I can. I will. End of Story.
This sums up perfectly the way Cody Stinnissen approaches life.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are a few people that influenced the creation of the main character in Cowboy Cody. One of these people was Cody Stinnissen, who is a close friend of both of my sons.
Cody is one of five children, and is a twin to his brother Cooper. Cody became attracted to the cowboy life at about seven years old. Cody would often come to our house to play, and caught the ‘roping-bug’ almost immediately. It wasn’t long before he was swinging a rope and roping the dummy like a pro.
I visited with Cody recently as I was getting ready to write this, making sure I had my facts straight. I wanted to make sure that I was retelling the stories accurately. Mostly, I remembered things pretty well, but there were a few things I was not aware of. More accurately, some important details that I was not MADE aware of.
Set the scene in about 2002…
I always thought that we gave Cody his first rope. I remembered it going down something like this…
One day, seeing that his little friend desperately wanted a rope of his own, my sweet boy Devin dug a crappy old rope out of our used rope pile and gave it to his friend. Awwww, isn’t my little guy sweet? I thought.
Back to 2017 for a moment…
After talking with Cody, it turns out that there are a few parts of my version of the story that are true, but very few. Devin did, in fact, ‘help’ Cody acquire his first rope, but not quite in the way I thought. The story went more like this…
Rewind to 2002…
One day, seeing that his friend desperately wanted a rope of his own, my sweet boy Devin dug not one, but THREE crappy old ropes out of our used rope pile… and proceeded to SELL them to his friend for ten bucks! Ten bucks is a LOT of money when you are seven years old.
My little entrepreneur! Not cool, Devin. Not cool at all.
Cody’s mom Nicky would tell stories of Cody roping buckets in their backyard, and of the imaginative construction of Cody’s homemade roping dummies! Cody took the initiative and practiced and learned independently, taking in every piece of advice and instruction he could get. At our place, he would wait for opportunities to warm-up a horse or cool them down after a night of roping. He worked the chutes, pushed steers and put wraps on; he did whatever it took to be involved in this game he loved.
Cody has an incredible work ethic and great, supportive parents. Cody’s father Ed bought him a saddle for Christmas one year. Although he didn’t have a horse to put under it yet, Cody knew that the saddle was a step toward living his dream.
Again, our son Devin saw opportunity knocking. For an entire summer, he convinced Cody that he would be wise to ‘practice’ saddling his horse, so that Cody knew how to do it and was good at it when he got his own horse. Cody saddled Devin’s horse for an entire summer.
That boy of mine…always thinking of others. I am shaking my head while I am writing this…
Ed and Nicky surprised Cody one day by bringing ‘Tex’ home. ‘Tex’ was an older, finished heading horse with a great mind and a kind eye. With team of ‘Tex’ and Cody, we watched Cody became the roper he had always wanted to be.
Cody is now in his early 20’s and has a truck, horse trailer and a few horses in his string. He is often entered up in local rodeos and jackpots and has quickly become a frequent flyer to the pay window. Most recently, Cody attended a clinic put on by our World Champion Team Ropers Jeremy Buhler and Levi Simpson.
Cody’s heart and work ethic have helped him get to where he is today. Even as a very young boy, he was able to see the ‘end-game’. Keeping his eye on the prize, Cody was able to sustain his commitment and live the life he wanted …grit. The boy has grit in spades.
So you see, Cody …is Cody.