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Wednesday, June 08 2011


Yesterday evening, while hustling to finish chores, I got an excited phone call from my Other Half.

"You know what we forgot tonight?" he asked.

There were so many possibilities, I didn't even bother.

"The Youth Rodeo! Cooper's in Lead-Line!"

Background information: Other Half loves all things Rodeo. Other Half is BIG into supporting kids in any kind of rodeo or agriculture (thus we have multiple high-priced show heifers in the back yard . . . ) Cooper is the son of Kindly Rancher Next Door who is a Good Friend to Other Half and a God-Send to me when Other Half is out of town and I am stuck with a calf hanging out of the back end of straining cow.  But I digress . . .

The Youth Rodeo was tonight and Other Half wanted pictures for the blog.  I was still an hour away.  I reminded him that he had a camera in his truck - for crime scenes - Oh! He forgot. (yes, crime scene cameras CAN be used to take pictures of our nation's youth doing things other than vandalizing rail cars, and selling dope.) He was getting off work, so he and his camera headed over there.

When you've had enough of sagging britches, tattoos, nose rings, and narcotics, go to a county fair or a youth rodeo.  You will be inspired that yes, there is a future, and these kids are it.

I once walked into an apartment complex and saw a little boy playing in the sand with his trucks.  He saw me, in a police uniform, . . . and threw a dumptruck at me. 

What are his parents teaching him?

But here, in the shadow of The City, parents are still teaching rural values to their children.  Here the county fairs and the youth rodeos are still alive.

And they start young!

Object of Game:  Get the ribbon off the goat's tail

  Grab rope

Reel in goat

 Untie ribbon

 I love that face!

 And this face!

This is the serious face of a young rancher. His grandpa is a rancher. His daddy is a rancher.  Roping is serious business.

 "Yay Cooper!"

(Grandpa behind him.)

 His daddy

  His little sister

 A lot of stick horses get ridden.


And then the real horses get ridden.

The kids got older and the horses got faster as the night wore on.  By the time I joined them, the horses were MUCH faster, but the atmosphere was still the same - good, clean fun.

My Other Half helped build this arena when he was eighteen years old. At 55, he's still playing here. As I sat in the bleachers, eating a greasy cheeseburger, I watched our future, and pondered life. The kids who built this very arena are grown. Their children played here. Now their grandchildren play here.  Each generation leaves a gift for the next generation. 

 It is our responsibility to give them the values they need to survive in this world and make it a better place.  As I watch farmers and ranchers struggle to make a living in a rapidly desolving world, I marvel at how well they manage.  These children, who are using computers by the time they can walk, are riding horses even before then.   They are learning to care for, and live with, the world around them.

It isn't technology, or MTV that is destroying our nation's youth, it is the lack of one generation to instill the proper values in the next generation. 

 They say it takes a village to raise a child. It does, but it starts at home. And, there's this: some villages are doing a better job of it than others . . . 

I'm just saying . . .


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:20 am   |  Permalink   |  7 Comments  |  Email
Well said!!
Posted by Janet on 06/08/2011 - 01:59 PM
You get a big ol' A-m-e-n from me! It is good to see such hopeful signs. I worked in the legal world in the USN for 20 years and was a criminal defense attorney in Dallas for 5 and I can tell you I represented many a person who could've been that little kid with the dump trucks parent. All I can do is shake my head and go back and look at those rodeo kids :)
Posted by Ken Berry on 06/08/2011 - 03:34 PM
Thanks for reminding us that there are villages that take their responsibilities for the next generation seriously! So often I feel like we are devolving into a Burger King world - "I want it MY WAY RIGHT AWAY" like perpetual toddlers! I've seen as much selfish and lazy parenting in the well to do suburbs as I have in the trailer parks - it's attitude and personal ethics, not address or possessions, that matter. Seeing farm kids working hard and having fun like this does my New England heart good!
Posted by clairesmum on 06/08/2011 - 08:24 PM
"Eating a greasy cheeseburger" I was wondering how that diet and exercise program was going. <G> Sounds like about as good as mine. Jan
Posted by Jan on 06/09/2011 - 11:13 AM
Exactly! It has good days and bad!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 06/09/2011 - 11:17 AM
Stumbled across your blog recently and was instantly hooked. I love the stories, the humor, and just generally enjoy reading! Especially love reading about Border own pup is 8mos and lives up well to her pseudo-name of "Slightly Demonic Herding Dog" This post, especially, hits home for me on many levels. We live in a society of instant gratification and self-entitlement. It's nice to see that underneath it, there are still real folks, with real values. Thanks for this post. I only hope that someday, if I'm so lucky as to have kids of my own, that the opportunity is still there to raise them the way I was raised... to value life, husbandry, and their neighbour....not material possessions and easy ways out.
Posted by Canadian Country Kid on 06/09/2011 - 11:19 AM
My 'help the community' job is driving a school bus. This lets me see the kids in a somewhat natural environment. Some kids are like mushrooms on a dead log and will probably decide to remain that way, most kids will do OK and some are simply amazing. If the 'mushrooms' don't bog down the rest, I'm confident the world will be in good hands.
Posted by Eric on 06/14/2011 - 10:24 PM

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