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Left: Young cowboy Traegan Duvall, 6, and his dad Spud prepare for mutton busting at the Checotah rodeo. Photo by Charles Sasser


Right: Professional Rodeo cowboy Ty Cunningham rides tall at the 2014 National Indian Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Counningam


working with sheep, goats, hogs, chickens and oth- er livestock.


“One thing I know,” Jim Mayer says, “it’s get- ting harder to fi nd ranch hands.”


As the frontier ended, cowboy life became high- ly romanticized. Most people today know the working cowboy and his distinctive culture em- phasizing family, hard work and tradition through Wild West shows and movies. In 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring the fourth Saturday of each July as the National Day of the American Cowboy. “We are connected to the land,” Tyler Mayer emphasizes. “It doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the people who come after us.” At Pryor, Okla.’s, 77th annual rodeo in June, rodeo queen Haili Renner galloped her horse into the arena to post the colors. People in cowboy country still stand to attention to sing the National Anthem, pledge allegiance to the fl ag—leaving God in it—and bow their heads in prayer. While cowboys may be a dying breed, in


Oklahoma they are still riding tall in the Cowboy Way.


Cowboy Up!


Small towns and cities across Oklahoma celebrate “Pioneer” and “Old West” days each year. Here are a few of them:


Guymon, Okla., in the Panhandle


produces one of the state’s longest- running yearly rodeos.


The Ward Ranch near Wilburton,


Okla., hosts “What About Bob” chuck wagon races each summer.


Checotah, Okla., home of country music superstar Carrie Underwood, presents the world’s largest annual jackpot steer wrestling competition at the Duvall Arena.


Marlow, Okla., kicks off July 4 annually with an old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration.


Ardmore, Okla., presents the annual Gene Autry Open Rodeo in honor of the singing movie cowboy.


Mueller metal roofs always look at home on the range. They’re modern and innovative, yet provide an attractive, classic appearance. If you want lasting beauty and all-weather protection, there’s no better value in the country.


www.muellerinc.com 877-2-MUELLER (877-268-3553)


AUGUST 2016 9


MUELLER METAL ROOFS


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