Gratitude For Life’s Influences

A sly grin and an ornery sparkle in his blue eyes.

“Oh, you got bucked off.”

“Doesn’t look like you got hurt.”

With the oldest-continuous rodeo in Kansas scheduled for its 75th anniversary this  week at Strong City, we can’t help but think about one of our most inspirational heroes.

E.C. Roberts, called Emmett by some, but always Mr. Roberts to us, was a true cowboy
from every aspect. Yet, above all, Mr. Roberts was a gentleman.

Still, nothing pleased him more than having one of his Roberts Rodeo Company broncs or bulls buck off another cowboy.

that inner-thrill, so to speak, extended beyond the arena. When anybody got
throwed, or even fell off, Mr. Roberts just couldn’t control the slight-smirk on
his lips. Nonetheless, there was always that notable concern about injury from
the spill.

Although three of his six children (Margie, Ken and Gerald) were world champion rodeo stars, Mr. Roberts never spouted those accomplishments. But, the times their bucking mounts were winners would decades later bring glitter to his recollection.

Old photographs show his personal-style on a bronc, and Mr. Roberts continued
leading the Flint Hills Rodeo parade on horseback long after most compadres were

Inappropriate to mention perhaps, but we remember when the black pickup horse Harry Vold loaned Mr. Roberts for the parade jumped a shallow-ditch, caught Mr. Roberts off-guard, and he tumbled to the ground.

Fortunately unhurt, Mr. Roberts got up, remounted and funned at himself just like he would have anybody else.

What little horse training claim we could have must be attributed to Mr. Roberts.
After hearing that we’d ridden colts for good-friend Rosie Clymer, Mr. Roberts
asked us to work a trader-horse he’d acquired.

The horse wasn’t an outlaw, but due to our inability, we did fall off once during a
training session. When we admitted that to Mr. Roberts, it obviously made his day.

Yet, Mr. Roberts had us ride many more horses for him, and recommended our training to his limitless horse acquaintances.

We are eternally grateful for Mr. Roberts’ important influence on our life. Not a
day goes by that we don’t think about him.

Reminds us of Psalm 112:9: “They will have influence and honor.” Thus, Acts 24:3: “We accept and acknowledge this with deep appreciation and with all gratitude.”