OMAK - Author Anita Waggoner, granddaughter of Omak Stampede co-founder Leo Moomaw, has written a novel.
“Farewell to Freedom,” which draws on her experiences as a stock contractor, recently was rewritten and is available on amazon.com.
Waggoner attended her first Omak Stampede in the 1940s when she was a few days old. Moomaw’s bucking stock was well known across many state lines.
Growing up in Omak in the 1950s and ‘60s, Waggoner spent a lot of time at her grandpa’s ranch. Being a cowgirl wasn’t what she had in mind, but she grew up enjoying her Western heritage, and was proud to be related to such a kind and smart man, according to an announcement from her publisher.
As a young girl, Waggoner enjoyed hanging out behind the scenes at rodeos. She liked mingling with young cowboys and listening to the older ones tell their tales.
Bull riding events were her favorite. She didn’t leave her seat when the bulls bucked.
She saw Grandpa Leo treat his animals with respect and get their respect in return, said the publisher. Next to bull riding, she loved watching the Suicide Race and seeing the riders break over the hill and tumble down the steep bank and sandy runway into the river below.
The years went by and Waggoner grew up and left Omak. She moved away to the city, and rodeo, bulls, horses, cowboys and her childhood experiences faded from her mind. Her travels, adventures and new lifestyle took her far away from rodeo and the cowboy way of life.
Then, many years later and faced with the reality of divorce, her world came tumbling down around her, said the announcement. She met an Oklahoma cowboy at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas who whisked her back to the cowboy way of life.
She went from living the life of a socialite to owning a ranch in Oklahoma and raising rodeo bulls as a female stock contractor for Professional Bull Riders and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events throughout the southern states and beyond.
When she left Freedom, Okla., Waggoner sold her ranch to Jerry Nelson of Frontier Rodeo Co. The well-known PRCA stock contractor continues to operate her ranch and lodge near Freedom.
Waggoner wrote about her experiences in an award-winning novel, “Farewell to Freedom.” After a recent rewrite, “Farewell to Freedom” is available this month under new cover on Amazon.
The rewrite is dedicated to her cowboy partner and former bull rider, Marvin Nixon, who was killed in an automobile accident in Oklahoma in January.
Waggoner credits her success and ability to carry on the family rodeo tradition to the examples of greatness her granddad instilled in her as a child.
Her screenplay based on “Farewell to Freedom” is being considered by a Hollywood production company, said her publisher.