The symbolic weight of australia day and the alcohol consumed in honor of the date arouses, in Rod Caddies, conflicts that have long been dormant.
With an iPod and speakers on his lap and a beer in hand, the barbecue host no longer tries to hide the hurt caused by the loss of custody of his children. Give in to revivalism.
He passes, one after the other, the great patriotic hits of John Williamsom, who hums with emotion. "Home Among the Gumtrees"and "Waltzing Matilda” pull by its True Blue facet. They make you yearn for old Australia. “Before everything was much better. There was a real mate in each of us.
Friendship and camaraderie linked us to this land and were above any personal interest”. And he continues to unburden himself, disillusioned with multiculturalism, in his view, hasty and exaggerated, which destroyed the nation's roots.
Born and raised on the southern plains of vast Western Australia, Rod eventually moved to sophisticated Perth. He was seduced by the lights of the big city and the prosperity guaranteed by the “state” job that had smiled on him.
In their hearts, the values of the countryside continued to defend themselves against the egocentric aggressions of the provincial capital, the furthest away from other large cities on the face of the Earth.
And they won, without appeal, despite the required sacrifices.
From Countryside to Far Perth: A Radical Life Change
His brother and sister-in-law were “Wild Souls” as he insisted on saying, marginalized and consumed by drugs. They had lost their children to social support institutions. Supportive and sensitized, Rod followed the process closely.
Aware of the possibility of leaving her job and of having a higher income if she took care of the kids, she didn't hesitate. After all, it was their lives but also yours that could save with the change.
At the time of decision, the heart crushed the reason. In a short time, it was seen the lodge in your house the two children but also a young New Zealand couple looking for an Aussie course. And then Dain, another nephew who had only recently started work.
The new meritorious existence would restore his spirits. As a final and unavoidable stimulus, a strong return to their rodeos was required. It was something that living with Dain and others of his mates would be in charge of ensuring.
True to the promise, whenever competitions are held close enough, Rod and his nephew make a point of participating. Australian proximity is relative.
end up drive days on end to Albany or flying to port-augusta, more than 2000 km away from Perth, in the neighboring province of South Australia. Expenses that come out of their pockets are only compensated if they win one of the disputed prizes.
The Providential Rodeo of the Arena of El Caballo
this weekend of the australia dayHowever, the rodeo takes place in Perth's large rodeo house. Rod and Dain are determined to have fun and, who knows, to shine.
Situated on the outskirts of Perth, El Caballo was once a promising rural resort. The lack of customers and a general sloppiness have turned the place into a slum that the few “deceived” criticize so devastatingly on the internet.
Despite its bad reputation, the place has one of the rodeo arenas famous in the region.
As the summer afternoon heats up and the atmosphere becomes American, the stands compose a beer-eating crowd.
Texan hats abound, dark blue jeans held up by belts with big gold and silver buckles, square-colored shirts and cowboy boots.
At the appointed time, when the enclosure is already full of pine cones, a solemn ceremonial begins.
A Lush Exhibit of Australia's Cowboy Facet
A blond knight in a haughty pose steps into the middle of the arena holding the flags of Australia and the United States. As soon as he comes to a standstill, the on-duty announcer calls for the audience's attention and the Australian anthem is played and sung with unquestionable vigor.
Once the protocol is finished, the music changes to style country. The most diverse exhibitions follow: the lasso and skill with bullocks, the competitions set up against the clock, the circus, jugglers and comedy presentations, the latter being in charge of the cowboy-clown on duty.
After each of the light moments, the qualifiers for the queen races take place: the bulls and wild horses riding. With each start, the expectation reaches its climax, stops and gives way to disappointment or, in the worst cases, to drama and the entry into the scene of ambulances and paramedics.
Even more than, in Yankee lands, resisting for eight seconds a maddened bull weighing several tons is, around here, infrequent. The modality is far from the absolute North American professionalism.
In addition to large prizes, the assemblers who achieve it will forever keep a strong reason to be proud.
Dain stays behind in the first qualifiers. Rod resists but finds himself haunted by the hardships of his past. The ex-wife walks around the room with their children and their new partner.
The Mazes of Rodeo Cowboy and Rod's Life
As if that wasn't enough, old ailments of the body – which he always made a point of healing in a naturalistic way – again cause him pain. They hinder your performance. Discouraged, he takes refuge, behind the bars of the arena, among the cowboy companions who are getting ready to remount and follow the action with conviction.
When it's your turn again, the panorama changes little. You get one of the trickiest bulls in the lot. He sees himself knocked down in a flash, and is saved the last time from getting caught in the rope that surrounds the animal.
Dain makes sure everything is fine. He greets his uncle, cheers him on with improvised jokes about their failures.
Engraved on his leather jacket – which matches his shirt, tight fringed pants and Texan hat – a short expression reminds Rod of the fearless way he always made a point of living: “No Cry Babies".
Late into the night, the two cowboys drink and dance nonstop on El Caballo's sweaty dance floor. When their exhaustion takes hold, they make plans for the rodeos that follow, in the old Australian “West”.