May 26, 2015



This morning I was in a hurry to do an article. Because it’s Friday and they need it in about 10 minutes. So, I cheated. I looked through some old articles and found an article that meant a lot to me. And with the forecast for wind and rain, it fit this weekend too. I’m not sure, but I think the Kelli in the article is a married mother now. And I’m sure this will bring a smile to her and hers. Stay safe out there people.
I hope you had a great Memorial Day! Boy, if you liked it windy, you should have been about as happy as a horse in an oat bin.
If you were at the lake, I’m sure you were sitting in a camper full of kids, wondering how in the heck you ever talked yourself into spending a hundred grand on a pickup, boat, and nice camper with extending sides. If that was you, you did not have as nice a weekend as previously planned.
If you had planned on just spraying those last couple fields, attending the Memorial Service at the Legion, and doing odd jobs, you probably got it all done but the spraying.
I announced a High School Rodeo at Dickinson. Now, I’ve been to hundreds of high school rodeos. I’ve been to long ones, short ones, cold ones, hot ones. I’ve been to high school rodeos in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Oklahoma. I’ve rodeoed from can see to can’t see and sometimes in to the night. I remember riding bulls in the headlights of the few pickups that were left at New Town one year. A young man marked eighty something on a bull. And not a soul saw it. But it sure sounded like he was bucking. I remember when you couldn’t see across the arena at New Salem because of the snow.
But yesterday in Dickinson was one for the record books. Fifty plus mph winds. Now, if you’re a young lady, roping against a 50 mph gale, riding a horse going 25, it is a little tough to control that loop. But we had girls that got it done. And if you think it’s easy, just jump in your outfit, take her out on the interstate, and try to rope the speed limit signs while driving 75. And hope the cops aren’t out. Oh yeah, and hope you don’t catch one!
We roped calves and steers and rode bucking horses. We rode broncs and bares and bulls. We tied goats and ran barrels. And not one kid complained. A few parents were a little disgusted when we had to hold the poles down with sandbags, but then, parents always complain more than kids.
And you know what we did. We put on a nine-hour rodeo with 250 great kids in less than seven hours. Without one injury. I was proud of every one.
But you know what the highlight of the day was. Kelli. Kelli is a young lady that doesn’t weigh 85 pounds dripping wet. A year or two ago she was tying goats and running barrels and going to the dance after the rodeo. She was roping calves and hollering at her sisters.
And yesterday she came up in the crow’s nest and gave me a Cuban cigar. Now neither one of us smoke, and she didn’t have a baby. But she gave it as a friend. A friend home on leave from spending three months in Iraq. An 85 pound goat-tyer who, in a couple of weeks, is packing up and going back to Iraq. Where she is dodging bullets and bombs and packing guns and building schools and water systems. While we’re worrying about dry weather and the wind on the lake. I think sometimes I worry about the wrong things.
And that is what Memorial Day is supposed to be about. To remind us of what others gave and are giving.
Remember them in your prayers.