The other day I wore these half boots that Kurt bought for me. My colleague and I were walking down some stairs and I was off balance and mentioned I was not used to wearing these boots. He looked at my feet and said, "Oh yeah, ropers heels."
Dang! Someone who knows about cowboys and rodeo! If you saw him you'd think: "LA hipster" but in that instant I remembered that he grew up in Calgary, home of one of the biggest rodeos in the world. I'm guessing he wasn't really involved with rodeo as a kid, but you can't live in a city like Calgary and not know about rodeo. That would be like living in LA and not knowing about Hollywood.
Of course there are plenty of times when I talk about rodeos and people would say "Wait, you grew up in Hawaii, how do you know about rodeo?!" Clearly all they imagine are beaches and hula girls. Well, that and Diamond Head. Hawaii is a big cattle state, having one of the biggest cattle ranches in the country. It's on the island called "The Big Island." Big being the operative word.
My dad had a career as a sportscaster in Hawaii. When they moved to the Big Island, he started to work with the cattle ranchers and became the announcer at all the rodeos they had in Waikoloa. (He also had a big hand in bringing polo back to the Big Island, but that's a different story.) As a kid I spent summers in Waikoloa and when there were rodeos at Waikoloa Stables Arena, I ran around with all the other kids, punching cattle through chutes, hoping to get ahold of one of the coveted cattle prods. How old were we? 8? 9? 10? We used cattle prods with no supervision (I don't remember any) but no one got hurt (other than the cattle).
Ropers heels. Good times.