Scot Allerdings is going to play hooky for the last two days of school, so he can come to the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo.
But the principal is OK with it.
The last day of school at Thunder Basin High School in Gillette, Wyo., is May 24, but Mr. Allerdings, the physical education teacher at Thunder Basin, is also the rodeo clown at the Garden City rodeo. And to be sure he’s there in time, he’ll leave after school on Wed., May 22 and drive all night to be in Garden City for the first night of rodeo May 23.
Allerdings teaches school during the week but “moonlights” on weekends and in the summer in the rodeo arena, as a rodeo clown.
A former bull rider whose career was “hit and miss,” as he describes it, he switched over to bullfighting. But as age creeps up, bullfighters often transition to rodeo clowns, and that’s what Allerdings did.
He was intrigued with rodeo clowns during his bullfighting days. “I always ended up helping out with their acts when they needed a hand,” he said. “I watched them and studied them a lot.”
At the urging of two well-known PRCA rodeo clowns, Lecile Harris and Leon Coffee, he created his own clown acts, and went from being the “silent matador” bullfighter to the funny, joke-telling rodeo clown.
He jokes that between the classroom and the rodeo arena, “it’s probably safer in the arena.” But he loves that he’s working with kids in both situations, and the biggest similarity between both is that he can make an impact on youth. In school, “I want them to enjoy school, to learn and have a quality experience.” It’s the same at a rodeo. “I want them to come and have fun at the rodeo.”
Allerdings’ rodeo clown acts are fast paced, he said. “I like to bring high energy to my shows. I’ll be up in the stands, in the arena, and I’ll have a variety of acts. I want everybody to have a good time. That’s my number one goal, that everybody, young and old, has a good time.”
Allerdings’ wife, Jenn, and their sons travel with him when they can, and his dad, Rick also travels. His dad, a retired coal miner, was an equipment operator, who helps Allerdings drive.
Allerdings will entertain during each night of the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo in Garden City.
The rodeo takes place May 23-25 at 7 pm each night. Tickets range in price from $12 to $20 if purchased in advance, and are available online at www.beefempiredaysrodeo.com. At the gate, tickets are $4 more per ticket. Ticket outlets include Crazy House, Baker Boots, and Garden City True Value.
For more information, visit the website at www.BeefEmpireDaysRodeo.com.