Growing up, Denny Flynn idolized Paul Mayo to the point where he accidently hurt his brother, Mike.
No injuries were reported Saturday as Denny entered the ProRodeo Hall of Fame with Mayo as two of five inductees into the Class of 2010. Joining them were 1974 world saddle bronc champion John McBeth, bullfighter Rex Dunn and stock contractor Bennie Beutler.
“I never thought I would ever be here never winning a world title,” said Denny, who was inducted into the notables/lifetime achievement category.
Sporting a black cowboy hat, blue jeans and a red plaid buttoned-down shirt underneath his black jacket, Denny Flynn said when he was about 14 years old, he and his brother read Pro Rodeo Sports News magazine for the first time and became instantly hooked.
They started a subscription and fought to determine who would earn the privilege of retrieving the magazine from the mailbox — or dibs. One day, Denny saw the mailman stroll down the Arkansas dirt road and discreetly walked to the front door. When he thought he was in the clear, he said he hollered “mailman” and took off.
Denny, however, hit the screen door and as he ricocheted off the porch, Mike tackled him.
“Of course, I was mad,” Denny said. “Mike was headed towards the mailbox and I had my hand on a rock. I picked up that rock and I threw it and I hit Mike in the back of the head.”
Denny easily got the magazine and sat on his porch reading while Mike returned with blood on his hands. After their mother tended to Mike’s injury, she asked Denny for an explanation.
“She had her hands on her hips and said, ‘Do you mind telling me what just happened?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Paul Mayo just went ahead of Clyde Vamvoras in bareback riding,’” said Denny as the crowd bursted with laughter.
McBeth told a similar story in his induction speech, albeit without injuries.
When McBeth was about 9, his father, Harold, gave him $1 for lunch and a list of events he wanted his son to compete in.
“I don’t think he read that show bill too well because the last event was an 18-and-under steer riding. Entry fee: $1,” McBeth said. “I didn’t get to eat lunch that day.”
As Dunn said, rodeo is about memories, which he’s had his fair share.
“I’ve forgotten more memories than most people will ever have in their lifetime,” Dunn said.
But for one morning, the memories came flooding back.