Posted: Jun 15, 2012 5:19 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News
Updated: Jun 18, 2012 10:45 AM
MISSOULA- Whether rodeoing or caring for seniors, one Missoula man is finding a way to make two very different careers both about entertaining people while helping them.
Licensed Practical Nurse Kaleb Barrett is adored by the residents at his job at The Springs senior living facility, but what he moonlights as is no bull, either.
"I was training to fight bulls pro, and training to become a professional in the health field at the same time," Barrett said.
Some of Barrett's most loyal fans don't make it to the rodeos, but they get to hear his stories first-hand and watch his videos.
"We're pretty proud of him," said Harold Knapp, a Springs resident. "And all these ladies, they like him too."
Knapp said it can be tough for Springs residents to go to distant rodeos, but Barrett brings them to life.
Another resident, Lillian LaCroix, said she thinks it's wonderful Barrett moves so quickly.
Both of Barrett's careers are the culmination of childhood dreams. His mother is a nurse and he grew up watching rodeos with his father.
"When you're little squirt, your dad's the bull and you're the rider. He bucks you off, runs you over- that turned into some junior rodeo," said Barrett.
Barrett's career path became clear in high school when he was thrown off a bull and knocked unconscious.
"That was a big change in my life, it was pretty scary. It was pretty devastating to watch myself limp and just getting stomped on and no one there to protect me," Barrett said.
From that point, he vowed to never let the same thing happen to anyone else, so he became a cowboy protector and a bullfighter.
"When somebody's wife or kid comes up and says thanks for being there for my husband or for my dad...there's no word that can touch that," Barrett said.
Last weekend, Barrett tried his luck bullfighting competitively for the first time, he won and now he wants to keep going.
"I kind of got hit by the bug and it was enjoyable," Barrett said.
Barrett's main focus will still be on cowboy protection, but he'll pick up bullfights whenever he gets a chance.