few steps to Ben Johnson.
I was embarrassed to be following Doug up the steps to bother an actor who was just waiting to enjoy the rodeo.
As we got near, Doug stuck out his hand and said, “Hello Ben!”
And Ben Johnson smiled from ear to ear and exclaimed back, “Hello Doug!”
And some day I will tell you about my pool match with world champion bronc rider Dan Mortenson.