Cowboys: Sticking With It Till The End...Which Hasn't Arrived Yet
By John Langmore
This photo is of Wade Cooper, the "legendary" (he'd roll his eyes if he read that) buckaroo boss on the ZX. When I rolled up to Binion's in 1975 with no more than a week's riding lessons to prepare me for a summer cowboying, Wade was the first cowboy's hand I shook as I got out of my parent's station wagon. I was twelve and he was 24, fresh out of Vietnam.
After that, Wade and I worked together three more summers at Binion's. When I photographed Wade on the ZX in 2013, the first time I'd seen him in thirty years, we spent the whole time retelling Binion Ranch stories. Back when Wade and I worked there, Binion's was the kind of place that generated stories.
Wade is one of the few men I rode out with as a young man that is still working as a big outfit cowboy. I'm not the least bit surprised he's the guy that stuck with it till the end . . . which hasn't even arrived yet.
-John Langmore is a former working cowboy who spent five years photographing cowboys on twelve of the country’s largest ranches for the soon to be released film, Cowboys: a Documentary Portrait, and also a book titled, Open Range – America’s Big Outfit Cowboy.