A Blog for the 1960's Classes of Morgan Park High School (EMPEHI) in Chicago
Jul 21, 2011
Tom Shildhouse MPHS Rodeo Cowboy
Went to rodeo school. Always been a dream of mine since early childhood. Never saw myself as popular or charismatic. Wanted to stand out and be something special. And in my mind, in those days, rodeo cowboys were special, still are.
Found a school in Prairie Du Chein, WI run by world champion cowboy Larry Mahan, paid my $200 bucks, got told by Larry after a few days, that I belonged here, the rest is history. When Larry told me that, my already inflated ego kinda made the decision for me. Never regretted my mis-spent youth or the occasional body ache that reminds me that I was, and still am, somebody special. Did things most folks are scared s***less to do and enjoyed it, survived it and was part of the sports community in a great way. Interviewed by WGN tv and written about in a magazine called Fans, local sports rag. I also have a well-deserved sense of immortality, motor bike crashes, diving mishaps, and a few other malady's couldn't kill me so I figured I was pretty immortal. Don't know how true that is but I am sticking to that approach to life, as it suits me perfectly.
Competed in the International Amphitheater Stockyards rodeo and several other big time events. Then I decided to do the Jimmy Buffett thing and go on to being the cowboy sailor. Now I sail, play tennis and wonder why the hell everyone else I know spends most of their time telling everybody else who will listen how sick, uncomfortable, in various forms and degrees of pain they are. As I said in the sail update, gosh I love my life.
I am looking forward now, finally getting PADI (scuba diving) certificate, which, although I have dived most of my life, never went through the process of certifying. Also, gonna do it a few years ago but the weather got crappy, next year I will learn to surf on Lake Michigan. My wife keeps trying to remind me of how old I am, I tell her that when I get, I will gladly pass from this mortal realm, but that won't ever happen 'cuz I ain't never gettin' old.
And, if I am lucky, I ain't ever gettin' bored, either.