Heroes & Legends: Jerome Davis and J.W. Hart

Highlights

  • As travel partners, Jerome Davis and J.W. Hart were bluntly honest with each other.
  • After Jerome Davis' injury, which left him paralyzed, J.W. Hart never missed a day of being at the hospital with Jerome and his wife.

In This Article

FORT WORTH, Texas - From the moment Jerome Davis and J.W. Hart met, they were friends.

In actuality, it's a bond similar to brothers, but without the sibling rivalry.

Over the years, they've laughed together and cried and - more times than not - laughed some more, but the friendship was never more apparent than when Davis was paralyzed in a bull-riding accident in Fort Worth, Texas.

For days, Hart stayed at the hospital with Davis and Davis' wife Tiffany.

Hart spent some nights at the hospital, sleeping upright in a chair next to Davis' bed, and other times, he would commute back and forth between his home in Oklahoma and the hospital, which was an hour away. But he never missed a day of being there for Jerome and Tiffany.

Then, 14 years ago when Davis, who is confined to a wheelchair, played host to his first Touring Pro Division event in North Carolina, Hart flew out a week early to help get the arena ready for the event.

Tiffany can recall Hart "welding bleachers together."

She doesn't remember how or when her husband first met Hart, just that he said he was going to be traveling with a new, young kid who could ride real well.

"Sure enough, when I saw J.W., he looked like he was 12 years old," Tiffany said, "and he still does - in an old man's body, I guess."

According to Tiffany, to this day, the two have never fussed or argued.

However, they weren't afraid to be bluntly honest with one another back when they traveled from one event to another.

"If one of them wasn't riding good, they'd call each other out," said Tiffany, who added that neither Davis nor Hart would sugarcoat their thoughts, or hold back their opinions.

Davis and Hart traveled with Tater Porter and K.J. Pletcher.

"Sure enough, when I saw J.W., he looked like he was 12 years old, and he still does - in an old man's body, I guess."

But after Davis' injury, Tiffany worried that Hart was going to have to strike out on his own. Davis was the one who had always set their schedule and made travel arrangements for the two of them.

The both excelled early on and pushed one another.

"Every time they were in the truck, they were winning money," Tiffany said, "and that was their big thing, 'Where are we going to spend our money today.'"

Between PBR events and various rodeos, Hart would stay with the Davis' in North Carolina.

They lived in a 100-year-old farm house and Tiffany recalled how Hart would sleep on the old shag carpeting. She can't remember how many people were living with Hart at the time, including a raccoon that lived in the house with the family, but Davis would also stay with Hart when they were in that part of the country.

Davis has said that if it wasn't for his and Tiffany's family in North Carolina, they would move to Oklahoma.

Tiffany consider the Hart's - J.W., his wife LeAnn and their two children - to be their "other family." In fact, the Davis' are godparents for both Wacey and Mac Hart.

"They're just there for each other," Tiffany explained. "If either one of them got in a bind and said, 'Hey, I just got put in jail. Can you drive out here to North Carolina or Oklahoma?' The other one would be out there.

"They're just there for each other."

Two years ago, Jerome and Tiffany were visiting the J.W. and LeAnn and late one night the two former bull riders were reminiscing about old times. Having enjoyed a few drinks, one thing led to another and J.W. picked Jerome up out of his wheelchair and put him atop a bucking machine.

Jerome was smiling from ear to ear in a way he hadn't smiled in a long, long time, but Tiffany said J.W. was the one who "was smiling harder than Jerome was." Jerome doesn't have any stomach muscles, so Tiffany was sure J.W. was going to launch him over the frontend.

"It tickled J.W. more than it did Jerome," said Tiffany, who later added, "It's kind of scary when those two get together, because you never know what they'll get in the middle of."

Everyone who knows them, especially when they're together, has learned to expect the unexpected.

Nevertheless, Tiffany said there is one certainty, "If they came up with a surgery tomorrow and had him walking, I believe he'd get on another bull. That's how much he loved bull riding."

© 2014 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.

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