…and we like it that way!
Congratulations to the XIT Directors, past and present, to their wives and everyone else who worked so hard to on the 73rd XIT Rodeo and Reunion. Because of previously scheduled travel arrangements for Luca Bella, Nick and I were unable to stay long, but I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed riding in the parade and sharing that experience with Luca. It was gracious of The Texan to allow us to represent it. Luca was absolutely thrilled and so was I. The crowd was wonderful! It was great to see so many old friends and greet new ones. Many, many thanks to all of you on the parade route; neither Luca nor I will ever forget it.
The lawns of Rita Blanca Park were full of families, and as we sat on the grass watching them I was reminded, once again, of the differences between small town, rural communities and larger, bustling cities. Kids ran and played with one another while parents visited nearby. I’m not saying that those who live in metropolitan areas don’t participate in fun, family activities with their kids or that they love them any less; however, I am saying that ours is a different way of life.
Rodeos and Play Days, are great examples of what I’m talking about. When I married into this lifestyle, one of the first things I noticed was how relaxed the atmosphere is at one of these, with regard to what the kids are doing. When they aren’t in the arena competing, they’re running, playing, and riding around freely with each other. They can do this because parents parent one another’s’ kids. Say a couple of boys are edging toward trouble, they’re as likely to be stepped on by an adult unrelated to them as they are their own folks. The same holds true if it looks like a child might be hurt. Their own parent isn’t always the first to reach them; indeed, while everyone is concerned and helpful, I think we’re less likely to panic and more likely to let the kids stand up and dust themselves off. Of course, actual injuries are taken just as seriously as anywhere else.
Here are a couple of examples in a different vein:
I brought home a Vanity Fair magazine recently because it contained several articles I wanted to read. I had to flip through 25 pages of advertising before I finally found the table of contents, and the advertisements were for haute couture clothing and other luxury items that I can neither afford, nor find a use for. Could I really get away with wearing that purple dyed, full length fox coat and the three strand diamond watch to the co-op next time I need to stock up on crumbles for my chickens? Advertisers should know that those of us cradled between the Mississippi River and the Grand Canyon really can read and think our way through the same magazines that they advertise in.
One of my favorite television shows is The Learning Channels’ What Not to Wear. Two professional stylists in New York City, Stacey and Clinton, take an unsuspecting victim of her own fashion and give her a crash course on how to dress, along with a five thousand dollar credit card with which to purchase a new wardrobe. The catch is that the victim has to give them his or her entire old wardrobe, which they trash- first verbally and then literally. I like “before and after” premises and if you pay attention you’ll actually learn something about how to dress for body types, color choices, etc. But other than enjoying watching the cocoon turn out a butterfly, the benefits, to someone like me end right there.
I can imagine what Stacy and Clinton would say about my wardrobe. They wouldn’t have a clue. I would have to educate them, and we’d never get past the jeans. Yes, we wear our jeans starched to the max. They stay cleaner longer, and it looks good. Yes, our jeans are so long that they bunch up around our boots. They are supposed to do this. A lot of us ride horses, yes we do, and this helps protect our ankles, gives us extra room, and it looks good. Don’t throw away those Wranglers with the holes in the knees! It took me years to get them that way. They are soft, fit like a glove and as it turns out – they look good too.
As a kid I used to dream of getting out of Texas and shedding the connotations that come from being a Texan. Thank goodness I grew up. To quote Tracy Byrd, “Everybody knows everybody. Everybody calls you friend. We know how to work and we know how to play.”
Yep, I’m from the country, and I like it that way.
A special shout out to my new friend, Mr. Bob Matthews, who was kind enough to call and make my day.