Losing a true legend
Jim Shoulders and Walt Garrison came by The Oklahoman offices last February. I chatted with Shoulders, then interviewed Garrison. Call it a solid day.
Do they make cowboys like they used to? Do they still make cowboys who talk straight and ride hard and have real dirt on their boots? Cowboys who retire from the sport but not the way of life?
I don’t know, but they once did. I had Garrison on my show, and it’s a shame I didn’t have Shoulders on, too. They sound good in print. They sound even better on radio.
Shoulders was a cowboy for the ages, a five-time all-around world champion on the rodeo circuit, and almost 50 years later remained a legend.
An unequalled story-teller. A man of natural charm, as the makers of the famous Miller beer commercials discovered. A true Oklahoma legend.
Shoulders died Wednesday at the age of 79 on his ranch in Henryetta.
Famed bull rider Ty Murray said Shoulders lived a good long life the way he wanted to live it. Murray said he saw Shoulders not long ago and “he was as funny, irascible and tough as always.”
I saw him not long ago myself, and consider myself the better for it.
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