Well….I’m not too long…..and I’m not too tall….and, actually, I’m not really a true Texan. I’m an Okie, Sooner born and Sooner bred.
But I moved to Texas in 1955, went to school there until high school, went to Cowboy games in the Cotton Bowl when the throwback uniforms weren’t throwbacks and lived there until last year. I can fly the Lone Star flag!
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in Texas, go to a stock show and rodeo.
We met up with David and Steve Ann, our baseball and running buddies in Ft Worth. We filled up on sausage and biscuit skillets at the Ol’ South Pancake House on our way to the Stockyards. One thing about a big ole Texas breakfast is you won’t be needing lunch right away.
The Stockyards is an interesting place. The buildings are old, built in the 1930’s. Now that’s old by Texas standards. There is an art-deco feel to the yards, but the buildings were built to sell horses, cattle, hogs and sheep. Stepping inside and you will find yourself smack dab in the middle of what made the Republic great.
Show buildings, a few hundred feet long sit side by side across the stockyards, each building filled with livestock, cattle, sheep, and hogs getting primped up to go out and meet the judges. Shampoo, buffing brushes, hair brushes, trimming scissors, hair gel, shoe polish…all the products of a beauty salon. Except the stylists look more like a linebacker in square-toed Justin’s, Wranglers and a feed store ballcap.
You have heard the old joke about putting lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig. Okay, well, these are looking pretty good!
After the Texas breakfast and walk through the barns, it was time for the rodeo! Let’s go, Garth, bring on those Real Cowboys, not the kind that hang out at the drug store fountain looking like they play in Gene Autry’s band!
The opening ceremony pomp and circumstance was quite a spectacle. What an impressive way to kick off the show!
Bronco busting – some of the cowboys broke the broncos, some of the broncos tossed the cowboys. A never-ending battle at rodeos.
Bull doggin’ – I can’t imagine chasing down a calf, jumping off your horse, throwing the calf to the ground and tying up his legs….in 6 seconds
Calf roping – These cowboys were able to rope both of the back legs when the calf was running full speed!
Barrel racing – Those cowgirls (is that politically correct?) can handle those horses.
Bull riding – The cowboys didn’t stand a chance. Only one 8 second ride.
Wagon races – I thought I was going to witness a Nascar style crash!
That’s a rodeo and it makes for a helluva Saturday morning!