The sun snuck out in time to warm up cheering fans at Buckeye Days Bulls & Sheep event last Saturday January 21st. Cowboy gladiators smiled and high fived as the Honeycutt Rodeo Family assembled the fringed bull riders inside the Helzapoppin’ Arena located in Historic Downtown Buckeye, Arizona.
Buckeye Days Bulls & Sheep
Among the 23 riders were Jason Bigman from Campe Verde, Dawson Stutting from Buckeye, Nate Zamora, Carlos Ravago from Benson going on to Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Finals, Bucky Rump from Queen Creek, returning champion from Buckeye Days 2014 Nate Zamora, Eric and Brandon Cordova, Cody McCarroll Buckeye resident, Navajo Nation Brent Yellowhair, Bradford Spencer sporting pink chaps, Cameron Minter from Anchorage, Alaska, Jesse Flores riding a bull called “Lucky Charm”, Efren Gallego with his bull “Gale Force”, and Jose Mora wore cream chaps with turquoise accents. Mora was fired up as he shuffled through the chunky dirt to adjust everyone’s attitude with a smile.
Brent Yellowhair, Bullrider
Strapped to a slobbery wild beast named “Turd Hurdler” or “Snake Snot” and ejected from a chute most riders looked like death, others made it look easy like Jorge Quinonez from Bloomington, California. Quinonez seemed relaxed arm straight up and the other holding on for life. Bull and rider working as one. In the end, only 4 riders made 8 second cuts. Clint Holcomb came out on top with a 81 score. Holcomb went toe to toe with a 1750 pound bounty bull named “Smokin’ Hot” but didn’t last 8 seconds, so rodeo fan Melina Maple won $500 dollars from Buckeye Main Street Coalition.
Muttin’ Buster Isaac Escobedo
Mia Paco Littleton-Williams, Miss Rodeo Arizona Sweetheart 2017 ushered in the 7 and under club of Muttin’ Busters. Isaac Escobedo, 6 years old decked out in hat and chaps, captivated fans as he single handedly held on to the wool for 95 points. Jerry Honeycutt, owner of Honeycutt Rodeo remarked that if Escobedo returns as a bull rider in the future he will cover his entry fees!
Since the 1930s Hollywood stars like Gene Autry and William Boyd (Hop-a-Long Cassidy) has been making grand western appearances in Buckeye, Arizona. This year Hollywood star Don Collier will be Grand Marshal at the Buckeye Days Old West – Turn-of-the-Century Cattle Drive Parade January 28th at 9:30AM along Monroe Avenue 9th Street thru 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Buckeye, Arizona. Catch Don Collier signing autographs at Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show at the 6th Street Plaza just across the street from Buckeye City Hall. Collier, born October 17, 1928 is an actor known for television westerns during the 1960s. He played U.S. Marshal Will Foreman in the 1960-1962 NBC series Outlaws and Sam Butler in The High Chaparral. Collier has made more than seventy film and television appearances. He starred with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Anthony Quinn, Dean Martin, Tom Selleck, James Arness, and Elvis Presley.
A bull waited in a pen by the Buckeye Rotary Beer Saloon, a dog sat in the dusty shade under a table surrounded by rodeo fans having a few cold ones waiting for Buckeye Days Senior Pro Rodeo to start at 3PM last January 30th, 2016. What makes a crowd guess the weight of a bull? Some say if you ask enough people the same question, they might come up with better answers than even the butcher. Waiting for the winner to collect $500.00 winnings at Jones Ford on Yuma Road just South of Interstate 10, Ron Noble President of Buckeye Main Street Coalition reflected, “I think this is the most entries we’ve ever had. The crowds were great at the Helzapoppin’ Arena.” The closest guess without going over went to Roberto Sanchez from Goodyear, Arizona who just moved from Mexico 6 months ago. Sanchez said he went to the Senior Pro Rodeo because, “My wife heard about it from somewhere!”
As deep stretched shadows crept into the night and the last ferocious bull returned to the chute, Dan Fowley the announcer of the Buckeye Days Senior Pro Rodeo belted out in his animated throaty style that it’s time for steak dinner and auction! Stands were packed to the brim last Saturday January 30th at the Helzapoppin’ Arena on Miller Road in Downtown Historic Buckeye, Arizona which meant tons of hungry rodeo fans lining up for steak dinner at about 5 o’clock. Marlyn Gregerson a retired Arizona Machinery employee, Sam Rose and Jay Sylvester of Buckeye Valley Fire District cooked thick cut steaks supplied by Butcher and Farmer Market over open fire. This year like previous years the dinner and auction took place in the northwest corner edge of the Helzapoppin’ Arena, tables were arranged on a new concrete slab provided by the City of Buckeye. Displayed alongside the open air dining were about 130 auction items that rodeo fans could sum up while waiting for steaks to be grilled.
Auction Items at the Steak Dinner
Steak Dinner at Sunset Buckeye Days 2016
The Buckeye Days Auction is a fundraiser that benefits the Buckeye Rotary and Lions Clubs. Every dollar goes back to the community towards Buckeye Union High School District college scholarships. Items get donated by local businesses like Micaela Meraz who donated a piñata from the Carniceria Y Taqueria Durango.
