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Tall in the saddle
August 4, 2009 - Karin Elton
Yesterday I had the fun of interviewing Gene Schrunk — the mustachioed skinny guy with the cowboy hat — for a story in the paper about the Lyon County rodeo which starts this week.
He’s a reporter’s dream interview, because he can speak in full sentences and he’s knowledgable and passionate about his subject. He comes across as a nice guy who likes to have fun.
He’s passionate about the rodeo and horses. He said stuff like, “Once a cowboy, always a cowboy” and “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person.”
At the end of the interview he mentioned that I was booked for the celebrity bull ride. I said I didn’t have any chaps and he replied that that was no problem, the rodeo could provide them. I said, “Well, I can sling the bull around as well as anyone.”
Then we went outside to his truck so he could show me “April, the official rodeo dog.” April is a miniature Australian shepherd. It is clear from their interaction that there is a mutual love-fest going on between those two. April is a unique-looking dog with tan splotches on white fur. If that isn’t noticeable enough, she’ll be the dog wearing a saddle during the rodeo.
Later that day, after work, I went to Running’s to buy some apple treats for our horse. While she was ringing up my stuff, the young check-out clerk commented to another employee that Gene Schrunk was in there today. “He serenaded me,” she said with a smile. “He sang, ‘Elizzzaaabeth.”
His personality is such that, as a twice-older-than-her man, he didn’t come off creepy, but instead it seemed like he made her day.
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