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Big Al's View Of The World


If a person is lucky enough to live a full life they will come to realize that while they lived there came to an end many eras. Imagine how sad the cowboys were when automobiles made horses obsolete. Imagine the joy of housewives everywhere when the electric washing machine was invented, thus bringing to and end the era of washing by hand. I can remember as a child we had a clothes line in the back yard for drying clothes. You don’t see many of those these days. Another era gone by the way.

Many rodeo cowboys talk about the good ol’ days. They remember
stopping at pay phones and calling in to rodeo secretaries. That era came to an end with cell phones and central entry systems. Now instead of hitting your head on the glass of the phone booth when the line is busy you can practice your clay target shooting with your phone after trying to get thru for the past hour.

Rodeo is full or eras. There was the Roy Cooper era. The Joe Beaver era. The Fred & Cody era. The Ty Murray era and now the Trevor Brazile era. These periods of time are etched in our memories like flash cards from the third grade. And like all eras of time they usually all have to come to an end and it is with that thought that I look back onto one of my favorite eras in time, the 2 for 99 cent Tacos from Jack in the Box.

Yes, the other day I went to town and as I spoke those same words I had spoken since a freshman at Sam Houston, “give me two orders of the 2 for 99 tacos and a medium Dr. Pepper” my life was suddenly flashing before me. No more had I gotten the words out of my mouth than the little high school girl working the drive thru commenced to lecture me on the fact that they were no longer 99 cents, but yet $1.29 now.

Was all of this because of the closure of L&H Packing in San Antone? Was the fact that the border was constantly in turmoil and corriente roping steers could not freely be crossed? Was the fact that the drought a few years back led to the dispersal of all of the skinny junky cows and now only good fat cows are left? Was there a shortage of “mystery meat”? Was this a conspiracy led by some new world order?

What are college kids supposed to do now? I have cleaned out my ash tray many a time and came up with just enough for two tacos. The extra 30 cents is going to mean I’ll have to look under the seat for more loose change. It also means now I’ll have to decide whether or not I can go to Whataburger for breakfast. To be able to afford both in the same day is going to be harder now. Digging for change in your ash tray has and will continue to be a right of passage for college kids from all areas of the country. 99 cent tacos have filled my empty belly more than once. As they say, life is harder these days and this is just another example of how it’s getting harder daily.

Another era gone by the wayside is the elderly Hispanic lady selling tamales on the side of the road. Well, the lady is still there only she is not selling tamales from an old Igloo cooler anymore. Now she is selling them from a Yeti. Do tamales sold from a Yeti taste any better than the ones from an old Igloo. I doubt it. I think and old Igloo is like an old cast iron skillet used for years and years. It just has more character. It’s full of flavor from years of deer meat, red-fish, shrimp, hot beer and cold Dr. Pepper. How can a Yeti ever have the same flavor as an old Igloo. It might hold the cold longer but it’ll never have the history or the stories of the old coolers. With an old Igloo no one cares what happens to them. The careless use adds to the story. The scrapes and scratches give the deer blood somewhere to grab a hold of. A Yeti cost too much to abuse. It will never have the flavor.
Tamales are meant to be sold from an old Igloo and tacos from Jack in the Box should always be 99 cents. The Thomas and Mack will always be the house that Joe built, Fred remodeled and Cody had the party when the parents left town. Knowing your rodeo secretary and asking for a favor when you entered. Wranglers from an outside clothes line.

It might be the end of an era but to us old timers those eras are etched in our heads like the 5x5=25 flash card.

Digging for pennies,

Big Al



February 2016 Cowboy Sports News Magazine

About Cowboy Sports News Rodeo Magazine (click on image for current Cowboy Sports NewsRodeo Magazine)

The Cowboy Sports News was started in August of 1990.  From humble beginnings with a 16 page paper thrown together in a week to over 80 pages and an average press run of 15,000 papers on a monthly basis, we have come "a long ways". We are mainly distributed in Texas and the surrounding states, but with this website our readership extends worldwide. We are the only rodeo magazine with a "free" page by page full on-line edition for the entire world to see at the touch of a button.

We pride ourselves as being the #1 read paper in Texas and the surrounding regions pertaining to rodeos and associated events. In rodeo circles we are commonly referred to as "the bible" of rodeo. We are the "official publication" of the United Pro Rodeo Association (UPRA), the Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA), the(CRRA), the American Cowboys Rodeo Association (ACRA) and the Louisiana Rodeo Cowboys 0213bAssociation (LRCA). With the membership base of these associations you can rest assured that your message will be heard in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and parts of Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi.

We are the only regional rodeo publication with advertising and readers from every facet of rodeo. Amateur, Youth, College, Professional rodeo and event specific associations can be found in our pages each month.

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