I'm on vacation in Colorado, currently in Bayfield in the high country, where it is threatening snow. I drove here yesterday from Denver through snow flurries along the front range and snow on the passes.
I am here visiting my 86 year old uncle, a hero of the Fast Carrier Strikes on Tokyo oh so many years ago. He's doing well enough. Today I'm driving to to Roswell, New Mexico with my cousin and his son to see two days of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Tour. Us two old guys will "see" it, the son, Jimmy Anderson, will "do" it, two days of bull riding, the longest eight seconds on earth, He's 111th on the circuit.
It's a tough business. Last night Jimmy was talking matter-of-factly about his injuries; three broken noses, a broken leg, a broken elbow, strains, sprains and numerous dislocations. He happily said, "At least I still have all my teeth."
When Jimmy's balky chronically dislocated left shoulder (a bull stepped on it. or rather, stomped on it), the free, swinging arm, finally wouldn't easily pop back in for him on its own accord ("the emergency room could barely get it back in, they had to use massive amounts of muscle relaxants and hang weights from the shoulder") he had it operated on. My injured left ankle, done in by ten hard miles of running on it at Army (although not swollen, it still pains me greatly and I can't run on it) pales in comparison.
Jimmy's left shoulder is fine now. and he's ready to climb back aboard a ton of bucking, spinning raging fury tonight. We can't wait to see what happens.
His mother isn't coming with us to watch because she's out of town helping out with caring for her daughter's new-born baby. The last time she watched Jimmy ride in person, he was knocked out cold upon being thrown off the bull. He lay motionless on the ground for many long moments before stirring. How would you like to be a parent whose child did this for a living?