Ride-em cowboy — er — cow-monkey!
My broncho-riding adventure started in Claremore, OK. Grandpa was speaking at Grace Baptist Church that Wednesday night. They wanted to hear about the mission work in Thailand.
“We have a little time before church,” Grandma said. “Let’s go to the Will Rogers Museum. I think Linkee would enjoy it."
Grandpa agreed. Who was Will Rogers, I wondered? Why did he have a museum? I would find out!
Grandma carried me into the big building. A kind cowboy met us there. Was he Will Rogers?
“My name is Andy,” the cowboy said. “I help at the museum.” So I still didn’t know who Will Rogers was. Do you think he was Mr. Roger’s cousin? As we walked around the museum, I found out.
“Will Rogers was a famous cowboy,” Andy said. “From the time he was a little boy back in the 1880s, he liked to do tricks with a cowboy rope. Sometimes it got him into trouble.”
Here is a picture of Will teasing a girl on the playground at school. He looks like he is having fun. She looks angry!
Andy told us that when Will grew up, he rode horses and herded cows. When he was a young man, he got a new kind of job. He did rope tricks to entertain people and make them smile. He began to tell jokes and talk to the people who watched him. They liked to hear him talk and joke, so he became famous.
Later he was in the movies and he wrote stories in the newspapers for the people to read.
People liked the funny and wise way he had of saying things.
“Did you hear what Will Rogers said?” they would say. “He said, ‘Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there.’”
“I like the way he said, ‘An onion can make you cry, but there isn’t a vegetable that can make you laugh,” someone else would say.
Everyone liked him so much that some people thought he should be president, but he said, “No thanks.”
Will looked like he was having fun on his horse. Can a monkey ride a horse? I decided to try.
At first I thought it was great!
But then the horse didn’t like a monkey rider and tried to buck me off. “Help!” I cried. It was a l-o-n-g way down to the hard floor!
“Linkee!” Grandma yelled. “You are not supposed to be on that statue. You are supposed to LOOK at the horse, not RIDE it!”
I’m glad Grandma rescued me. I’m not sure that monkeys are made for riding horses.
We saw some movies that starred Will Rogers. They were funny, but then we came to a sad room. The pictures showed how Will Rogers and his friend, Wiley Post, flew in an airplane. Airplanes were new back then in 1935, and only a few people could fly them. They had a big crash in Alaska and both of the men died.
Everyone was sorry, because they liked Will. They liked the funny and wise things he said. They made the special museum so that people could remember him.
Will said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”
“That is good advice,” Grandpa said. “It is good advice for a missionary, too. We are telling people about Jesus. We should know Him better every day, love Him more and more, and believe in Him with all our hearts.”
“That is good advice for a missionary,” Grandma said. “And it is the same for everyone who belongs to Jesus. All of His children should know Him, and love Him, and believe Him.”
Hmm. Will said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” I wonder if he liked monkeys, too?