Over the course of my career, I’ve been in contact with some great writers, men and women who love to tell stories and have a God-given ability to do so.
Many of the ones who reach me most are the folks who tell rodeo tales, those who care about this industry and who have dedicated themselves and their talents to promoting the sport in their own way. They are talented and caring.
Whether it’s Ed Knocke, a Dallas Morning News retiree who writes for Western Horseman; or Joe Kusek of the Billings (Mont.) Gazette; or Dwayne Erickson of the Calgary (Alberta) Herald; or Bryan Painter in Oklahoma City, rodeo has been blessed with wonderful storytellers.
No mention of the best is complete without talk of Jeff Wolf, who for more than a decade covered the sport for the Las Vegas Review Journal. Wolf, who also covered motorsports for the publication, was part of the economic downturn that has hit the newspaper industry hard; he was laid off by the Review Journal several months ago but continued to write about rodeo and racing as a freelancer.
Wolf, though, is leaving Las Vegas for Indianapolis, where he will work in motorsports full time. His vacancy in the City of Lights will be felt by many, because he educated those unfamiliar with the sport for so many years – all after learning about rodeo from the ground level up himself.
Jeff Wolf is a good cat. Rodeo will miss him, but I think we all understand what it’s like actually fulfilling one’s dream.