Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 29, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Solurday, Augu-> 39, 1970 THE IETHBRIDCE HERALD S Builders South By J. W. FISHBOURNE rrvi T ine To Fame, By The Rodeo IN THE WORLD would a man choose to sit on a skittish horse which has one single minded intention: to buck him off into the dust, then step on grinned the man in question, "for the very same reason a man spends hours knocking a little white ball over the ground with a stick." Ask a silly question and you deserve the reply you get. Herman Linder, who is to the rodeo arena what Sam Snead is to the golf course, didn't set off in life to become a support- er for the advancement of cow- boy esquestrianism. "It's funny how you get into the things that shape your Mr. Linder mused recently dur- ing an interview at his Card- ston ranch. "We just happened to be homesteading in a place where a lot of horses were available, and as there wasn't much else to do but ride, my brother Warner and I just na- turally got keen on it." Perhaps the fact that the family had a circus background has something to do with Mr. Linder's daredevil horseman- ship, for while the Linders had come to Canada initially to farm, they had not always been farmers. "My family emigrated to Wis- consin from Mr. Linder said, "but what circus work has to do with the milk and cheese products of Wiscon- sin, I've never been able to fig- ure out. Unless of course, it's rt natural for Swiss people be involved in dairying. At any rate, I was born in that state in 1910 but things didn't go well for Dad so we moved here in 1918. "Times weren't easy anywhere then, but we'd heard from people that Alberta was opening up and my Dad decided to try his luck further afield. He homesteaded a half- section of the land my brother and I now ranch near Cardston. But before we really got going, we were to know many hard years." The Linders had barely got themselves settled in then- new homestead with a few head of cattle, when Alberta in 1919, settled into one of the worst droughts it has ever known. "Cows that Dad had paid for weren't worth Mr. Linder explained, "feed was impossible to get, and even big ranchers who'd managed to put a little money by, were feeling the pinch." Then, to sdd to settlers' dis- couragement further, in May 1920 a late snowstorm hit the country and was of such a severe nature that what stock had survived the drought per- ished in that freak blizzard. "I suppose you could say we had to start all over Mr. Linder smiled, "but since we'd hardly got started in the first place, it was more like just keeping going and hoping things wouldn't get any worse, because as far as we were con- cerned they couldn't." To help their Dad financially, the lander boys did what work they could locally to earn a few dollars. "When I was 11 years old, I ran a cultivator for a fellow in the Woolford he recalled. "It was hard work, and I don't suppose anyone would ask an 11-year-old to do that today, but it didn't hurt us and we were proud to be able to help out our folks." "Actually, we were rather isolated where we Mr. Linder pointed and as you can see today, we're still a long way from neighbors and the nearest town. But we didn't mind it, when we were growing up. While kids in the villages got together to play ball after the chores were dons, Warner and I amused ourselves riding horses." At that time there were lots of horses running wild, he explained. "They weren't wild in the sense that they didn't belong to anybody. They were branded and then turned loose to roam. Warner and I would catch a couple we liked the look of, hoping they had lots of ginger, then we'd turn them loose again." The Linder boys had seen their first r'odeo in Cardston during the summer of 1920. "It was pretty exciting stuff, I can tell Mr. Linder recalled, "real rough, tough, wild-west cowboys. Rules of the sport were pretty flexible, but they didn't care, the object was to win some money." The rodeo infected the young Linders who spent even more time riding, and trying to get horses to buck. "Dad encour- aged us in Mr. Linder said, "he was a very good Dad who spent a lot of time with us, and when he saw our deter- mined interest in rodeo work he helped us build a delivery chute at home and would open the gate for us." When he was 12, Herman Linder rode steers in the Card- ston rodeo. "There wasn't any competition money, just mount he explained, "I think I won a few dollars that year which encouraged me to keep trying." "I made big money a couple of years he smiled, "when the rodeo officials talked me into masquerading as a lady rider, for a feature attrac- tion. They billed me as Alberta Pearl, and I was decked out in a midi-blouse, skirt and woolly chaps. "I made a pretty credi- table ride, and ,vhen the pickup man picked me off he expected me to ride before the grand- stand. Can you imagine how silly I felt? I kept my face turned