Dust off your Roy Rogers, Injun Joe or Annie Oakley period clothes and head over to Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show January 30th and 31st of 2016 in downtown Historic Buckeye. I went to his last show at Historic Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Situated along the dirt paths and orchards of fruit trees were stages for shows like Pistol Packin’ Paula and Gary “Bad Dog” Bennett & Blue Eyes Jack.
As I walked past a brick fruit packing building built in the 1800’s I heard gun shots at the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, women and men were lined up to take a try at the targets set up. As fiddle and banjo played through the fruit trees a tall lanky figure riding a horse named Concho came clomping down the dusty trail before me. Lee Anderson is a favorite at Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show who looks like a cowboy from a bygone dude ranch wearing a vintage Stetson with two deep side dents. Lee is extremely photographic which is why he can always be found welcoming guests or taking in a show among the hundreds of spectators.
The pie eating and habanero eating contest were my favorite. Naturally not many people signed up for the habanero time slot. The cowboys, constables, sheriff, outlaws trying to keep order amid the chaos was worth watching. The stage was situated under these huge mature trees and in front of a historic house with a porch. I felt like I was witnessing a birthday party at Aunt Polly’s house from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Dr. Buck made sure each contestant ate the habanero whole and watched them place the tiny black curved stem on the table. As each crazed contestant chewed the nasty pepper and placed the stem on the table the crowd of hundreds were hushed and all you could hear was the rustling of the tree leaves in the wind. The first guy chewed and swallowed but his face got really red. Each contestant had to let out a huge Yeeehaw after the swallow. The second contestant gave a good Yeee but then the haw came out this pathetic scratchy shameless groan. The crowd went nuts with laughter. I couldn’t believe the power Dr. Buck had over this crowd with something you could pick up in the vegetable isle. He is super hands on with his production.