I have spent the last few posts talking about story tellers. A journalist, a showman and today…
Clem McSpadden was the great nephew of my other post, Will Rogers. Clem spent his childhood on his great uncle’s ranch, the Iron Dog Ranch. Clem learned about being a rodeo star, a naval officer and as a child he re-enacted a Pony Express ride from Oologah to Claremore.
As an adult, Clem McSpadden became a senator, a businessman and a rodeo announcer. Clem had announced rodeos all over the country and even in Canada. Clem could also be accredited for bump starting a career of a young Oklahoma singer. Although she was very talented on her own, the family friend relationship gave her the opportunity to sing the National Anthem for $10.00.
One of Clem’s most important legacies was the Rodeo Cowboys Prayer. It was the prayer that I always heard at the Johnny Lee Wills Tulsa Stampede Rodeo at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
The way he stood, holding his hat and recited that prayer. That prayer left a large impression in my mind. I would have to say that prayer lead me into a new direction. I saw how important those words were to the rodeo competitor. I realized that the prayer was very important to the life of those on the road and how it described the life of a cowboy.
I know this is a very brief post about such a large person. Large in the fact that he impacted many in the rodeo community and within Oklahoma.