from the crowd as much as I could, and didn't pay any attention when they sang out 'don't be shy, girlie.' Never mind, I got paid for that stunt. I gave it to my mother she could make money stretch like elastic." Young Linder became serious about his bronc riding a couple of years later. He won the finals at Cardston which paid him "Whining so much money kind of went to my he said, "I could see the future of the sport offering me not only a good livelihood, but also satisfaction in doing what I liked to do. So in summers I went to every hick rodeo I could get to, constantly im- proving my performance and incidentally winning a little here and a little there." In those days, bucking horses were more the stars than the riders, and a ride was not measured by time. A fellow stayed on and headed towards a wire, if he got under it he was home free. "One of the difficulties we encountered was to find a horse that would buck when we want- ed it Mr. Linder explained. "I had one I liked, but she wouldn't always respond when I wanted. At one competition however, another cowboy ad- vised me that I was using the wrong saddle. He loaned me his and it was remarkable what a difference it made but you don't know what I'm talk- ing about do you? Well, bucking horses are born the way they are, with a desire to buck. If a cowboy gels a good bucking horse, he's got a good partner, but for some reason that horse of mine wouldn't buck when he had on the saddle. I guess he was just particular." Within a few short years, Herman Linder became one of the top stars of the rodeo cir- cuit. "During the depression years people seemed to enjoy forgetting their troubles at en- tertainments. I entered every rodeo in Alberta and most in the United States, and even some in eastern Canada where rodeos were pretty novel. I had my small group of pals who travelled the circuit with me and I must say that good friends in the business helped keep it pleasant." It wasn't all apple pie for jhe cowboys however. From time to time unscrupulous managers took advantage of them, rules were not adhered to and con- tracts, while not broken, were occasionally bent. "There was a Rodeo Association already in action when I first rode tie Mr. Linder recalled, "but the cowboys were not or- ganized. In Boston In 1S36 con- ditions were'not'what we felt they should be and we almost went on strike. We formed the Cowboys' Turtle Association, with a turtle as our symbol be- cause we were so slow in get- ting going. I went in on the executive as first wee-presi- dent. Our aims of course were to see to it that cowboys were not exploited and that the sport had sound regulations wlu'ch would protect both com- petitors and management. It is now the Rodeo Cowboys' Asso- ciation. Before Linder was to retire from the rodeo circuit in 1939 when scarcely 30 years old, he m a n a g e d to accumulate world wide honors for excel- lence in and contribution to the sport. In Calgary he was chosen North-American all-round cow- boy on five occasions. Cana- dian all-round cowboy seven times, and Canadian bronc and bareback champion three times, plus several other notable distinctions. He and his wife Agnes whom he had mar- ried in 1932, travelled to Eng- land for exhibitions in 1934, and in 1936 they went to Australia where he was chosen to com- pete in international competi- tions. While there he won a cup for what Aussics call 'buck- jumping.' The Linders loved travelling the rodeo circuit, but it was demanding. Agnes Linder ad- mitted that while she was a 'little nervous' when her hus- band was going through daring antics with an indignant bull she quite enjoyed the rodeo world. "I told her when I mar- ried her that she'd have to get used to the Mr. Linder De Guslibus said, "and to her credit, she never complained. Like wives of sporting men all over the world, she became quite in- volved in my career, but she had the good :sense not to inter- fere. That can't be said for all wives of sportsmen." When the Linders retired to the ranch in Cardston, Mr. Linder found his sudden dis- placement from the rodeo cir- cuit very difficult to take. "It was awful for a couple of he admitted. "People kept asking me why I'd retired, and my buddies kept nagging me to go back, but I was de- termined not to, and turned a deaf ear to them. I won the first competition I entered as a and the last I was in as a man, and I was satisfied to quit while I was still ahead, only it did take me a little time :o get used to the quiet life of the ranch. However, the birth of our son, and then our daughter made me reah'ze I wouldn't want to be away from home any more." Mr. Linder may have stopped active participation in the sport, but he immediately found him- self in demand in the mana- gerial area. "I suppose over the past 30 years, I've helped out with about every rodeo in south- ern Alberta at one time or an- he said. "Fort Macleod, Cardston, Lethbridge, Calgary and many