A classic Wild West rope show found its way to Ardmore Friday.
Marty Tipton, or the “Oklahoma Kid,” performed several rope tricks and gave a brief history of the wild west shows on Friday at the Ardmore Public Library.
Tipton, who has worked as a trick roper and humorist for more than 20 years, awed the audience with various tricks and skill roping and educated the children on his descendants, who were performers in the original Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Wild West Show and the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Tipton also has relative ties to Will Rogers through his great grandmother.
The show was the next to last performance at the library at this summer during its summer reading program, with magician Steve Crawford wrapping up the program’s performances on July 7.
As part of the show, Tipton breaks down the basics of the wild west shows, educates children on some of the major figures in the industry (such as Annie Oakley and Will Rogers) and performs tricks with ropes of all sizes. Tipton said that working with children is the most rewarding part of his job. He has performed with the “Will Rogers Follies” on Broadway, on Good Morning America and several other venues.
“It’s one of the most joyful things and the happiest things I do in my life,” he said. “The most fulfilling thing I do is working with young people and teaching them to get out and not spend a lot of time behind computers and things like that.”
The show, which features several puns and cracks from Tipton, encourages kids to play outside and spend time doing activities other than being glued to electronics. Tipton, who has been doing library programs for nine years, said he travels the entire summer to put on shows for kids and adults. Tipton speaks at events, performs “Las Vegas” style shows and has performed at various types of venues across the country.
After the show, Tipton encouraged the adults and children to grab a rope and learn the first trick in roping, which is maintaining a “loop.” Kids and adults did their best Will Roger impersonations as they worked the ropes and tried to maintain the loop. Tipton also provided cowboy hats and sombreros to get the children into character.   
While the roping and jokes drive the shows, Tipton said there’s a deeper reason for performing and traveling across the country. Education, preserving history and spreading the message of helping and caring for one another are at the center of his shows, according to Tipton.
“Persevering history is how we have a greater future,” he said. “Education is important. Without knowing our past we can’t create a future.”
In addition to the performance, Tipton offered guests the chance to purchase their own trick rope, with proceeds going to help children in need. Tipton said being able to impact someone else’s life is a big part of why he does performances.
“True happiness comes from helping others,” Tipton said.