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RODEO CLOWN LEON COFFEE HAS TO PUT UP WITH A LOT OF BULL ON THE JOB
Giles Tippette
February 13, 1984
On the platform above the bucking chutes, the rodeo announcer, Don Endsley, is saying: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to that premier event in rodeo, the one you've all been waiting for—cowboy bull riding."
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February 13, 1984

Rodeo Clown Leon Coffee Has To Put Up With A Lot Of Bull On The Job

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On the platform above the bucking chutes, the rodeo announcer, Don Endsley, is saying: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to that premier event in rodeo, the one you've all been waiting for—cowboy bull riding."

In the outdoor arena in Weatherford, Texas, the crowd of some 8,000 stirs expectantly, because this is mainly what they've come for. They want to see a 150-pound cowboy set himself down on a one-ton beast made out of muscle and gristle and bone and horns. And win.

Endsley says, "But now let me direct your attention to a very important gentleman who is stepping into the arena, Leon Coffee. Through the evening you've heard Leon and me joshing with one another. Now is the time when he's fixing to earn his paycheck. We've kidded around earlier, but now they've run the bulls into the chutes. And this is the most important part of this intrepid gentleman's job, protecting the cowboys who will be attempting to ride these bulls, and, in some cases, saving their lives.

"Leon, take a bow.

"I didn't mean that low a bow. Leon, get up out of the dirt. The bulls will have you there soon enough, and get up here by the chutes and watch over these cowboy bull riders.

"You said what?"

In rodeo, during the repartee between the announcer and the clown, the clown cannot be heard by the crowd, so the rodeo announcer speaks for him.

Endsley recaps: "You say you're going to quit? That you're leaving town? Why, Leon?

"Because of your mother? Oh, you want to save her a trip to the hospital. Is she sick?

"She's not sick? But if you fight these bulls she'll have to go to the hospital. Why

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