If you recall, I wrapped up OM+KC (part 1) with 23 year old me pondering the deep question… “I wonder if he’s hot?”. On with the story…
I returned to the Ogden rodeo for one other performance and ran in to a very good friend of mine, Cody Martin. Cody and I went to college together in Tennessee and I had always just really liked them. He’s one of those people you just like to be around. We visited for a little while and talked about how he had been doing rodeoing and about him moving to Texas, and then he all of the sudden said… “it’s kind of top secret because I’m trying to get out of another deal, but I think I’m going back to the Ozark region to use my last year of eligibility at MVC”. What?! Cody and I were the same age but he had quit school a couple of years before to rodeo full time. He went on to say “The guy I traveled with all last year got the coaching job up there and I think I’m going to go and rodeo for him”. At that moment all the little pieces fell together for me. That’s why his name sounded familiar. It’s THE Otey McCloy. The bronc rider Cody had traveled with. I had never met him, but I had heard good things about this Otey McCloy. Maybe he would be good to work with.
I stayed a few more days in Utah and then started the cross country drive home to Indiana. I settled in that fall substitute teaching here and there and traveling all over the country with my friends the Sankeys. They put on rodeo schools and I would tag along and help with the videoing and a little paperwork. Mostly I was just digging all the freedom and good friendships. All the while, the “one” (remember him?) was calling and swearing he was a changed man.
Late August early September things start gearing up for the five Ozark region college rodeos in the fall semester. Coaches start calling and I start bombarding them with a series of emails and information. I had periodically thought about the new coach at Missouri Valley that I was going to be working with that fall. The same two thoughts circled through my head. ***I sure hope he’s not a dumb butt to work with, and man… I wonder if he’s hot?*** Then one day it happened. My phone rang and on the other end I heard…
“Hi Kathy. This is Otey McCloy and I’m the new rodeo coach at MVC.”
We talked about region business and how overwhelmed he felt not only being a new coach, but also being responsible for hosting the first college rodeo of the 2001-2002 season. I assured him that I would do anything I could do to help him out and to not think twice about calling me anytime he had a question. When we hung up the phone one of those two deep thoughts was laid to rest.
He wasn’t a dumb butt. Whhew.
But at that moment, a few new thoughts surfaced…
I wonder exactly how old he is.
I wonder if he really is a good Christian man.
I wonder if he has a girlfriend.
I wonder if he wants a girlfriend.
I wonder if I even could date him if we wanted to (because of work).
I wonder if he’ll like working with me.
I wonder what the kids on his team have told him about me.
I wonder what I’ll wear to the first rodeo.
Oh, and don’t forget old faithful…
I wonder if he’s hot.
Over that next few weeks before his rodeo, every time that Otey called me (strictly work related) he would start the conversation with “Hi Kathy. This is Otey McCloy”. It finally became a little bit of a joke between us because seriously… How many Otey’s does one person know? After about the fifteenth “this is Otey Mccloy” I told him we knew each other well enough he could probably just go with “this is Otey”. I oddly looked forward to those phone calls. Even if they were just about work. He was nice. He was new. He was Otey and I liked him.
By now, the “one” had convinced me to give him one last chance. I know… once a cheater always a cheater… But i was 23. I was dumb. I was sure that God had changed his heart (that’s what he told me anyway). He told me he was going to catch a ride to the first college rodeo to see me. The first rodeo…
The last weekend of September had finally arrived and I made the drive to Marshall, Missouri to face the craziness that always is the first rodeo. When I pulled in to the rodeo grounds Thursday afternoon I was met with a handful of familiar faces working in the arena. A big group of MVC senior guys. Guys that were sophomores just two years ago when I was a senior competing as a contestant in the region. They knew me long before I was a big time 23 year old grown up with a real job. At that moment a wave of panic flew over me. ***Does Otey know more about me then I knew about him? Oh lord, please don’t let these knuckle heads embarrass me.*** I climbed out of my Durango to a big loud roar of “Hey Kathy!” and “Kaaaattthhyyy!!!!” (similar to Norm’s standard greeting when entering Cheers). I was happy to see them. I was filled with butterflies over meeting Otey in person. ***Why was I nervous? Nothing made me nervous. I wonder if he’s hot? I wonder if he’ll think I’m pretty enough? Smart enough? Why am I doing this? The “one” is coming to see me here and I don’t even know Otey McCloy.***
Then it happened. He confidently walked through the freshly mowed grass along the side of the arena and met me with a giant smile. The smile that makes him gets those deep lines on either side of his eyes. The smile that still makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. While firmly shaking my hand he said…
“Kathy? Otey McCloy. Nice to finally meet you in person.”
Only one thing came to mind at that moment.
He is hot.
to be continued tomorrow…