many others have grown over the years, and I've been happy to have a hand in the management of them and in seeing them develop. I've had the pleasure of explaining HERMAN UNDER the competition events at the Calgary Stampede to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they attended a few years ago. I was in charge of the rodeo at Expo '67, which was well received. I have met many celebrities in the show world including all the kids' favorite cowboys like Hex Allan, Roy Rogers and Bill Boyd. Some of them have been pretty good cowboys, even by rodeo stand- ards." In his lovely ranch home Mr. Linder has a cedar-lined trophy room literally overflowing with trophies, prizes and mem- orabilia of his career. In his competition days he won a total of 17 presentation watches, 11 belt buckles and a whole show- case full of medals, ribbons, and engraved awards. Auto- graphed pictures of notables from around the world line the room, and silver cups, plaques and shields rest on every avail- able table top. But he has a few favorite mementoes he prizes above others. In his of- fice is a desk and chair pres- ented by the Fort Macleod Rodeo Association. "It is a very practical Mr. Linder pointed out, "and I use it every day." Another highly prized mem- ento is the Special Service Award presented this year by the Calgary Exhibition Board. As in the case of his election to the Lethbridge and District Ex- hibition's Hall of Fame in 1967, this honor is in gratitude to the dedicated service Mr. Linder has given to perpetuation of rodeo. Today, at a youthful 60, Mr. Linder has no intention of giv- ing up his interest the whole varied cowboy world. "It's been my he stated simply, "and just as hockey players and ball players and other men who have made a career in a sporting field, I have a deep- rooted interest in following the updating and changes that are being made in my favorite sport. Also, I am pleased to help out when called upon, and am quite prepared to travel anywhere to do so if it's re- quired." Someone has suggested that cowboys are rapidly becoming obsolete. Did Mr. Linder have any opinions on that? Mr. Linda' certainly did. "The public loves stampedes, rodeos, no matter how large or how small. The fact that in my lifetime they have grown from a few isolated ones held annual- ly across the nation to more tlian 700, some of which take a full year to organize, indi- cates their continued popular- ity. Also, there are schools sponsored by the Cowboy and Rodeo Associations which are set up specifically for eager boys wanting to train profes- sionally for the sport. These correspond with golf schools and hockey schools, and the qualifications for entrance are pretty high. No, I do not see that cowboys will become ob- solete, as long as people thrill to their ability to tame broncs and rope steers. Book Revieivs Textbook For Anthropologists "Change at Shebika: Re- port from a North African Village" by Jean Duvignaud (Pantheon, Distributed by Random House, "CHEBIKA is a village in Tunisia on the edge of the desert almost totally 'neglected by modernization. Its inhabi- tants know next to nothing about the world outside their village; they do not realize how backward are their methods of agriculture and housing. Only the innovation of radio there is one receiver in the village suggests to them how dis- abling their poverty is. At tha same time this contact with the modern world promises the im- provements of a new Tunisia." So states the first paragraph of the blurb on the cover of this book. Professor Jean Du- vignaud, University of Tunis, has completed a thorough text- book for socio-anthropologists, be they amateur or profession- al. Change At Shebika is the story of a nearly fossilized people; the implication being that layer upon layer of the planet's elements has swept over (hem until they became a mere speck buried in time and spi.ce. The Magrib, burning part of the Sahara buried them in sand and heat; cultures came and went, even nomads passed them by; the point of complete extinction almost ar- rived in modem times in inde- pendent Tunisia. This book is not a novel, it is a documentary, a record, a sci- entist's account of a very in- teresting part of North Africa. It is a plain factual story of how close to dust, poverty, neg- lect, and hopelessness can grind a group of people. For the layman, the book may prove none too easy to read. It pokes around in tiny details, necessary for the com- plete scientist, of course. How- ever, it is a text which ought to be in every university li- brary and on the shelves in every socio-anlhropoiogist's of- fice. LOUIS BURKE. Agnew-Capp Duet "The Real Spiro Agnew: Comuionsensti Quotations of a Household Word" edited by James Calhoun (Pelican Pub- lishing House, 12Spp., A NY temptation to think this book might be intended as a joke as with the little red book of quotations by Chair- man Diefenbaker is dispell- ed by the discovery that