Do you know what this weekend is? Okay, yes, it’s tax-free weekend in Iowa which I am all for, but it also happens to be rodeo weekend in Carson! I know a little cowgirl who is awfully excited for the parade and a college cowgirl who’s excited for the pre-and-post-rodeo events! Lol.
People in metro areas seem to make fun of the excitement that comes with rodeo weekend for the locals around here. We get that it might sound a little hokey, but it is the highlight event of the summer in Carson. Friends and relatives actually put it on their calendars to be home this weekend! And in a world where there’s a lot of terrible things happening, it’s nice that we can all hang out and be happy to see each other.
But I have to admit I’ve never been to the parade. It wasn’t exactly on my radar in my high school and college years! Lol. But I have been to the rodeo. I used to go to the one at Ak-Sar-Ben/River City Roundup every year and I’ve made a few appearances at the Sidney one, too. As a cattle girl, I definitely made it as often as possible to the Carson Rodeo in my younger years. It wasn’t very often that my boots and Rockie Mountain jeans were considered cool so I definitely took my opportunities! As a cattle girl, I appreciated the rodeo even if I didn’t fully understand how they managed to do all those things. I remember our neighbor girl riding in it, and I was so impressed. Now days, I think more about my little girl mutton-busting. I’m pretty sure she’d love it! But, my husband, not so much! Lol.
With or without mutton-busting, I think it’s pretty awesome that Carson puts on a kick-ass rodeo and I dare say, a pretty good party, in the process! The whole town gears up for this weekend. It’s like the lights come on, everybody rallies, and ta-da, we have a rodeo! We all know it’s truly not that simple, but I love that the town goes all out and everybody chips in to make it great. That’s something pretty special in my book.
As I have said many times this summer, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes that do a lot of work to make one weekend of the year a great weekend for everybody who attends! I have seen a million flyers. I’ve heard it on the radio. I’ve seen it on Facebook, and I have definitely heard it via word-of-mouth. Like I said, I’ve got a couple of cowgirls who are pretty excited!
So if you’re needing weekend plans or just wanting to support a great event on a beautiful weekend, swing by. I promise it won’t disappoint.
Got a good rodeo story for me? We’re listening!
So it’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me that my “good” of the week is the East Pottawattamie County Fair. If you want to see good kids, good parents, good work ethics, good success stories, good moments, good laughs, good animals, and good times, you will want to make your way to Avoca between Wednesday and Monday. (Well, and besides, it’s your chance to see me, too. Lol.)
And if that’s not enough, today you are going to listen to me wax a little nostalgic. I was talking to a guy I met this week that had grandparents who lived in Oakland when he was a kid. He spent his summer time here, and we were laughing about the stuff you remember form your childhood. What I remember most involved the people at that county fair.
I remember being a kid and Lori’s friends putting up with me – Dave, Kirk, Jeff, Carol, and Jay even played cards with me! I remember paying to get into the fair or having to go really early so we didn’t have to pay! Lol. I remember Misch teaching me to make donuts for her presentation with these circle blocks we had. I remember seeing Robin, Kris, and Scott (yes, they know who they are, no need to add last names) laughing and I wouldn’t know why but they were always up to something! I remember seeing people get thrown in the tank back when we used tanks at the fair. You got thrown in if you were cute or if you were annoying. Looking back, those were some funny reasons! I remember the demo derbies, too, and that chicken on the Pauley’s car!
Personally, I remember being excited for the dog and cat show because they let me hand out ribbons! Crazy, huh? Once I was in 4-H, I remember my first market heifer, Jen, she was a mousy thing and I had to take her out in front of the grandstand on the track and my dad telling me that there were no fences and she’d be in the next county if I let go so not to let go! I remember sitting on the showbox with Kerri and Stacey. I remember hanging out at the campers with Brad, Perry, Jennifer, Stacey, Guthrey, and a lot of others. I remember Ryan Danker’s calf always running across the fairgrounds and him holding on still! I remember having my steer, Travis Tritt, and being bummed I didn’t win, but any cattle person will tell you that you can win everywhere else and still get beat at your county fair! I also remember Rhoten telling me he was hamburger. I remember playing cards in the barns. I remember bawling when I was a senior.
And then it came full-circle, and I remember how proud I was when Tiffany and Kyra (2 of my nieces) were crowned queens or when Bethany suffered through mono to still show sheep when it was 100 degrees.
I remember tons more, but nothing earth-shattering, just small little snippets of a childhood well-spent at the county fair. I hope you have those memories, too, if not of the East Pott Co. Fair, I hope they are of somewhere…
And I hope when you see those people that make appearances in your flashbacks of childhood, I hope you’re as happy to see them as I am to see the people who show up at the East Pott. Co. Fair every year…
Got a story I need to hear? A memory I didn’t share? A story about a different county or a 4-H story or a project you made or an animal you showed? Let’s heat it.
So I promised you a series, and that’s what you’re gonna get. You’re probably going to continue hearing some of my other rambles, too, but I’m “finding the good” wherever it catches me. (We’ll assume it won’t catch me in a swimming suit!) 🙂
The crazy part is that I didn’t have to look that far. In fact, I have so many thoughts, it was hard to narrow down to what to use next.
I decided on this.
I’ll be honest, I’ve driven by a million times. I’ve looked at it, admired it, and thought how thankful I was that somebody went to the work of keeping it up, but I’ve never actually set foot in it until now. I’m so glad I did. Not only is it gorgeous from the road, but even better from within. I daresay it was Robert Frost-ish.
It’s a hot day out. I sat down on the bench and it was like a cool spring breeze under the cover of the trees. I couldn’t even believe it. And I read the signs of who donated things like the tree donated in memory of Chrissy Galitz or the railing donated in honor of Abe Pierce or the gazebo in memory of AC and Mary Ellen Vieth. I don’t know if I can truly put into words the emotions that were sitting there with me of all the people that make up our little town.
It’s like a John Cougar Mellancamp Small Town moment right here in Oakland, Iowa. I’ve got the American flag rep, the bench tucked away in the trees, and people who put a ton of work into making sure the plants grow, the mulch stays pretty, and weeds stay out (they deserve a place in heaven for that!), and they do it because they care. I am tired of the assumption that the people who do this work are those with more time than the rest of us. Rarely is that the case. They just choose their priorities differently. They are not getting paid. They are not inmates. They are just wonderful people with a desire to see our town look nice. It’s their little piece of giving back.
You just can’t put a price on that...
If you know all the people involved, feel free to share that info with me. I don’t want to miss anyone. I hope they know how much it is appreciated. If you’d like to share your love for this place, add your commentary. Have suggestions for me? Bring ‘em.
PS – If you haven’t signed up to get my “Find the Good” blogging, you can still do so. Just click on Follow Bolton Carley’s blog up at the top on the right. Thanks to all of you who did that already. You have no idea how great it feels to get a follower.