Welcome to “Behind the Scenes.” Today, we have returned to visit with Richard, the creative voice behind the writing journey of Big Sky Buckeye.
Welcome back Richard. It is a pleasure visit with you again.
You have mentioned previously that your first years of teaching took place at Plevna High School, which is located in a small farming and ranching community in southeastern Montana.
Yes, I moved to Plevna for the 1978-1979 school year. Today, I would like to shine the spotlight on two of my high school students.
Both of these gentlemen graduated in 1980. While their lives shared some commonalities, they each had far different backgrounds.
Paul Neumann and Loyd Ketchum played on the boys basketball team. As starting guards, they helped to lead the Plevna Cougars to a district tournament championship. Their team’s efforts earned the school’s first title in nearly 20 years. While Paul’s gifted touch allowed him to be the playmaker, Loyd was recognized for his hard-nose defensive play.
Paul was a town kid. His father ran a service station along the highway, and his mother operated a beauty salon. Paul’s musical talents were extraordinary as he played keyboard and trumpet.
Loyd grew up on a ranch outside of town. His parents raised beef cattle and quarter horses. His mother was an accomplished rodeo barrel racer.
Paul had always dreamed of becoming a member of a rock band. While many in the town were not too sure about his career choice, Paul would persevere and see his dream bear fruit.
In 1986, Paul (using his professional name of Paul Daniels) was a founding member of the heavy metal band, Rox Diamond. Paul played keyboard and served as one of the band’s vocalists. Paul’s band would remain active well into the 2000s.
Loyd was destined to find success on the rodeo circuit. He became a world champion bullfighter in professional rodeo. Sometimes called rodeo clowns because of their colorful attire, these men were gifted athletes who looked out for cowboys when they were bucked off of a brahma bull.
Loyd’s skills were evident for several years on both the PRCA and PBR circuits. His efforts were best described with this phrase, “Bullfighting with class and finesse.”
Sitting here thinking of these two men and their hopes and dreams, they each made a name for themselves as well as making the community of Plevna proud.
We have appreciated spending time with Richard from Big Sky Buckeye. Look for more “Behind the Scenes” in future postings.
Here is a recent recording from Rox Diamond (dated 2018). If you are a fan of heavy metal music, this might interest you to listen in.
Here’s a short video clip of bullfighters Loyd Ketchum and Justin Hawks from 1997. Look out Loyd, here comes Georgie Porgie!