Last Thursday we packed up the family and headed into the big city. We had tickets and a parking pass (yeehaw) to go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This event is just huge each year. Western Wear stores probably make their year because of it. The whole shindig lasts close to 3 weeks. It raises a huge amount of money for kids in the form of scholarships. There is of course, the livestock show, the rodeo, a big carnival and after the rodeo performance there is a concert.
I have great memories of going to this very rodeo with my family growing up. My whole family was born in Massachusetts. My dad was one of the proudest Texas transplants you'd ever meet. He had a bumper sticker that read, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could."
My dad loved all things Texas. He wore the cowboy hat, the boots, the bolo tie. He hung the longhorns in the living room over a picture of a cowboy who looked like the Marlboro man. He hung the Texas flag outside in the yard. He took us to visit all kinds of historic places all around the state. (there are a lot of them too.) We went to rodeos. We went to little rodeos, prison rodeos (yes, the Tx Dept of Criminal Justice would put on a rodeo with the inmates as the cowboys, they don't do it anymore) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We saw all kinds of great musicians at these rodeos. I remember seeing Tanya Tucker and John Connelly. One year we saw Billy Ocean! "get into my car!" (Dad hated that one, we left early)
In my single days, I went to many a rodeo with girlfriends. We saw Reba McEntire, Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks and I even saw George Strait! I had never been with my kids though. We've taken them to the livestock show, but all four of us had not made it to a rodeo performance...until last week.
The girls had so much fun watching the rodeo events. They were really into it. Of course, I was able to give play by plays, because, I'm a rodeo expert. (right)
Last year they added a new event to the rodeo. Mutton Bustin'. This is where 5-6 year old kids are outfitted in bullfightin' gear (a caged helmet and protective vest) and perched atop a full grown sheep. They let the sheep out of a shoot and the kid holds on as long as they can. It was HILARIOUS. Those kids loved every minute of it. The kid who won was asked how he got such a high score, he said, "I just held on real tight!"
So now I have a new threat when my kids are bad. "I'll sign you up for mutton bustin!" Forget military school. This is free.
The concert was excellent. We got to see the Black Eyed Peas! The little one was a bit freaked out by some of the dancer's costumes, but they loved it. Pumping fists and all. We had a mom with teenage girls dancing her bootie off in front of us and an 80 some year old woman in her prairie dress and concho belt gettin' down to "gotta get that boom boom boom". It was awesome just for that. Today the little one ran around singing, "let's get it started in here!"
I hope that my girls have great memories of times like these. Just like I do.