[Congressional Record Volume 141, Number 192 (Tuesday, December 5, 1995)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2283]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. JERRY LEWIS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, December 5, 1995

  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I am proud, yet saddened, to 
bring to your attention today the recent passing of Earl Wesley Bascom 
of Victorville, CA. Earl was a cowboy hero and a true inspiration to 
many of us, particularly in the West. I'd like to take a moment to 
share with you a glimpse of Earl's remarkable life and the legacy he 
has left for future generations.
  Earl was born in a sod-roofed log cabin on a ranch near Vernal, UT, 
on June 19, 1906. His grandfather, Joel Bascom, was one of the very 
first frontier lawmen, and his father, deputy sheriff John Bascom, 
chased the outlaw Butch Cassidy in the late 1880's. Earl showed an 
early interest in art, drawing scenes of his young cowboy life on 
pieces of scrap paper. This interest blossomed when his family left 
Utah by covered wagon to start a new ranch life in Alberta, Canada in 
1914. There he worked as a cowhand for a dollar a day and furthered his 
dream under the direction of renowned western artist Charlie Russell.
  In 1933, at the age of 27, and having never graduated from high 
school, Earl was accepted to study art at Brigham Young University. He 
was the first student to pay his way through college exclusively as a 
rodeo cowboy, giving him the title of ``Rodeo's First Collegiate 
Cowboy.'' As an early pioneer of rodeo, he invented innovative rodeo 
equipment still used today. He graduated as one of the great rodeo 
legends, with his art degree, in 1940.
  Earl retired from rodeo, married Nadine Diffey, and moved to Los 
Angeles in 1940 to pursue his art career. As that developed, he worked 
in construction, ranched, taught, and even did some film work with Roy 
Rogers. In 1968, Earl began sculpting, and 5 years later, he and his 
youngest son, John, set up their own bronze casting foundry to produce 
magnificent works of western art.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that you join me, our colleagues, Earl's family 
and many friends in recognizing Earl Bascom's extraordinary work and 
remarkable life. Earl lived one of the most interesting lives ever 
known in modern cowboy history. ``I've tried to portray the West as I 
knew it--rough and rugged and tough as an old boot but with a good 
heart and honest as the day is long,'' he said. It is only fitting that 
the House recognize Earl Bascom today.