Alice Campbell Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Solomon has been involved with the rodeo "since I was just a kid. I grew up with it." Although retired from steer wrestling two years ago, Solomon still hazes and buys and sells cattle from his JS Livestock ranch outside of Havre. In January, the Montana Circuit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association recognized his involvement on a professional and personal level by presenting him the Calvin Bohleen Memorial Award. Suzanne "Suzie" Bohleen created the award in honor of her late husband Calvin Bohleen, who was a bull-rider and steer wrestler until a bull-riding accident paralyzed him in 1972. After his accident, he raised barrel-racing horses and was "a tremendous fan," Bohleen said. After his death, Suzie Bohleen wanted to find a way to recognize people who help others in the sport, and Solomon is one of those people. "Rodeo is such a unique sport in that everyone helps each other, works together. ... It's important to acknowledge those people that go out of their way to help other people," she said. Because of her own involvement in the sport and knowledge of other people involved, Bohleen specified that the circuit board pick the award winner from letters of nomination written by contestants who qualified for the circuit finals. Josh Granell alson of Havre nominated Solomon because "that's where I learned everything," including "a good attitude about everything." The relationship between Granell and Solomon is an ongoing one. "I grew up around his kids and rodeoed with his kids, and then I kept practicing with Jeff later on," Granell said. "We pretty much practice every Sunday." Granell also won the circuit finals rodeo at the 2007 Montana Pro Rodeo Finals on Solomon's horse Rascal. Considering that two of the awards given over the last four years have gone to the Solomon family Jeff Solomon and hid brother Jack Solomon Bohleen said, "That family steps up to the plate and helps o t h e r p e o p l e a n d s tays involved." The connections between Calvin and the rodeo run deep, and that makes giving the award exciting for Bohleen. "Calvin knew everyone, or everyone knew Calvin. ... It makes it more special," she said. That connect ion made receiving the award special to Solomon as well who knew Calvin Bohleen through the buying and selling of cattle.