Magazine

From the June 2011 magazine.

From the Rodeo to the Rooms of AA

A former cowboy turned to alcohol to treat his physical pain and found himself with more problems than he started with

"I lived out of a battered suitcase, and grew up in the dusty arenas and the well-manicured coliseums of the rodeo circuit."

I spent my younger years on the road. I left home at age 16 to compete in professional rodeos and dabble at writing. I lived out of a battered suitcase, and grew up in the dusty arenas and the well-manicured coliseums of the rodeo circuit. In 1959, I sold my first magazine article for $300. It was the perfect opportunity to become an alcoholic. I did not. In fact, I drank very little even though writers are supposed to be great drinkers.

At age 21, I went back to high school and graduated in a year and half. Hard to figure but I took both 11th and 12th grade classes at the same time. During that time, I continued to compete in rodeos, write articles and short stories and had a good five piece band playing the bars and clubs in the Midwest. Perfect setting to become a drunk. I did not. I drank very little and did not even smoke.

-- John S.

Lebanon, Tennessee

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