Al Capp has written the foreword. Tin's is the tip-off that the book is directed to the angry older people who have found their spokesmen in U.S. Vice-Presi- dent Spiro Agnew and cartoon- ist Al Capp. Quotations from the speeches by Mr. Agnew have been ar- ranged topically and inter- spersed with cartoons by Charles Brooks. The common- sense attributed to Item is that of a particular cultural milieu. Many of the things that Mr. Agnew says do make sense if the assumptions of that milieu are accepted. But those as- sumptions are what is under fire today and even those who hear Mr. Agnew most enthu- siastically must sometimes sus- pect that the old order cannot be saved. It is not likely that tin's book will be one of the enduring classics but is should be a pub- lishing success. There are enough people still on Mr. Agnew's wavelength to ensure a good sale. The Pelican Publishing House not to be confused with the famous British paper- back publishers is located, appropriately, in Louisiana, DOUG WALKER. IN ABOUT two weeks, a couple of thou- sand students will converge on this corner of town. Most of them will be young people. A percentage, small, highly noticeable, will bring with them some odd notions of costume and hairstyling, a pre- dilection for weird and raucus music, and a few unorthodox interests and pastimes. Most people simply won't notice these youngsters or worry about what they are doing. For the most part, those who do notice them may be slightly bemused, but not particularly upset. But there are bound to be some who will be offended and even infuriated. Just to make my own position clear, I believe I qualify as a complete (thought not a perfect) square. I haven't enough hair to wear it long, and wouldn't if I could. My wardrobe, such as it is, re- flects abysmal ignorance of style. As to drugs and such, I find old-fashioned al- cohol and tobacco are quite tough enough, without anything more esoteric. And per- that may mean to- along about twenty years too late for me. Square, I think, is the word. So my perspective, with regard to the occasionally unconventional behavior of the current liberated youngsters, certainly is not that of a fellow traveller, nor a matter of either envy or wishful thinking. (Sure I delight in the "mini" and deplore the downward trend, but that doesn't mean much anymore.) I am as baffled as any- one else about some of the things these youngsters do, and occasionally the racket that they make is mildly irritating, but generally speaking I don't find either their appearance or conduct offensive or even upsetting. Overtolerant? Well, maybe. But I have travelled a little, and read a bit. I think I have been around enough to know there has never been a time in which all peo- ple dressed alike, thought alike and acted alike. Nor has there even been a culture, a nation or even a group in which a consensus as to appearance or conduct has persisted for any length of time. In a letter to the press, within the last week or two, someone pointed out that male hairdos in what we whimsically re- fer to as tlie civilized world have been long for about 90 per cent of recorded history. Today, hairstyles for either sex vary as widely in place as they have in time. Some primitive societies seem to re- gard hair as an objectionable parasilic growth, and shave all of it off. Others, by no means primitive, have religious taboos against cutting any hair at all. Clothes run a pretty complete gamut, too, and can cover everything or nothing, depending on where you are. In some lands, women customarily wear trousers, men a sort of sarong; in others, this is reversed. Exposure of the face is Uboo in some countries, nothing is in others. As for habits, anyone who reads at all knows that there are cultures in which stealing is an art rather than a crime. There are societies, too, wherein the usa of halucinatory and intoxicating sub- stances are a normal part of religious ob- servance. Our current taboo against mur- der is by no means universal (and even in our enlightened society can be legalized anytime we are sufficiently an- noyed with another country.) Much of the sexual activity we frown at any tolerated or ignored in some other cultures; My point is that there are no absolute and universal standards, with respect to appearance or conduct. Customs and values change with time and place, al: ways have and I suspect always will. Any notions of propriety and morality are all very well for that particular time and place, but are really no more than a lo- cal and current consensus. They do not represent eternal laws of human conduct, but just the local tribal customs. (And ours look as odd to other people as Iheir's do to us, by the Are they Well, they could1 be- for us. But there are a couple of billion other people on this earth who don't hap- pen to have European backgrounds, and whose religious and moral beliefs have not been influenced by Christianity. Ara they