Lionel Bert "Breezy" Cox arrived at
Tucson as a passenger in Waco NC14086 on December 1, 1935. His pilot was M.W. Sawyer of Tucson,
AZ. They arrived from Florence, AZ and Sawyer noted in
the Remarks column of the Register, "Rodeoing." The
airplane bore S/N 4220 and it was manufactured in 1934.
NC14086 was owned by Marshall Sawyer.
The "Rodeoing" remark is significant, since "Breezy"
Cox was, indeed, a rodeo performer of some reputation, and
a champion all-around cowboy. For example, he was the saddle
bronc champion at the 1925, and the tie-down roping champion
of 1926, at the Calgary Stampede. Below, a photograph of Cox riding at the Calgary Stampede of 1929. The next four photographs are shared with us by site visitor Craig Ringer, who is researching Mr. Cox and the "Puncher's Parada" rodeo (see below).
"Breezy" Cox, 1929, Riding #153 (Source: Ringer)
Below, Mr. Cox "unloading" from his horse, "Powder River." Mr. Ringer states about this photograph, "The Tucson Rodeo photo was probably taken around the mid-1920s."
"Breezy" Cox "Unloading" From Powder River (Source: Ringer)
Mr. Ringer states about Cox and this flight through Tucson, "It appears that Cox might have been in Florence to attend the 'Junior Parada' that had replaced the 'Punchers' Parada' in which he had participated [earlier]. The last 'Punchers' Parada' was held in 1930 and seems to have ended due to the effects of the Great Depression. However, in 1932, a junior event was instituted to raise money to help the poor and undernourished children. It was probably held Thanksgiving weekend, which would fit with the date of his trip to Tucson. By the way, I have evidence of Cox having participated in the Punchers' Parada in 1926 and 1929 (at least)."
Below, also from Mr. Ringer, a U.S. Post Office cachet commemorating the dedication of the Florence, AZ airport, October 12, 1929. This envelope is on display at the Pinal County Historical Society in Florence, AZ. The link takes you to an unofficial Web site of the Society Museum.
U.S. Postal Cachet, October 12, 1929 (Source: Pinal County Historical Society via Ringer)
Highway Map, 1938, Showing Florence Airport (Source: Ringer)
Mr. Ringer says, "I went to the local Historical Society and found an envelope that has a cancellation in recognition of the dedication of the Florence Airfield. It's dated October 12, 1929...." He also shares (left), "... a copy of a portion of a 1938 Sinclair road map that shows an airport south of town. This would be the location for the one dedicated in 1929. That property is now the Charlie Whitlow Rodeo Arena and is used for Florence's Junior Parada [see the Museum link for details]. The envelope is signed by Thum, the Mayor of Florence at that time."
Further, he states, "Somewhat prior to 1929 (at least in 1919) they landed planes behind the high school which is located on South Main in Florence. An article in the November 22, 1919 issue of the Arizona Blade-Tribune said (in describing the location for the first Punchers' Parada): 'located on the grounds back of the high school that was used for a landing ground for the aeroplane during San Carlos day.'”
L.B. "Breezy" Cox, ca. late 1920s
At right, an image of Cox riding the bronco "Black
Powder", probably in a Texas rodeo.
Cox got into horse racing in 1940 as trainer and owner. He
and a partner bought and sold a couple of horses and, in
1944, had a winner over the mile in a horse named "Hard
Twist". They had parlayed an original $300 investment
in their first horse into a win of $11,770 at the Longacres
Mile. All totaled they won over $38,000 with "Hard Twist".
In his later years (1977) Cox trained a buffalo, named "Lollipop" to
be a mascot for the West Texas State University athletic
teams. As well, he taught a team of campus "Herdsmen" to
handle "Lollipop" on their own during their games.
I know nothing else about Mr. Cox; birth/death dates, post-rodeo life, etc. If you can help, please let me KNOW. One Web source states that he lived from 1900-1960, and that he retired from rodeos about 1956 after he broke his leg. There are a couple of photographs at the link.
UPLOADED: 10/07/07 REVISED: 05/17/11