Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rodeo Time

I went to Rodeo Houston at Reliant Center yesterday. The Band Perry, known for merging country with rock & roll, was the headliner.

I felt so strange. While this ain't my first rodeo, as we like to say in Texas, 2014 has such a different vibe to it. Maybe that's because my first rodeo was in 1957. It was called the Houston Fat Stock Show back then, and it was held at the Sam Houston Coliseum on Bagby Street (I think where Hobby Center is today). Roy Rogers, the king of the cowboys, was the headliner, and he brought with him the whole gang:  Dale Evans, Gabby Hayes and the Sons of the Pioneers. The songs were "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Cool Water," and "Ghost Riders in the Sky," rather than "If I Die Young," "Hip to My Heart," and "Independence."

Maybe it's my age, but I don't think I'm going to remember Rodeo Houston with the same awe as I still remember running down to the first row so I could shake hands with Roy and Dale as they rode their horses, Trigger and Buttermilk, around the perimeter of the coliseum arena.

I had such a crush on ol' Roy. In fact, my first career goal was to be a movie star and marry that singing cowboy. Since he was already married to Dale with a passel of children my age and younger, I'm sure I would've been satisfied if we were married in the movies only. Dale could take care of him in real life.

Roy Rogers was a role model to me and other children in my generation. He was a kind man with a song in his heart who loved the land and respected the law. A good role model, don't you think?

When you were growing up, who were your role models?