When I was a girl living in the suburbs of Chicago, a special outing meant a trip to the Art Institute, or a concert at Orchestra Hall or a exhausting but thrilling circuit through the Museum of Science and Industry or the Field Museum of Natural History.
Yesterday my DIL Jessie, my cowboy grandson Gavin and I donned we all
our denim apparel and went to the Pendleton Round Up. It was my first
professional rodeo. Jess was the perfect companion and patiently
explained the rules, strategies, penalties, and points of each event.
Gavin held his cowboy hat up and said, “Yee-HAW!”
There must be a rule: men can wear only Wrangler jeans. Honest! There were no Levis, Lees, Tommy Hilfiger, or Faded Glories. It was Wrangler to a man.
Behind the stands was a unique campground. There were 100-150 teepees set up, teepees of all sizes. It truly is a cowboy and Indian event. Tribes congregate in their traditional dress (sometimes a little too traditional for my eyes – some of the men had precious little covering their hineys). [All photos are from pendletonroundup.com]
I’d never seen Barrel Racing, the one event for women. I’ve heard of it though, and always pictured horses jumping over barrels instead of running around them.
I felt like a foreign exchange student, a stranger in a different culture getting my bearings. It must be a neighborhood in Lake Wobegone, because all the men are strong. One might question the sanity of a person who wants to risk his life for the privilege of staying on a bucking bull, but his courage is unquestionable.