Golden times, great people, good food
By Nathan French
Free food! Who could pass that up? With XIT came the all familiar free feeds that XIT Reunion is famous for. From the juicy watermelon feed, succulent pork chop feed, to the world’s largest free barbeque, there was no shortage of food or good times.
Since 1936, cowboys and their families who worked on the XIT Ranch have been gathering at annual reunions to reminisce about life on the ranch. Since 1937, the reunions have been held in Dalhart and with the growth of the reunion came the addition of a rodeo, free feeds, and opening of the events to the public. Remaining 73 years strong all of this year’s XIT events had a great response, and attendance at the free feeds averaged above normal.
Free food has become an anomaly in modern times. What may be hailed as free food usually ends up being similar to free food with a required long winded talk by some overrated individual who has a better way of investing your money than you could ever come up with on your own. However, XIT free feeds are harkening of the past: When western hospitality reigned and free food was provided as a symbol of thanks and an offering of western hospitality.
Trailers of watermelon, piles of pork chops, and a huge pit of smoked barbeque; a sure method for a great time for a great number of people. Various groups and families had their tent pavilions up and the free feeds served as a way to socialize with friends and long ago acquaintances.
While over time many things have changed with XIT, one thing has remained steadfastly true, XIT serves as way to remember the XIT way of life, reunite with old friends, make new friends, and share in the almost forgotten western spirit. Over the three-day period, we unite together in conversation, share together in the thrill of the rodeo, reminisce together over free food, and stand together at Saturday’s Parade celebrating the XIT way of life.