Saturday, January 24, 2015

The rodeo's in town!

Fort Worth awaits this annual event with bated breath--it brings tremendous crowds and lots of income to restaurants, shops, and the like. But it also traditionally brings bad weather. So far we've had semi-cold and one really rainy day, but the prediction for next week is the high sixties. Pray the weather holds. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show began last week, but today was the first day of the professional rodeo.
When my children were young, it was a rite of passage to be old enough to go to the rodeo. We always went with one family of good friends, and if memory serves correctly we ate beforehand because we didn't like rodeo food. It was a time of high excitement, and we all loved it.
Today, my children and grandchildren come for a rodeo weekend--it's become a ritual. This year, next weekend, I will put out snacks--veggies, hummus, cheese, wine and beer. I figure they'll eat corny dogs and whatever at the show.
I've written about rodeo, been to countless performances...and today I no longer want to go. Don't want to see man or beast hurt. (I always used to sneak out during the bull riding, which terrified me.) So part of old age is I don't go. Neither do I go when the family does a walk-through of the barns, the exposition hall, and the Midway. Used to love that too. Last time I went, it killed my feet. Nowadays I don't think my back would take the walking. So I send them off with blessings and nap while they're gone. Then we gather for a Saturday night dinner--usually at Joe T. Garcia's but this year Jordan suggested a change, and we're going to the Star Café, owned by dear friends of mine. The kids and grandkids love my friends Betty and Don and also love the Star--I can already savor the chicken-fried steak.
Jacob went to the matinee rodeo today, with his parents, an event sponsored by Jordan's employer, Gulliver's Travels. Jacob came in about 5:30 full of tales--it seems during the bronc riding, on bronc came out of the chute with a small leap, and then apparently looked around and saw the crowd. He stiffened his front legs and refused to move, as if to say, "They're people out there. I'm not going." In fact, that's what the announcer said, and it made me nostalgic for a moment--rodeo announcers keep a fast pace, but they are always ready with a quip.
Then at least one, and maybe two, bulls in the bull-riding bucked their way through the required eight seconds without dislodging their riders. Then they simply sat down. Needless to say the riders dismounted and made a bee-line for the safety of the sidewalls. Sounds to me like the funniest rodeo ever.
Jacob will go again Monday night, with his friend Hayes whose father will ride in the calf-roping competition. Imagine what a thrill that is for an eight-year-old boy--to see his friend's father, whom he knows, ride. Christian, who has already been to the rodeo twice and will go again several times next week, is taking the boys. After that I don't think we dare mention rodeo to him for a year.
And then after the first week in February, life in "the Fort" will settle back down to normal. And then we all think, with stock show weather behind us, spring is here. Doesn't usually happen that way.

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