totally wrong and we totally right? So what this all boils down to is a view that, when you condemn a man for his ideas, his appearance or how he wears his hair, what you are saying is "my ground-rules are better than your ground- which really means "I am better than you." Off hand, I cannot think of more arrogant or pernicious concept -By FRANK S. T IFE is not fair and anyone who thinks it is fair is a silly and unhappy per- son. The classic example of unfairness in our society is the treatment of Cassius Clay. For reasons of faith and conscience he refuses to fight in Vietnam. He has been consequently stripped of his title, barred from earning a livelihood at the only job he knows, and a long prison sen- tence hangs over his head. Jack Dempsey, to the contrary, is lionized and feted, though Dempsey's attitude of military avoidance in the First World War was as strong as Clay's, Dempsey never fought a great fight, and drew the color line so that Harry Wills, who would have knocked him silly never got a chance. Whether one approves boxing is not the point here. It is the unfair public attitude. Emerson said that life was fair. He wrote a vigorous essay on "The Law of claiming that things bal- anced up in this Me. It simply is not true. Was the world fair to Socrates or Jesus? Was the world fan: to Jerimiah, John the Baptist, St. Peter or the other Apostles, Tyndale the translator of the Bible, and is it fair to men like Dubcek? This is a world where the reward of faithfulness is the crown of thorns. The Psalmist tells how his soul was embittered by the world's in- justice, "when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek. They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts over- flow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice Therefore the people turn and praise them and find no fault in them." This is the theme of the Book of Job. The Psalmist and the writer of Job believe in a final vindication for the right- eous, but the New Testament makes clear that is not for this world. "In the world you shall have Jesus told his disciples. The world is not fair, yet most people expect it to be fair and make untold trouble by demanding that it be fair. They ruin their happiness, destroy peace of mind, and make others miserable. Here is a woman who makes her own life miser- able and offends her friends because she has discovered that several of them get larger salaries than she does. Here is a teacher who feels she carries a larger load than her colleagues. Here is a husband who complains that his wife spends too much of their income on herself or fails to put her income into the common ac- count. It is the spirit of envy and covet- ousness. This union is unhappy they did not get the same percentage in- crease as another union. Women are un- happy because they have not all the rights of men. Youth are unhappy because they lack the rights of adults. "Our fever for equality is one of the deepest and most serious ills of our said Gustave Thi- bon. "In the end nobody finds himself able to stand being unequal to anyone else in anything." "It isn't So the spinster envies the married woman and the married woman envies the spinster's independence. A sense of grievance and consequent discord runs through society. "Why should I be sick? Why do I have these accidents? Some people get all the luck." Paul Tour- nier, the famous Swiss psychologist, in "Escape from traces the ma- lign effect of jealousy. Fathers are jeal- ous of the mother's tune spent on children, wives of professional men are jealous of their husbands' clients. Children are jealous of their parent' love. Life is full of demands, often just demands. People aren't faff! Thus men and women and children sink into the ghastly bog of self- pity, an enervating, repulsive form of self- love. It creates a mental condition of bit- terness and revenge. What can one do then? One thing Is to be thankful for God's goodness to you. Another is to receive all that life brings creatively. One of the most important things is to be scrupulously honest with yourself, see your own faults as well as those of others. Most important, think of yourself as living for the approval of God. If you live for the world's praise or blame, the world will break you. It was because Joseph was able to see God's prov- idence in life that lie overcame Ins resent- ment against his brothers who so unfairly sold him into Egypt. "It was not you who sent me here, but God." The advice to forgive our enemies was given, not for the sake of the enemies, but for our sakes, so that we might inherit the Kingdom of God. There is no therapeutic agent so valuable as forgiveness and that only becomes pos- sible as we dedicate ourselves completely to the service of God. Let us pray that at judgment day the Lord may say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." This is the only solution to inequality and the world's manifest unfairness.