Rachel Moses, hand-built bar for Auction
Micaela Meraz with her piñata for the Auction
Items such as artwork, collectibles, your brother’s bowie knife, power tools, tickets to local sporting events, gift baskets, and so much more were all donated. Buckeye Days Auction also showcases local talent like Rachel Moses who built a bar made from reclaimed wood crates, redwood and corrugated metal. If you want to be entertained, come to next year’s Buckeye Days Steak Dinner Auction and feel good about items you purchase to help our kids go to higher education and have fun while you’re doing it! By: Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition Like us on Facebook: Buckeye Main Street Coalition Follow us on Instagram: BUCKEYE_MAINSTREET
Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition It is always exciting times during Buckeye Days, January 23, 30th and 31st will be even more memorable with Bob Boze Bell, owner of True West Magazine coming to the Cattle Drive as the Grand Marshal. There are many ways to learn who this Arizona Kingman native is by reading his Raised on the Mother Road The 66 Kid: a scrapbook style autobiography which is an easy, hilarious read. BBB interjects stories of his childhood along the Mother Road with his amazing watercolors and ink sketches throughout the large print pages. Ever since he picked up his first Billy the Kid postcard during the one and only time his dad even stopped at a roadside museum trinket store BBB became one with Wild West Legends. You can find him as expert historical reference for the likes of Wyatt Earp on PBS specials, interviewed on the news or heard on the radio. Growing up in Kingman, he bought his first True West Magazine by saving up all his coins working at his Dad’s filling station. BBB fulfilled his dream by buying True West Magazine and now owns and operates the funniest, most insightful monthly publication of Western lengends. We are truly honored to have BBB come to Buckeye Days January 30th to continue the tradition of keeping the West Alive in Buckeye, Arizona!
True West Magazine
Here are some questions and answers for you, enjoy!Do you think people will still be writing or painting with their hands in the far flung future? Machines are going to usurp more and more things we do, including art representation, but I believe when it comes to creating art, human choices and the human touch will outlive me. After that, I don’t care. What is your advice for writers block? Write every day, without hope, without despair. If you don’t feel like writing, write that. What is your latest inspiration? I am on the trail of a Buffalo Bill wannabe who shot and killed Vincent van Gogh.
Raised on the Mother Road The 66 Kid, BBB
Do you believe factual historic answers are linked with intuition? I believe nothing changes more than the past. What went through your head after you bought True West magazine? What kind of a crazy idiot would attempt to save a pulp magazine that is going out of business? What is your big hairy, audacious goal for True West magazine? My staff needs a place to go every day where they can have fun, be creative and be respected for it. That is my job, to make sure they get all of that and get paid for their efforts, to boot. So far, so good. What differentiates True West magazine with other Western mags? Many of the magazines in our field, Wild West, Cowboys & Indians, American Cowboy and Western Horseman do a good job of portraying and servicing the world I love. The difference is, True West has a sense of humor that I don’t think you’ll find in those other magazines. Some see this as a flaw, but I blame it on my upbringing in Kingman. Do you believe ghost towns are haunted? No, I believe we chase ghosts, until the ghosts chase us. When I was growing up, I loved it when my parents took me to ghost towns, like Goldroad, Oatman, White Hills and Mineral Park. I used to fantasize about the lives the people in those towns led, what happened to them? Where did they go? Now, more than a half century later, I see the town I grew up in disappearing and turning into a ghost town. In the end we’re all ghosts to another generation.
Artwork by Bob Boze Bell
If you could chat with any historical figure who would it be? I have a bone to pick with Wyatt Earp. Who the hell fired first at the O.K. Corral fight? I doubt that I could penetrate his defenses, though. He was a cagey bastard, I’ll give him that. Do you ever go on long road trips? Nothing makes me happier than being on the road. My dad taught me that. The only difference between him and me is that I stop for everything, and he stopped for absolutely nothing except gas, food, oil and maybe, open wounds. Growing up in Kingman did you ever make it out to Buckeye, Arizona? We had several rivals in the Valley, especially Buckeye, Tolleson and Agua Fria. We hated Agua Fria the most because they beat the tar out of us every time we met. This was in the 1960s. Next we hated Tolleson and their crackerjack size gym and we once had to have a police escort out of town. Long story short: we were the hayseeds coming down to the sophisticated Valley and well, it was oil and water. Buckeye, on the other hand, had a better class of people, with the possible exception of the Holly family. Just kidding. Fritz Holly is a friend of mine, in spite of being from Buckeye. What’s your approach for a winning team? Funny what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit. Any one book you read more than once? The book that changed my life and altered the course of Western history is “The Saga of Billy the Kid” by Walter Noble Burns. My mother sent it to me for Christmas in 1989. It’s the inspiration for everything I’ve created since then, including owning True West magazine and the dozen books I’ve published on the Old West. I reread it every chance I get. The other book that thrills me is “Vanished Arizona” by Martha Summerhayes. A must read for anybody who lives in Arizona. If you had a blank check what would you do right now? Finance social security so me and all my geezer friends can still get our checks every month. What music score or song most sounds like the Wild West to you? “Jesus Just Left Chicago” by ZZ Top. Either that, or “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. I’m a rocker, although Country is catching up. Eric Church is my current fave artist who samples AC/DC and the Stones, among others. My fave being “How ’bout You?” which is an homage to small towns like Buckeye and Kingman.