Archived Story

No laughing matter

Published 7:16pm Friday, March 11, 2011

Rodeo clown talks about job week before traveling to area for competition

Reggie Purvis’ job has led to a broken nose and a dislocated shoulder. Some might call that bad luck.

But considering he has spent 35 years as a rodeo clown he’s been fortunate.

“I’ve been lucky I guess,” Purvis said. “It’s a full-contact sport anyway.”

Purvis, who works as a clown for Bo Campbell Productions and still competes as a steer wrestler, started in rodeos at the age of 13 as a bull rider and became a clown at 15 years old.

“I just liked it,” he said of becoming a rodeo clown. “I don’t guess you have to have all your marbles to do it.”

Purvis said he took no formal training to become a clown, but instead taught himself, through use of a practice pen, the skills needed to be a good rodeo clown.

“I learned from my mistakes,” Purvis said.

He said the keys to success in his job are the ability to move quickly, staying close and paying attention.

Purvis and the rest of Bo Campbell Rodeo Productions will take part in the Professional Cowboy Association sanctioned Lake Martin Rodeo benefiting

Tallapoosa County Relay for Life taking place next weekend.

Gates for the rodeo will open at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The competition will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available in advance at the Sportsplex gymnasium, the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Depot Gun and Pawn and Cecil’s Public House. Tickets in advance are $8 for adults, $3 for children ages 4 to 12 and children 3 and under get in free. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Rodeo organizer Jennifer Baker said anyone with proof of residency in Tallapoosa County, like a utility bill or a church bulletin, will get in the gate that night for the advance ticket price.