“On the Road Again” Channel Ten Summer Celebration
By Judi Wiegman
There was no shortage of enthusiasm as the Channel 10 crew rolled into town to visit Dalhart, the fourth Panhandle town on their “Summer Celebration” tour. They will long remember being treated by the area Chamber of Commerce to a delightful “chicken fried” steak dinner at The Loose Caboose!
They had already visited Perryton, Pampa, and Friona. Friday night ended their tour in the City of Canyon.
The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. The rainy days that led up to the celebration lowered the temperature to the 80’s; a welcome change from triple digits the week before. Still, committee members wondered, would it rain on Thursday?
In one planning session prior to the event, a “newcomer” to Dalhart from South Dakota, Jim Hackett, Manager of KXIT Radio, asked this question, “Do you have a backup plan in case of rain.” We all chuckled and assured him that “If it rained, we would all stand out in it, shout and be grateful.” (He almost got the last laugh on “rain in July!)
Manuel Castañeda, account executive for Channel 10, said “We pick five towns for each tour.” When asked how this visit compared with others, he responded, “The number of vendors changes from town to town, but this one is really exciting.” Sharing a personal note, he relayed this information; “Right out of high school, in 1982, I got a job working for a concrete company and spent some time in Dalhart.” Pointing down Denrock, he continued, “I went down there to see how the work I did was holding up.”
This question was directed to Kristine Olsen, President of the Dalhart Area Chamber of Commerce, “What is it like to live in Dalhart?” Her response, “Dalhart is a very giving community, a very supportive community. We are all family here, and we look out for each other. Anytime anything goes on, there is never a shortage of people.”
Channel 10 broadcasted segments of the 6:00 p.m. news and the 10:00 news in its entirety. Featured in the news were interesting stories about Dalhart. They included Greg Duggan and Judge David Field speaking about the Rita Blanca Lake project, Nick Olson about the XIT Museum, Marilyn Like about the LaRita Theatre, Cyndi Ward about the real estate market and a brief intro to the upcoming XIT Rodeo and Reunion.
The news from Dalhart would not have been complete without footage of the childhood home of Chip Woolly. His horse, Mine That Bird, placed Dalhart on the map and gained worldwide attention for Chip, by winning the famed Kentucky Derby.
The large crowd, gathered to see the 10:00 news live, was delighted when the anchorman turned the spotlight on them and they had an opportunity to cheer and be on camera.
Channel 10 stepped up to the challenge of a “soaking” water polo game, but lost to their opponents, the Dalhart Fire and Rescue Team.
Doppler Dave, the weatherman, left Dalhart with a new nickname, “Air Ball,” which he earned in the three point challenge game offered by the Youth of First Baptist Church.
The Church of the Nazarene’s booth, offering free icy fruit drinks, was strategically placed next to the “ball challenge,” making their fare a “slam dunk.”
This event was a prelude to the gala celebration, the XIT Rodeo and Reunion, coming in three short weeks. It was like a mini block party. Streets closed off, lots of people gathered in groups talking, children with smiling faces sporting brightly painted hair and faces, and the smell of Hodie’s barbecued ribs; all assured the Chamber of Commerce that the hard work and planning with Channel 10 personnel made this an evening to remember in Dalhart.