Once More To The Rodeo
Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. How can he teach his son to be a man, when his own father figures abandoned him? As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today, when society’s expectations of men seem to change from moment to moment?   In search of answers, Calvin takes his young son on the road, traveling across the country to the annual rodeo in his small Iowa hometown. Along the way, a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame turns into an impromptu lesson about racism and segregation. In Niagara Falls, a day of arcade games and go-karts unexpectedly morphs into a titanic struggle between father and son. A stop in Chicago rips the scars off of old wounds. And back in Iowa, Calvin is forced to confront the most difficult question of all: What if his flaws and family history doom him to repeat the mistakes of the past?  In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin Hennick holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.

Once More To The Rodeo Details

TitleOnce More To The Rodeo
Author
ReleaseDec 10th, 2019
PublisherPushcart Press
ISBN-139781888889970
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir

Once More To The Rodeo Review

  • Beth Hunsberger
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy of this book.In his memoir, Hennick reflects on his own relationship with his father, his relationship with his son, and the differences they experience in society because of their skin color. Calvin and his son take a road trip to the Midwest, and those days in the car are perfect for reflection, exploration, discussion, and having the absolute best time together. This book is emotional and touching, and while it may resonate with men about the type of father they I received an advanced copy of this book.In his memoir, Hennick reflects on his own relationship with his father, his relationship with his son, and the differences they experience in society because of their skin color. Calvin and his son take a road trip to the Midwest, and those days in the car are perfect for reflection, exploration, discussion, and having the absolute best time together. This book is emotional and touching, and while it may resonate with men about the type of father they want to be, it is also a great book for everyone to stop and reflect on the legacy they want to leave and instill with the important people in their lives.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    This book was poignant and at times heartbreaking; other times I laughed out loud. A look inside what the author is internalizing as he parents his own child(ren), as he struggles with the less than ideal parenting from the parental figures in his own life. This book is honest, real, and it makes the reader think about their own perspective, how our upbringing and relationships even today affect who we are and how we relate to others.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion or this review. Can we go back in time to find answers to questions left unanswered or why our parents made the choices they did? Did our parents choices made when we were children affect our future choices? Are our parenting style and reactions imprinted on us by our parents? These questions are the foundation of this book. Once more to the Rodeo is a wonderful journal of self I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion or this review. Can we go back in time to find answers to questions left unanswered or why our parents made the choices they did? Did our parents choices made when we were children affect our future choices? Are our parenting style and reactions imprinted on us by our parents? These questions are the foundation of this book. Once more to the Rodeo is a wonderful journal of self discovery and diary to preserve or chronicle a road trip taken by father and son. By writing in this manner an intimacy is created that may not have been felt in another format. As a parent it is nice to see the raw honest reflections of every day events in this book. We all have moments we will regret, whether it is because we are frustrated from lack of sleep or embarrassed by how our child is acting... usually in public where it might reflect poorly on us the parent. Because parents are our worst critics it is nice to see others facing the same issues and making similar choices. Although the author finds forgiveness and/or acceptance of his past and the effects on his future, I felt it ended too soon.
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  • IquoImoh Terry
    January 1, 1970
    Great book about coming to the realizations that you don’t have to be perfect to raise your child and just because your father was absent does not mean you have to be absent. Once more to the Rodeo was a warm and heartfelt book.
  • Craig
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Smart and thoughtful.
  • Lisa Duffy
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning exploration of family, identity and fatherhood by a gifted writer. Beautifully crafted, and at times, laugh out loud funny—this is a book worth savoring.
  • Daisy Dooley
    January 1, 1970
    Once More to the Rodeo is a heartfelt and deeply moving memoir documenting a father and son road trip. Calvin wants to take his five year old son Nile on a trip that will bring them back to an annual rodeo in Calvin's home town. Ostensibly Calvin wants to provide his son with an education and an experience that will cement their bond and will provide a foundation to help Nile cope with any challenges he may experience in his life as a mixed heritage child. However, what Calvin discovers is that Once More to the Rodeo is a heartfelt and deeply moving memoir documenting a father and son road trip. Calvin wants to take his five year old son Nile on a trip that will bring them back to an annual rodeo in Calvin's home town. Ostensibly Calvin wants to provide his son with an education and an experience that will cement their bond and will provide a foundation to help Nile cope with any challenges he may experience in his life as a mixed heritage child. However, what Calvin discovers is that it is actually Nile who is to teach him more about life, fatherhood and love than he could ever have imagined. Having grown up with childhood neglect and a level of abuse never really acknowledged, Calvin realises this has left him with a feeling of worthlessness that he has tried to combat by expecting perfection from himself, or by numbing the pain with alcohol. His own father was absent and Calvin wants to figure out what it means to be a good man and what it means to raise one. There are many life-changing moments for Calvin, and as he journeys back over the miles, he understands that in order to move forward, he has to confront the past and lay his demons to rest. By the end of their road trip, Calvin has learnt many lessons. He doesn't have to be perfect to be a positive male role model for his children, and perhaps most importantly, that his past doesn't have to define his future. Perhaps most importantly of all, Nile has shown his father the healing power of love.
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