Friday, March 11, 2005

More celebrities I have Known


When we were talking about celebrities a few months ago, it never occurred to me that I knew one well. I had even ridden him.

He was a chestnut gelding named Broadway. He was gentle, loving, and lived out his retirement in my mother’s back yard.

He was called Broadway because he had been ridden from coast to coast, from Broadway, Los Angeles, to Broadway, New York, in his younger days. In that feat, he stopped for publicity pictures on the steps of each state capitol of the states he passed through. He knew how to rear, lifting his front feet high in a equine salute, and his rider would wave from his perilous perch. That stance was photographed for newspapers across the nation.

Fame is fleeting, and soon Broadway was a riding stable horse being hired out by the hour. My mother fell in love with him and bought him for her own.

Broadway was brought home to a spacious back yard. My dad built him a nice corral and stable. He bought him a companion horse too.

Mom and Dad’s social life revolved around horses. They and friends took weekly rides that culminated with lunch at one person’s home or another. They even produced a “horse opera” which I filmed with my Keystone hand-held 8mm camera. I even appeared as an extra on horse back, probably Broadway, delivering an urgent message to the villain, Black Bart, played by my dad who was actually named Bart.

Mother cared for Broadway, grooming and saddling him and riding him regularly. From time to time she would show folks how he could rear, though his famous high pawing of the air was pretty much subdued as he aged.

Finally, one day, aged about thirty, Broadway collapsed while mother was riding. She stepped off and stayed with him while he died.

When the animal control retrieval driver came to remove the body, mother was horrified to see him kick Broadway’s body to see if he were dead.

Proud Broadway had reared his last.


kraztweety2 said...

I own a horse that used to be in the Rodeo circuit. He was used as a bucking Bronc. He is gorgeous and his withers stand higher then my head. I am 5'1. He is great but definetally retired. They estimate his age around 40. He is unable to be rode due to arthritis in an injured hip. I need to put him to rest but am not ready to do so. I haven't the heart because I am being SELFISH. He is suffering and not doing great at all. But I rode Gymkhanas on him and won first place. I also rode him in rodeos as part of our local drill team. He has had a great life. Take Care (: Jenny-Marie :)

labdancer51 said...

Great entry Chuck! Poor Broadway, who would kick a noble animal like that?  At least he was cared for in life by your family.  Have a good weekend! :-) Sandra x

ceschorr said...

what kind of a jerk kicks animals?

mavarin said...

I'd have kicked the driver.  Well, not really, but he deserved it.

About three years ago. my husband John successfully arranged to meet Lassie, accompanied by his visiting pen pal from Japan, Lassie fan Kooichi.  John got to pet Lassie at the Weatherwax home, and Lassie enjoyed it.  Ultimately, John said, Lassie was just a dog--an incredibly well-groomed, well-behaved dog. - Karen

domesticatedchic said...

what a neat story.. im sure he was a beautiful horse. have any pics of him? :)

plieck30 said...

I think it is so nice of you to relate all your interesting experiences to us here in J-land. My daughter and granddaughter are horse people too. My granddaughter has won a lot of ribbons and trophies. She started jumping when she was six and is 13 now. Paula

astaryth said...

How wonderful that your mother found and loved Broadway... Hey, I met Ala Charm once (he was one of the horses who played The Black in the movie The Black Stallion!). He too was no longer a star... however since he was a black Arabian (a prized color) and a stallion, he did get to have a better retirement than where your Mother found Broadway -- Think lots and lots of mares all for him <eg>.

gypsytrader49 said...

What a wonderful Story. I love horses.

judypearllove said...

I love this story. let me say this first I'm a firey red head and if I had been your mother they would have had to kick that drivers body when they picked him up after he had done that to a horse like that I owned. now let me get nice again. lol my daddy took me to see Roy Rogers once and he rode trigger out and it was the most awesome thing to me I was about 10 yrs old. he rode around reared him up and then trigger bowed down afterward Roy Rogers shook all the kids hands from trigger that was standing around the fence. The guy I date now got my attention the first time by riding up on a white horse now he owns 33 horses and a beautiful black stallion. last year we had about 10 colts and name them each year. we even tried to give one colt mouth to mouth after it was born and we had to cut the sack open it was very sad it didn't live. I once saw a doctor have to give a horse a shot to put him down it was terrible it fell very hard to the ground and was gone before it hit the ground. We have so many happy stories from our horses though. I loved yours