The World’s Greatest Cowboy’s Greatest Feat

Last time, I introduced you to Jim Shoulders, the world’s best cowboy. As promised, here’s the story of my encounter with him at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. As I was unloading my materials for the three-day show, I looked up and there was Jim Shoulders with his Brahma bull Bufford T. Lite in a trailer.

I said something to him like, “You’re not taking that bull up the elevator, are you?”

Shoulders answered, “I ain’t taking him up the escalator.” He saw me talking to the bellman who took my gear and said, “You got any pull with these folks at the Fairmont?”

“What do you need?” I asked.

“I need for a lot of these people standing the around the loading dock to get gone.”

I knew what he meant. Most of the people were hotel staff sent to help, but they were afraid of Bufford T. There were also a few curious hotel patrons milling about. I asked them to please move on, and they did.

Ole Bufford followed Shoulders up the ramp to the loading dock and right into the freight elevator. I pushed the button for them to go up.

Later, I ran into him in the hall. He thanked me for the help, and we introduced ourselves.

“You been around livestock,” he said, more as a statement than a question.

“Yes,” I said. “All my life.”

He said “I could tell. I seen in your eyes you weren’t afraid of my bull.”

“If you brought that critter into the Fairmount and the hotel allowed it,” I said, “he must be well trained.”

That evening my daughter Sherri and her high school friend Mandy Kane flew in from San Antonio for the weekend. Sherri and Mandy got to meet Jim Shoulders and Bufford T. in the main ballroom of the Fairmont. They had their pictures taken sitting on ole Bufford’s back. He just stood there posing for Sherri, as the picture shows.

As Mandy got on, I noticed something had changed in the bull’s disposition. Jim also saw the change and told the photographer to take the picture. He turned to me and said, “Git her off.”

The 1000-pound Brahma bull started to move out and away from Jim in a full circle, knocking over a few chairs and tables. The front of the ballroom quickly cleared of the more intelligent and sober conventioneers.

Jim held the rope tight but did not jerk it. He whispered to the bull calmly as it made a full circle, coming back toward me and his wrangler. Fortunately no one panicked, not even Mandy, who seemed to be enjoying the ride. Jim gave Bufford just enough rope to allow him to circle back to me, and I pulled Mandy off.

Then the world’s greatest cowboy led Bufford away as if nothing had happened.

And that’s no bull.

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