Courage Boys, a new segment on The Glenn Beck Program, features stories to inspire and leave you feeling hopeful. In this age of social media and unprecedented access and sharing, it’s easy to feel insignificant and under attack — like you can’t make a difference. But the truth is you can — we all can.
By sharing stories of courage and strength, we can use the technology at our fingertips to spread encouragement and confidence. Making a difference is not only possible, but something we’re all capable of accomplishing.
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There was no arena for a rodeo in San Ardo, California, but when they heard that Jesse Stahl was nearby, they planned a rodeo anyway.
The townsfolk parked in a circle, sat on the hoods of their cars and called it a rodeo. San Ardo was home to one of the nastiest bucking broncs around. As luck would have it, Jesse Stahl drew that bronc, and it screamed, whinnied, kicked, jumped and twisted when Stahl mounted him. Wrapped his long legs around the bronc, Stahl dug in his spurs, pulled the bronco's blinders off and told the snubbing crew, "Turn me loose."
In 1927, there were no eight-second rules. It was man versus beast. And the last one to quit won.
Photo credit: Marcell
After a few seconds when the hooves were thumping and the earth and the dust were flying, the spectators all hopped onto their cars for cover. Finally, the blank cartridge was fired into the air. The dust settled, and Stahl sat proudly on the broken bronc. Stahl had ridden him out. People emerged from their Hudson Super Sixes and their Pierce-Arrows to shake the cowboy's hands.
"Well, folks," he muttered humbly. "I'm a long ways from home. And broke. I had to make it a good ride."
Stahl collected his money and pats on the back before walking to his old Model T Ford. Jesse Stahl was the hero that day, but it wasn't always that way.
You see, Jesse Stahl was black. In the early 1900s, nearly one in six cowboys was black. Jesse learned to ride the tough ones early in the morning, while the white cowboys were eating their breakfast at the ranch.
Back then, there were more than a handful of white judges and cowboys that didn't want a black man collecting their prize money. One day, Jesse put on a show at another rodeo, and was the obvious winner. So when the judges gave him second place, the spectators erupted.
In response, Jesse found a rowdy bronc and mounted up, with a suitcase in his hands. The crowd roared. The suitcase had made his point: Treat me equally, or I'll hit the road. Oh, and he did hit the road, until the bronc gave up.
He hopped off the horse and left the crowd in a frenzy. Because in rodeo, an encore ride was a bit uncommon. Carrying a suitcase during it was even less common. But riding a bronc backward like Jesse Stahl did that day was something that nobody had ever seen.