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Paul "Tall Paul" Drury

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Our show today features, Tall Paul's "Nothin' But Try". It is the life story of Shane Drury, a professional bull rider who was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. The book details Shane's life of sports, rodeo, family, friends, faith, grit, determination and "try", as he fought his courageous battle with the deadly disease. Both inspiring and endearing, the story takes you from Shane's first bull ride through his entire career, highlighted by his appearance at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada and his record setting 95 point ride in Reno, Nevada.  

Tall Paul is the pen name for Paul Drury. He was nicknamed Tall Paul decades ago and for some reason it stuck. Tall Paul performed on stage as a singer/song writer and has written articles for various newspapers throughout the Midwest. As his sons grew into young men, they and all their friends referred to him as Tall Paul and thus a fitting pseudonym for a book about the life of his youngest son. His cowboy background gives him his western flair, humor and "cut to the chase" writing style. A single father of three boys, Tall Paul is well grounded and writes with compassion and understanding.

In his new book, “Nothin’ But Try: The Shane Drury Story” (published by AuthorHouse), Tall Paul sets out to chronicle the life and times of his son, professional bull rider Shane Drury (1979-2006), combining detailed, illuminating biographical information with loving tributes to the inspirational cowboy.

When Shane was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in his early 20s, a rare form of cancer that affects the bone and soft tissue, he called his dad, relaying the life-changing news in his characteristic straightforward manner. From that initial telephone call, “Nothin’ But Try: The Shane Drury Story” turns to tales of Shane’s childhood spent with two older brothers, playing sports and growing into a determined, competitive, talented young man.

Both inspiring and endearing, “Nothin’ But Try: The Shane Drury Story” takes you from Shane’s first bull ride through his entire career, a career highlighted by his appearance at the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas and his record-setting, 95-point ride in Reno, Nev. The numerous photographs give an up-close, personal look at Shane’s life and career, and Tall Paul speaks at length, giving examples, of how Shane’s faith and courage impacted and inspired the lives of others.

With a scholarship set up in Shane’s name through the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), a bronze sculpture of Shane awarded at the Black Hills Stock Show in Shane’s hometown of Rapid City, S.D., colleagues, friends and family are joining together to honor the memory of a talented athlete, loyal friend and devoted son.

“‘Nothin’ But Try’ is more than just the story of a young man who was taken from this earth way too soon,” Tall Paul writes. “In reading his story, you will feel a special relationship with this wonderful young man who never quit, never gave up and never lost his faith in God. You, too, will fall in love with Shane Drury.”

Shane Drury was an inspiration to many throughout his life. As a bull rider, he conquered beast after beast in the rodeo arena. Perhaps that prepared him for the battle with cancer that would eventually take him from this earth. Shane’s determination in the arena served him well as he beat the disease once and returned to competition with Gortex patches filling his chest wall where ribs had been removed. Round one of Ewing’s Sarcoma started in May of 2002, included 15 chemo treatments and surgery to remove the tumor as well as parts of four ribs and a piece of his lung. In June of 2003, Doctors believed him to be cancer free. Shane came back to the arena first as a competitor and after being diagnosed a second time with Ewing’s Sarcoma he returned as a judge. Throughout everything, he kept a positive attitude and was very well known for his perseverance. Shane had many highlights in his bull riding career. He was on the Southwestern Oklahoma State University men’s rodeo team that won the national championship in 1999. In 2000, he made the trip to Las Vegas to compete at rodeo’s championship event, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR). He won the prestigious Reno (Nev.) Rodeo championship spurs in 2001 setting an arena record. He just missed qualifying for the NFR that year finishing the season in 19th place. He was making a bid to get back to the NFR and was having back pain. When tests revealed that the pain was coming from a tumor, Drury faced that just as he faced every bull he ever got on – with determination that he would come out on top. He did that to the end with a smile on his face. Cancer never got the best of Shane Drury, he saved that for all the people that knew him.

Shane’s legacy will live on through the Shane Drury Scholarship, given to a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association member that has faced adversity in their own lives and never given up. In June of 2006, Shane presented the first award to Jyme Peterson, a junior at Montana State University.during the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Donations to the scholarship fund are fully tax deductible and can be made to the NIRA Foundation in Shane Drury’s name. They should be sent to: National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Foundation, 2316 Eastgate North Suite 160, Walla Walla WA 99362. This site will now be used to continue Shane’s legacy of encouraging others, staying in touch with God and to keep smiling no matter what.

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