Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Penny for Your Thoughts

A Penny for your thoughts. Really, Penny was in my thoughts last Friday as Randy and I went to the Stafford Rodeo.

I've never been a horse person. I didn't go through the preteen fascination that seems to afflict a bevy of girls, including my sister, Lisa, who had a horse named Penny. I left the fancy fringed shirt and cowboy boots to Lisa and her 4-H project. I was much more inclined to have both feet planted firmly on the ground. Give me a foods project or even a sewing project - both decidedly indoor activities - and I was much happier. I even liked working on 4-H books. (I know I am an anomaly, but I've always liked the art of telling a story.)
Lisa on Penny and me on the ground - where I belong!
But even though a rodeo is not something I want to do every weekend, I have to hand it to them. They sure know how to honor the American flag. That's not to say that my patriotic pride isn't similarly stirred at the Bill Snyder Family Stadium on K-State game day.
But there's still something moving about watching as the American flag is honored before a small-town rodeo.

This year, they included a reading of Johnny Cash's poem, "The Ragged Old Flag" while our own local cowgirl Jayme Ramsey carried a threadbare flag on horseback through the rodeo arena.

And then a brand new flag was similarly ushered past the assembled crowd that stood, hands over hearts and hats in hand, as "The Star-Spangled Banner" played. What a way to begin an evening of small-town entertainment!

The night at the rodeo had me remembering visits to my Grandma and Grandpa Leonard's house near Sublette when we were growing up. We often timed our summer visits to coincide with the Haskell County Fair in August, and a rodeo was always part of the fair's attractions.

When our kids were little, we took them to the rodeo, too. Neither of them went through the horse phase either. But that didn't mean they didn't enjoy the rodeo parade. They just saddled up their bikes instead of horses.
Brent and his friend, Erica, at a long-ago rodeo parade
A pink and white cowboy hat complete with feather trim came home from a rodeo once upon a time with a little girl who just may have talked her Daddy into an impulse buy. I couldn't find a photo of Jill in the pink cowboy hat. But the memory is still as vibrant as that hot pink hat.
Jill at the same parade

Small towns mean rodeo, parades and patriotism. There's nothing wrong with that.

If you'd like to hear Johnny Cash's "The Ragged Flag" click on the YouTube link. Enjoy!

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