Jim Shoulders won 16 world championship titles in bull and bareback riding. For those that don’t follow National Finals Rodeo (NFR) events and don’t recognize what that means, it would be in the league of Babe Ruth in baseball, Michael Jordan in basketball, or Tiger Woods in golf (minus the chicks). After retiring from bull riding, Jim Shoulders produced rodeos and provided livestock for rodeos. He promoted Wrangler Jeans to the point that no real cowboy would be caught dead in those other denim jeans. Same with Justin Boots.
Jim had a Brahma Bull named Bufford T. Lite. They traveled around the country promoting Miller Lite Beer. You may remember some of those zany commercials back in the 80’s. I have a good laugh every time I think of the commercial he did with New York Yankees manager Billy Martin. Enjoy the video of the ad below—it’s still available on YouTube.
I had watched Jim Shoulders compete but had never had the privilege of meeting him until July 1982. We both were working a convention at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. There I saw his greatest feat, which I’ll tell you about next time.
At last Saturday’s Texas Heritage Day, Austin’s four town squares ownership was brought up for discussion. After 173 years, ownership of the squares may be resolved.
Mike Ward wrote an article in the Austin American-Statesman, dated March 31. Thanks to Carol Castlebury for sharing.
For the full story, click here.
Two votes in the Continental Congress prevented Franklin from being the fourteenth state in the Union. The State of Franklin existed from 1784-1789 in a parallel government with North Carolina. Those that favored breaking from North Carolina were called Franklinites. Those that didn’t were Anti’s, the issue divided westerners who had fought side-by-side during the revolution for independence.
The North Carolina Assembly voted in 1780 to cede western lands over the mountain to the federal government to settle the states war debt. The western settlers were left to fight hostile Indians on their own. They quickly formed the State of Franklin for protection, after being abandoned by North Carolina and the federal government. Only in desperation did they approach Spain for help. Many scholars have suggested Franklinites were treasonous by doing so. The Republic of Texas used a similar ploy many years later to become the twenty-eighth state in the union. Amazing how history repeats itself.
During a heavy snowfall, a rebellion broke out between the Franklinites, led by John Sevier, the Anti’s by John Tipton, two were killed, and several men were injured. The fighting was for naught as the North Carolina Assembly elected John Sevier as a delegate to reconsider ratification of the Federal Constitution. Western North Carolina became part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was annexed in 1796, becoming the sixteenth state in the union.
The Franklin constitution signed at Jonesborough, Tennessee on December 17, 1784; Section 31 states no clergymen or preacher of the gospel could hold public office. The next, Section 32 went into great detail that no person that did not believe in God could hold public office. I found those sections interesting.
Read more about the Franklinites in Spring House, Book 2 and the Children of the Revolution, Book 3 of the Westward Sagas series.
Capitol of the State of Franklin
It’s sad to lose your four legged friend for any reason, more so from a painful rattlesnake bite. Even if your dog successfully completed snake avoidance training, as discussed in my previous blog post, they still can be bitten by a rattler in the field or on a hike in the great outdoors. With snake avoidance training and annual rattlesnake vaccinations, the chance of death by a rattler bite is greatly reduced for your dogs.
Daisy and Lulubelle, my yellow labs, received two shots each of the rattlesnake vaccinations the first year and then once annually. The shots don’t prevent a snake bite, but immunizes the dog to the snake’s venom. My longtime vet Dr. Pat Richardson, DVM at Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital, San Antonio, Texas says “should a bite occur, the rattlesnake antivenin will reduce the severity; allow more time to get to a vet with fresh vials of the expensive antivenin, which has a short shelf life, cost about $500.00 a vial. A large hunting dog that has not been vaccinated could require three to five vials. A dog on antivenin may not need any and can be treated with steroids and antibiotics.” My dog’s vaccine was $35.00 per shot at Broadway Oaks, inexpensive protection for my best friends and outdoor companions. Dr. Tom Vice, DVM; founder of Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital and avid outdoorsman, was one of the first vets to utilize the snake vaccination for dogs.
This is the snake that ruined the picnic for the bluebonnet pickers.
Living in Texas with dogs bred to hunt, it’s a sure bet that you or your dogs will encounter a poisonous snake. My yellow labs, Lulubelle-9 and Daisy-13, both graduated from Snake Avoidance Training (S.A.T.) by the time they were a year old. It’s a good way to ensure your best friend doesn’t stick his/her nose into a rattlesnakes business.
S.A.T. is simple; the trainer puts a shock collar on your dog, the only time I have ever allowed one on my dogs. The dog is put in a pen with a live defanged rattler. When the dog gets within striking distance and the rattler lunges at the dog, the trainer gives the dog a good shock at the moment of the strike. Fortunately, my dogs got the idea the first time. I don’t think I could watch my girls take the hit a second time. The collars were taken off and never put on again. Sometimes a refresher course may be needed.
Twice, this training has kept me from tangling with a rattler. Lulubelle encountered a rattler shortly after her training, which may have saved me from a snake bite. She was ahead of me on a seldom traveled trail, with lots of growth. She went on point…that tail went up as did the hair on her back. She didn’t bark, but made a nervous growl. There was a 6 foot long rattler curled ready to strike. She made me aware of the snake’s presence, but made no attempt to go near it. We both made a wide detour and my girl earned her treat.
Don’t try this yourself—ask your vet, breeder, or check with a hunting club. Hire a trainer with lots of experience in S.A.T. See my next blog about further snake proofing your dogs.