This year’s specialty act at the Cache County Rodeo guarantees his show will be worth the price of admission alone.
John Payne, AKA The One Arm Bandit, has won the PRCA Specialty Act of the Year 15 times, is in Logan and is going to lay it all on the line at the rodeo, he said.
Payne, who lost part of his arm in a construction accident, said “There are few specialty acts that have maybe won PRCA Specialty Act of the Year, three or four times but 15 times is unprecedented.”
He said his work is all original; he hasn’t borrowed anything from any other act and some tried to borrow some of his, but there aren’t too many that can do what the tall slender cowboy can do.
This is the third-generation cowboy’s third trip to Logan in his 30 year career. He’s entertained arenas full of people in all of the lower 48 states, Canada and Mexico.
In 1973, Payne was helping his father tear down a house and touched a wire with 7,300 volts of live electricity. He was dead for five minutes and after a stay in the hospital he escaped with only an amputated arm.
“I should have died many times but, I’m still here,” he said.
Ten years after his accident, broke with no work in sight for a one-armed cowboy, he talked some guy into letting him put on a show at a rodeo. He did it at no cost but he said the telephone started to ring and the work started to come.
When the Shidler, OK native began his stint as a PRCA performer he was doing 90 shows a year. Now, at 65 years-old, he does 30 to 35 rodeos a year. He said he wasn’t going to rest until they put him in the ground. He has longevity in his genes. His father died last year at 91 years-old.
The One Arm Bandit is scheduled to perform at the Cache County Rodeo on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.