(This book cannot be returned.)
This is the autobiography of Jim Warvell. Jim, together with his wife Jan, 2010 Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductees and gold card members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, performed specialty acts all over the world and have been recognized for their work and achievements.
He tells this story of two kids (Jan and Jim) growing up in the 1930's in rural Indiana and Ohio in his own way, his own words and his own cowboy lingo. It is a fascinating story of "how the west was entertained" by one man, one woman and their family.
They raised the 'entertainment' value of rodeos to an entirely new level. If you have ever been to a rodeo and have seen the horse and novelty acts entertaining the crowds while the stadium gets ready for the next event, then you have an idea of what Jim, Jan and the Warvell family accomplished.
Jim started on a farm in Darke County, Ohio. He went from riding horses on a farm to riding wild horses in rodeos and Wild West Shows. Jan started on a farm in Indiana. She left the farm and became a well-known Roman rider and trick rider all across the United States.
Having settled in Texas in the early 60's, they expanded to developing horse riding specialty acts. They improved on those acts and were soon entertaining fans across America. The specialty acts included Roman Riding, Trick Riding, and Jan, jumping a white horse over a convertible with no bridle or saddle Their showmanship did not go unnoticed and they began entertaining people in Europe, Asia and South America.
The family (Jim, Jan and their two daughters Toni and Sonna) performed at Madison Square Garden, the World's Fair in Montreal, a presidential performance and most every major rodeo in the United States to name a few highlights. They owned and trained the horses they used in their specialty acts. Jim and Jan later went on to successfully own and train race horses. For the first time ever, Jim shares some of his secrets on showmanship and training horses.
The story is not only a period piece but also a love story. It reflects the early days of entertainment (50's, 60's and early 70's) in the circus, on the professional rodeo circuit, fairs and Wild West Shows when specialty acts were at the height of their popularity. Jim and Jan Warvell, based in Weatherford Texas since the early 60's (where Jim still resides), were married 55 years, lived and worked together sharing their passion and special talents for horsemanship and entertainment, before Jan succumbed to Alzheimer's disease.
IT'S BEEN A WILD RIDE is an original story that takes us back to a special time in American history.