“Photos and Journals” – New Photojournalism Display at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center
A compilation of rare photos and journals are on display at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center. This collection was compiled from various friends and family of Casey Tibbs – many of which had been in storage across the country for more than five decades.
Photos include: Tibbs and his trick horse named “Midnight,” Tibbs with World Championship Heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey, and Tibbs with actor Steve Ford, son of former President Gerald Ford.
Casey Tibbs, a 9-time World Rodeo Champion from Fort Pierre was thrust into the Hollywood limelight in his early twenties. He hung out with Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra. He also dated actresses Marilyn Monroe and Katherine Ross. Later on in his film career, he became John Wayne’s technical director.
The display shows Tibbs as a model for Lee jeans, posing in front of saddles and awards at Pierre’s Falcon Café and the champion with many other championship rodeo greats.
“Each photo is tagged with historical facts and stories in a photojournalism method,” said Director Cindy Bahe. As one example, a rodeo manager wanted to introduce a Wild West Show in Belguim. Tibbs, was a headliner of the contract act, along with his prized trick horse “Midnight.” Many other cowboys, cowgirls, horses and buffalo were also shipped overseas for the show. They performed two to three acts a day, without getting their contract pay. After several weeks, the manager fled with the cash from admissions and the performers were stranded. Tibbs eventually returned to the United States and was forced to leave Midnight behind. He never saw him again.
“Also included in the display are Casey Tibbs personal journals about a wild west poker game, life on the range and his wedding experience,” said Bahe. “The original journals, typed on onion skin paper, were replicated in a larger format. The lingo and misspellings were left to preserve the authenticity.”
– Casey Tibbs SD Rodeo Center