ROPING GLORY FOLLOWS THE FLAG
If the wail had come from Boston, or from Bangor, or Podunk,
There’d have been a precious diff’rence in the thoughts we would have thunk,
But for Rochester, in New York State, to go and make a break
About these most important isles—it really takes the cake!
There’s a paper in dear Rochester that tries to stir the nation
With a statement that most clearly shows a lack of observation,
For it says Americans have lost their cowboy reputation
To Purdy from Hawaii (read below for information).
Since Hawaii’s in the U. S. A., I cannot understand
Why she thus should be referred to as a sort of foreign land;
The lariat laurel still adorns a brow American
In fair Hawaii, U. S. A., and Purdy is the man!
Says the Rochester, N. Y., Post Express:
For the first time in the history of the Frontier Day sports at Cheyenne, the championship for steer roping has been taken away from the United States Ikua Purdy, a Hawaiian cowboy, carried off first honors in the steer roping contest, defeating the crack American cowboys. For the benefit of readers who are interested in this strictly American contest, the following description of the winning of the championship is extracted from the Denver “Republican:”
At first the Americans laughed at the Hawaiians. The laugh was changed to admiration, however, when Archie Kaaua roped in the fast time of 1:09, defeating the best previous performance of 1:11 by Peter Dickerson of Arizona. Then came the champion, Purdy, and when he had tied his steer securely, the judges announced his time as 1:03 2-5. A mighty cheer greeted him. By this time the Americans had not only the greates respect for the dark-skinned visitors, but they feared them and predicted they would win. The next day Purdy, Kaaua, Hugh Clark, of Cheyenne, and Peter Dickerson, the only men qualifying for the finals roped. Kaaua roped in the slow time of 1:48 1-5, and the Americans took hope. Then Dickerson fell down and got no time. Then Hugh Clark roped in 1:20. This left Champion Purdy with the best time of 1:03 2-5, but he had to rope another steer. Excitement was at fever heat, for Clark had attained the best average for the three days up to this time. Finally Purdy’s steer was turned out of the corral, and with a dash Purdy was after him. Purdy made a perfect throw, “busted” his steer, and, slipping from his horse, ran quickly to the fallen animal and in a twinkling had “hog-tied.” A great shout went up when the time was announced at 56 seconds, and Purdy declared the winner and holder of the championship title. Clark won second, Kaaua third and Dickerson fourth.
And so the Hawaiians are the best cowboys! This is tremendously important—more so, in fact, than the result of the Marathon race or winning the greater number of points in an Olympic contest. No one country has enjoyed a monopoly of the sport of foot-racing, pole jumping, hurdling, or tug-of-waring, but America did have a monopoly of wild horse riding, steer roping and all the sports and exercises in which the frontiersman and the cowboy took part. It is rather galling, therefore, to have this honor taken from us. But, after all, there is the consoling thought that if the United States is to lose the steer-tying championship, it is won by the natives of an island that is protected by the Stars and Stripes. And what is even of more importance, the Westerners are such good sportsmen that they have not uttered a word of complaint regarding their defeat.
(Hawaiian Star, 9/23/1908, p. 6)