If you’ve ever watched a bull rider desperately hang on to the back of a bull till the buzzer sounds or shaken your head in amazement as a cowboy picks himself off the ground after being tossed around like a rag doll, Abe Morris’ book, My Cowboy Hat Still Fits, will tell you why they do it.
In his own words, Champion Bull Rider Abe Morris recounts the story of his rodeo career from the beginning as a boy in New Jersey at the Cowtown Rodeo through his time at the University of Wyoming and follows the triumphs and disappointments of competing around the country as one of the very few black rodeo cowboys. This is a story of good friends, tragic losses, prejudicial judges, career threatening injuries and the ever present recalcitrant bulls which never fail to make a lasting impression.
Abe’s story is an inside look at the sport of rodeo and the men who pursue it, written by a man who knows what it means to lose but who has also experienced the exhilaration of those championship wins.
In 1996 retired champion bull rider Abe Morris was settled in his community, career and ready to meet someone with whom he could share his life. That’s what he prayed for. And then he met Lorena. He was immediately smitten and their long distance courtship soon led to marriage, a move and a son. But this match was not made in Heaven and as his marriage crumbled, Abe found himself at the mercy of a court system that seemed unwilling or unable to give a father a fair hearing.
Abe’s new book, Justin: A Father’s Fight for His Son chronicles a darker side of his life from his marriage and the birth of his child to his struggle through an acrimonious divorce and the battles he was forced to fight to maintain a relationship with his young son. During nine years of court cases and custody battles, Abe swears he was beaten up more by the New Jersey court system than the cantankerous bulls he encountered during his twenty year professional rodeo career. This is the ongoing story of his struggle against a system and its advocates who seem far more interested in processing than facts. Decisions based on false information, court orders defied and unenforced, consequences that only seem to flow in one direction, and attorneys who don’t follow through plague Morris’s legal struggles. While some of his story may seem too bizarre to be true, he and his son have lived and continue to live it. And he shares it here in a effort to shed some light on the perspective of the other side in these cases, and to beg both advocates and courts to slow down and take a closer look at what is brought before them. Abe hopes his story will encourage other struggling fathers not to give up.
Despite insurmountable odds the perseverance, and fortitude that made Abe a rodeo champion kept him in the arena of the courtroom. He hopes his story will prove to be inspirational to others who find themselves in similar situations, and to the judges and attorneys who might find reason to slow down and be sure they understand both sides of the cases before them.
ABOUT ABE MORRIS
Abe Morris is a former professional bull rider, television commentator, rodeo announcer, author, free-lance writer, registered financial services representative and highly acclaimed motivational speaker.
He received rave reviews in March 2005 after the publication his first book My Cowboy Hat Still Fits chronicling his days as one of a handful of African American rodeo cowboys competing in the late 1970’s through the early 1990’s in a sport dominated by white cowboys. Though his heart was in the West, Abe Morris grew up in Woodstown, New Jersey and people continue to be intrigued by the story of his youth and subsequent rodeo career.