Library hosts ‘Cowboys and Rodeo Heroes’

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
Library hosts ‘Cowboys and Rodeo Heroes’

Dale Christenson Jr. is a man who wears many hats. He has been and continues to be a teacher, a coach, a steer roper and a superb entertainer. This past Monday, Christenson shared his love of roping with a group of eager youngsters with an event called “Cowboys and Rodeo Heroes.” The activity was part of the Pawhuska Public library’s summer reading program.

As Christenson began setting up his mini-rodeo training camp on the west Library grounds, it quickly became evident this group of wannabe cowboys and cowgirls wanted a chance to try their hand at roping a dummy steer head or try mastering the art of tying up a set of dummy steer legs.

Under the watchful tutorage of this experienced roper, each child was shown elementary-style steer roping 101. Assisting Christenson was his 4-year old grandson, Baylor, son of Jake and Brett Christenson.

Christenson is the grandson and nephew of Ben Johnson, Sr. and Ben “Son” Johnson, respectively. Both Johnsons were champion steer ropers. For the past 62 years, the Osage County Cattlemen have honored Ben Johnson, Sr. by sponsoring the Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping.

Christenson said, “When I was approached by Assistant Librarian Yvonne Rose to present a program on rodeos and cowboy heroes, I thought it was a great coincidence that the event would be held just before the Cattlemen’s annual convention and steer roping that has honored by grandfather for over six decades.”

The Osage County Cattlemen’s 62nd annual convention will convene Friday at the Osage County Fairgrounds with the OCCA Ranch Rodeo kicking off at 6 p.m. Following the Saturday morning ranch tour in Osage County, the Annual Ben Johnson Steer Roping is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. For the first time since its inception, this event is being sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, bringing to Pawhuska some of the best cowboys from across the country! Later that afternoon at 2 p.m., the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and Osage Outfitters are hosting a Jr. Steer Roping.