by Susan Kanode for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo FORT WORTH, Texas (January 30, 2016) — Other than a gold buckle […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Gordon grew up in Burlington, Wyo., between Cody and Greybull. “A little dirt farm,” said the 78-year-old who calls Torrington, Wyo., home. His family (three brothers and three sisters) had a farm where they raised hay, beans, cattle, sheep, and hogs. “We lived five miles from town and we didn’t have transportation like they have today. We rode horse back to town if we wanted to go.” At 16, he left home and headed to Cody for the Cody Nite Rodeo. “I rode broncs, bull dogged, and roped calves,” he said. “For entry fee money, I painted houses for $1 a day.” He went to the Pitchfork Ranch in Meeteetse and rode horses for Margo Woodhouse for a year and then he went to work for Bud Pilcher, and finally settled into the construction business building houses.
He met his wife (Mary Ann) at the Pitchfork Ranch. “She came over there because her sister lived there,” he said. They dated for six months and got married October 14, 1955. “We were both 19. I was a carpenter.” They both wanted the same thing – a ranch and a family – and they worked hard together to make it happen. The Army drafted Gordon in 1957. That put their dreams on hold. “I got paid $75 a month and had to quit my job.” He went to California for training and Alabama for chemical school, and ended up in North Carolina. “I rodeoed in Ft. Bragg,” he said. “The first indoor arena I’ve ever been in was in Greensboro, North Carolina. I talked the engineers in to building us an outdoor arena at Ft. Bragg to practice.”
Full story available in the June 15th edition.