Malcom Heathershaw will spend the next few months healing up from breaking both bones (ulna and radius) in his left arm. “I drew a pretty […]
Back When they Bucked with Earl Batteate
Written by: Maya< Back to Articles
story by Siri Stevens
Earl Batteate (Bud) was born Nov. 20, 1918. He grew up in Hayward, Calif. “I didn’t get to hear the news every night, nor were there the number of people and bad company around. It’s a lot different world. You could trust everybody then.”
He started riding calves at the age of 7. “They had them in the chutes, with guys holding them, there was an old saddle bronc rider that took me with him. All the kids rode with two hands, but I had to ride with one, and I got bucked off a lot, but I rode better.” Bud’s dad was a rancher and in the slaughter house business. He had two cattle ranches and hauled a lot of cattle. “He had 33 trucks back in the 1940s. I came from a working family that wasn’t afraid to work.” He had one brother, Al, who has passed away, and a sister, Wilma, who is still alive.
Bud left home in his late teens to rodeo. He had been going on the weekends with the cowboys at the ranch. He competed in bull riding, and bareback riding, and every bronc riding or any amateur bronc riding he could get in. He quit high school in his senior year and drove truck for his dad and got married when he was 18 to Patricia, who he met in school. She was six months older.
“I drove truck and got into the cattle business, my mother set me up with the bank so I could get some money and I bought cattle and got into the cattle business before I was 20. My dad had a ranch at Oakdale, so I bought the cows and calves and put them on the ranch.” He has three boys, Mike is the oldest now – close to 70. The oldest boy, Dan, passed away, Nick is close to 60. “All the kids were nine years apart, I guess I was gone a lot. In the fall of the year, I would get on the road and end up in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Canada and would be gone for two months that was the only time I was gone that long.” He remembers one of his big wins at Salinas and the belt buckle he won. “Someone offered me $400 and I didn’t even read what was on the buckle … I sold it to him. My dad got into town and wanted it, I’ll never forget the look on his face. His eyes got watery – I had sold the buckle to have more money to go up north – I already had enough money to go up north.”
Full story available in our September 1, 2015 issue.