That was just as well. We were of too uneven a caliber to go on rodeoing as partners. Jack and Billy Jack went on and done pretty well on their own. Me and Player went on together in the partnership and then drifted off into other things. J.B. quit the rodeo that year. The last time I saw him he was driving a custom farming truck that would turn your corn, stalk and all, into silage for cattle feed. That Leddy Supreme of his had become a work hat and didn't look a hell of a lot better than the cardboard one that Player had bought him.
But he was still full of advice. Standing by his truck, he folded his arms and told me never to marry a pretty woman or buy a good hat. "Because," he said, "if you do, someone will steal them."
But that was a long time ago, when we were so young and strong that you could have thrown us against a wall and we'd have bounced right back.
And I didn't take J.B.'s advice.