P. O. Box 575  • Sealy, Texas •  979-877-4822  •  alan@cowboysportsnews.com

Big Al's View Of The World


Like most old people do (I’m 50 so I guess that is old), sometimes I catch myself thinking about the past and often times that means some of the people that I’ve crossed paths with over the years. I’m actually a pretty sentimental person in reality. Not everyone I’ve crossed paths with is gone. Some are still around and still making an impact on people daily

Smokey Davis passed away this past month. Smokey was one of those characters from the past that they broke the mold on when they made him. Smokey and I crossed paths when we first started this magazine. Rafter D Rodeo Company was a regular advertiser in the early days. So much so that when I got married I called Mrs. Betty and asked to put one of my groomsmen in the slack at Rosenberg so he could be in my wedding on Saturday night. Try that today.

Later on when I thought I wanted to get in the tripping steer business I went and bought Smokey’s old bull wagon and truck. Everyone about laughed me out of town when I bought it but Smokey let me pay it out and that was good enough for me. There was only one name for the rig, Ol’ Smokey. We still refer to it by that name. Another guy in town has it now and when we see it we say there’s Ol’ Smokey! That truck never left me on the side of the road broke down. I did run out of fuel one time in the middle of nowhere in Ft. Stockton, but that was my fault, not his.

One of my first horseshoers after I got married came to be one of my best friends. He was quite a bit older and I came to learn many things from him over the years. Although he was only in my life for 7 years or so, we spent lots of time together. He had grown up in Idaho and came to Texas in the Air Force and ended up staying out of his love for the state. Lots of what I know today about horsemanship came from him. He was one of those people that wasn’t the best rider himself because he was a big guy but he was such a student of the game that he knew things. He was one of those that listened with his mouth closed if you know what I mean. I still think of him every time I do something with a horse that he taught me. He used to go with us to our ranch in West Texas to gather cattle in the fall. Just the two of us would head out before daylight horseback and start making sweeps. I remember one of our rides before sunup, looking up at the big dipper and he was explaining to me about it. I still think of him every time I look up at the sky and see the big dipper. We still have one of his fillies we bought from him. She is 22 years old and we can never sell her. He passed away from cancer 18 years ago and I probably think about him daily in some way or another.

I can’t pass a creek anywhere in Texas without thinking about my grandmother taking us to the creek as kids. She would get all of the grand kids and pack a cooler with orange soda, Big Red and bologna sandwiches and we would head to the creek. It was a little sandy bottom creek that had the clearest water in East Texas. We would walk in the bed of the creek for a hundred yards or so to this little sand bar and we would spend half the day playing in the water. I’m still a sucker for a cold orange soda.

Anyone that has ever been in one of Mr. Sikes colt classes at Sam Houston can tie a bowline knot. If you can’t I’m pretty sure you failed the class. I see his face every time I tie or untie a horse. I don’t break colts anymore but when I did break a few I could always envision riding in that old indoor arena in Huntsville riding in line behind him. I wonder just how many people he taught that knot to and how many colts he helped break in all those years at SHSU?

Ed Herklotz was another one that I’ll never forget. He had a dryness about him but if he liked you, he liked you. I’ll never forget him coming up to me one night at the first rodeo I had produced and telling me I had done a great job. I was more proud of that compliment than any amount of money I could have made off of that rodeo. I still compare every calf roping judge to him. Another one with a broke mold. There’ll never be another one like him.

All of us have people that have come into our lives and made an impact on our future. To realize that impact is age I’m assuming. This list is not complete due to space and my memory. More to come some day.


Big Al


May 2019 - 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.

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