In 1997, I first went to Archdale to meet the “Carolina Cowboy.” Jerome Davis at the time was the only rodeo world champ to ever hail from east of the Mississippi. He grew up in Archdale – 15 miles south of Greensboro – primarily on his grandfather’s dairy farm.

In 1998, Davis had a horrible bull-riding accident. He was paralyzed from the chest down when a bucking bull first knocked him unconscious and then flicked him onto the ground, head-first.

I went back to Archdale in 2013 to find Davis still living on the same land. He is now married to the woman he was engaged to before the accident. He raises the same sort of bucking bulls that put him in his wheelchair. And he is happy.

“I’m pretty wide open these days,” Davis said. “I’ve probably got 20 percent of my body. So that’s enough to keep going, I reckon.”

Many times this year since I saw Davis again, I have thought of him and his refusal to give in to self-pity. One thing’s for sure: The Carolina Cowboy has never taken any bull. Scott Fowler

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