Dangberg Ranch cracks whip on summer events
As Doc Durden took a swig fom his whiskey bottle, volunteer Daniel Duckworth quickly changed his mind about letting the cowboy bullwhip a flower from his mouth.
“To do this I’m going to need a lot of whiskey,” Durden said Saturday at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.
Duckworth agreed to let Durden whip flowers from his hand instead.
“If I intended to cause bodily harm I could,” Durden said. “These are very dangerous.”
For being a good sport, Durden taught Duckworth, in a few minutes, how to crack a bullwhip the proper way.
“It was fun,” Duckworth said. “It’s an experience I’ll never forget. I still want to put a flower in his hand and whip it off.”
Durden has been performing with a bullwhip for 10 years at shows around the state, as well as Washington and California.
It took Durden nearly a week to learn how to use the whip himself.
“I’m a coordinated guy, but this did not come easy to me,” he said. “It was discouraging, but finally it was like the book opened up and there it was. After that everything worked.”
Durden uses 6, 8 and 10-foot bullwhips in his shows, cracking two whips fast enough to break the sound barrier at one time.
“You need to generate enough speed to break the sound barrier to make that popping noise,” he said. “I’m the only one I know who uses two, 10-footers as part of the show.”
Durden brags a 99 percent success rate in teaching people how to crack a bullwhip in less than 15 minutes.
In 2010, his granddaughter awed the crowd at the Nevada State Fair when, at 4-years old, she put on a bullwhip show in th main arena.
“This was the coolest thing,” Durden said. “I got goosebumps from head to toe.”
Gardnerville resident Dianne Sweet said she was impressed by Durden’s skills.
“That was really interesting,” she said after the show. “He’s a great performer, and he’s also very informative. It’s always nice to learn new things.”
Durden is a member of the Wild West actors club, performing as Wild Bill Hickok in Virginia City. He also owns the Triple D Ranch in Pine Grove, Calif.
He will return to Dangberg on Sept. 2 along with Chuck Bauldauskas who performs as Buffalo Bill.
For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.dangberghomeranch.org.