White Oaks Rodeo

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by Baxter Black 

The 4th of July weekend means different things to different people. Each of us may have a special memory of some 4th of July. Maybe it’s when you got married or had a baby or took that vacation to Yellowstone. To a lot of folks in the livestock business it means RODEO.

The Independence Day that stands out in my mind was years ago. The big rodeo at White Oaks, New Mexico. You probably won’t find White Oaks in your Rand McNally since it’s a ghost town but it’s down around Carrizozo and Capitan north of the Mescalero Indian reservation. It wasn’t exactly a card carryin’ PRCA show so it was right down my alley!

Two pardners and I arrived the mornin’ of the fourth in a fish drownin’ hat soakin’, slicker testin’ downpour! We entered up without looking at he stock. Just then the arena director on a four-wheel drive came up the draw drivin’ the bucking stock. There were mares and colts, range, ready and to say they were thin, would be kind. The bull ridin’ turned out Some people told me I ought to interview Jack Moreman of Clarendon. They said he was a character and did lots of stuff, including making compost from feedlot manure. So I called him on a rainy morning and asked him to come to the motel where I was staying. “Might as well,” he said. “I can’t get any work done in this rain.” When he walked into the motel wearing a yellow slicker, he spoke to everybody and called the people behind the registration counter by name. My room was on the second floor and I asked him if he needed an elevator and he said, “I’d rather walk.” So we climbed the stairs. Jack was born at Hedley, a small place just east of Clarendon. “I was born at home. We didn’t to be cow ridin’ (they also doubled as doggin’ stock).


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