A Conversation with Bodie Allen

A Conversation with Bodie Allen

Interview Date: 11-11-2015
Subject: Bodie Allen
Location: Haddon's Place Port O'Connor, TX
Interviewer: J. Linderman

Mr. Allen I appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions for our readers. As you know since a would-be assassin took several shots at you not long ago in the parking lot of our hospital, people have been calling and writing to learn more about you.

Bodie Allen: What kind of questions are people asking about me? And isn't there anything more interesting than me that you could be writing about?

Well more than one reader would like to know who you are, what you do and where you came from. You're a hot topic Mr. Allen, and we would really like to print your story.

Bodie Allen: Well I'm Bodie Allen and I'm the foreman for the Connor Ranch Company, the headquarters of which is the Lazy C. I was born and raised near Uvalde. And please call me Bodie.

What did your parents do for a living when you were growing up near Uvalde?

Bodie Allen: My Dad, well my whole family really, farmed spinach down near Crystal City and ran cattle, goats and sheep. My mother took care of me and my sister along with the house, garden, honey bees and yard livestock. She was what they call now days, a stay-at-home mom.

I'm sorry, Mr. Allen; what exactly might "yard livestock" be?

Bodie Allen: You know, milk cows, chickens, hogs, cats and dogs. Of course once we were old enough those duties were passed to me and my sister.

Your mother took care of honey bees?

Bodie Allen: Yes. You know that Uvalde is known as the honey capital of the world? They produce Guajillo honey which is mild and light-colored, just delicious.

No I wasn't aware of that. Thank you for telling me.

Did your family farm and ranch on a lot of land?

Bodie Allen: Well I guess that would depend on someone's definition of what a lot of land is. My Dad inherited a section of land, that's 640 acres, where the home place is, and my mother brought with her to their marriage 640 more. So the family lands were 1280 acres, or two sections. But my dad and his brothers leased more land, I can't tell you exactly how much land all together they farmed and ran cattle on.

So you could say that ranching is in your blood.

Bodie Allen: Yes sir, it certainly is.

Where did you go to school?

Bodie Allen: I went to school in Uvalde.

Where you active in sports while you were in school?

Bodie Allen: I was a member of the THRA and I continued to rodeo until my body told me it was time to stop.

What events did you do in the rodeo?

Bodie Allen: Well I was into team roping and steer dogging.

Did you ride bulls?

Bodie Allen: No sir. I was always tall, in fact my dad and my grandfather were taller than I am and I stand 6-feet 5-inches. Bull riding is tough and the lower your center of gravity is the better off you are. I tried it once and that was enough for me, thank you very much.

Was there anything else you did in the rodeo?

Bodie Allen: I was always partial to watching the barrel races and pole bending. (Said with a chuckle)

Did you participate in those events?

Bodie Allen: No sir, those events are for girls and women. (More chuckling)

I'm not really up on rodeo rules and regulations so you'll have to excuse my ignorant questions.

Bodie Allen: There are no ignorant questions, only ignorant answers.

Thank you.

So did you do well when you would participate in the rodeos?

Bodie Allen: My partner and I always did well in the team roping and I was a top hand at steer dogging. I made a good living when I did it but I was away from home a lot and it's expensive.

Participating in rodeos is expensive?

Bodie Allen: It sure is. Your horse is a huge expense, way beyond the purchase price. Vet bills can be really expensive so you learn to do most of that on your own. Tack, that's equipment, is expensive and it will wear out and break or need to be repaired. Horse trailers, trucks to pull the trailers, fuel, entry fees, horse feed, motel rooms, foodit adds up. If you don't have a sponsor that covers your fees and pays for your expenses including health insurance; you struggle. No one gets rich from being a rodeo cowboy, and unless you are really good and get endorsements from major sponsor companies, you'll starve to death or have to get a job drawing wages.

You draw wages from your current job don't you?

Bodie Allen: I draw a salary, yes sir.

And you are the foreman, so you are the boss, what you says goes, correct?

Bodie Allen: I am the foreman for the ranch but the owner is my boss. What he tells me "goes" and I in turn make sure that what he tells me to do is done.

Do you have employees?

Bodie Allen: I have a pasture manager and quite a few fence and windmill hands that work under me. Mostly they work for my pasture manager Monroe but they all work for me and we all work for Mr. Connor, the owner.

I understand that you are also a deputy sheriff so that probably helps ends meet.

Bodie Allen: I hold a commission as a deputy sheriff yes, but it's a non-paid position.

Recently you were shot at in our local hospital parking lot. Would you care to elaborate on that incident?

Bodie Allen: Y'all did a good job of covering that in the paper and I really don't have anything to add to what has already been reported.

Okay, thank you. Do you have any hobbies besides being a non-paid deputy sheriff?

Bodie Allen: Well I really like to fish and I really like to hunt.

I have heard about your fishing exploits. Before you arrived here I was shown that big trophy up behind the bar and your name engraved all over it. The Haddon Cup, I believe is what it's called.

Bodie Allen: I've been lucky enough to have done well in some of the local tournaments but so have many of my friends. Mainly I fish because I enjoy it and because my friends enjoy it too.

Do you fish with artificial bait or with live bait?

Bodie Allen: I fish with artificial bait mostly.

Care to elaborate as to why?

Bodie Allen: Well for me it's easier than live bait. I don't have to re-bait a hook on a missed fish like you do most of the time with live bait. I don't have to go and catch my bait, I don't have to go pay for my bait, and I don't have to worry about keeping it alive. Also for me fishing with lures is faster than it is with live bait. I can reel in and make rapid casts to a spot and I don't have to worry about losing my bait or catching non-target fish, but that does happen now and again. I do a lot of wade fishing and fishing with lures doesn't require me to drag a bait bucket behind me. Also, in wintertime, getting live bait can be a problem. It's all a matter of preference.

Bodie, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and I know that our readers are going to enjoy learning more about you.

Bodie Allen: Well I don't think that I'm all that interesting and I don't really care for all of the attention, but I do appreciate the cold beer and the chicken-fried steak you bought for me. Oh, and everyone else appreciates the round you bought for the house, too.

I bought a round for the house?

Bodie Allen: Yes you sure did.

I'm pretty certain that I did not.

Bodie Allen: I'm more than certain that you did. (He has a look that he gives you when he's not particularly happy–I've noticed.)

Well then, Mr. Allen, I guess I did at that.