Bandera's heroes have always been cowboys
By Mary Allyce Special to the Courier
Pictured: Todd Whitewood on the arena dirt
When the Frontier Times Museum celebrates the 2014 National Day of the American Cowboy (NDoAC) July 25, 26 and 27, it recognizes America's contribution of the cowboy hero to the world.
The museum established the "Texas Heroes Hall of Honor" to award "remarkable individuals and wondrous characters who through leadership, creativity, example and hard work" keep the spirit of Texas and the West alive.
At 7 pm, Friday, July 25, the museum will host the "Texas Heroes Hall of Honor" induction ceremony. The evening will include a barbecue dinner prepared by Rick Anderson and music under the stars by Drug Store Cowboys, honoring the 2014 Texas Heroes, Bud Fitzpatrick, Jud Ashmore and Todd Whitewood.
Whitewood doesn't have the impressive years of his fellow 2014 Texas Heroes, but he can rightfully claim his place beside them. This Bandera native was in rodeo arenas by the age of eight on a pony named "Charbodie."
He then rode and roped his way to the National Collegiate Calf Roping Championship in 1980, securing a place on the rodeo champions' marker on the Bandera County Courthouse lawn alongside superstars like Toots Mansfield, Ray Wharton, Clay Billings, Clint Singleton, Scooter Fries and Buddy Groff. He's also featured in the "Stalls of Fame" exhibit on permanent display at the Frontier Times Museum.
Whitewood credits his parents with giving him the opportunity to compete and win. "My dad ... has been the mainstay in getting me good horses and making me a good roper," he said. Whitewood added, "[My mother, Janie] instilled in me the confidence and determination that are essential in winning. It takes support from your parents to build winners in the rodeo world."
Whitewood takes his own advice to heart as he and wife, Serena, guide and support the rodeo career of their daughter, Whitley. At press time, the family is on the road as the teenage Whitewood chases a National High School Rodeo Championship.
The community is invited to honor these true Texas Heroes and support the Frontier Times Museum, beginning at 7 pm, Friday, July 25, on the museum grounds, 510 13th Street. Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased in advance at the museum or at the door on Friday evening.
For more information, call 830-796-3864 or visit www.frontiertimesmuseum.org.