There was an extra “bam” in my trip to ‘Bama this time around. I will get to that later though. For now, let’s cover the sweet time I had and all the sweet tea! While my home isn’t in Alabama part of me feels a little bit of home there for one very important reason, the Terry’s. It just so happens that northern Alabama was on my route on multiple occasions and Marsha and Keith Terry have opened up their home to me time and time again. The Terry’s have definitely made me feel at home while on the road!
One evening Marsha comes in and asks if I could help with something but I didn’t quite hear what she said. I throw on my tennis shoes and head out the door to realize I wasn’t quite dressed for the occasion of throwing square bales! I jump right in and load up about 80 bales with a handful of folks. It went pretty quickly and after we were done Keith asked why I had shiny tennis shoes on and I said well I didn’t know what we were doing! I think that was part of the reason it feels like home because that is exactly the kind of thing I’m used to doing!
While preparing for the Lawrence County Cattlemen’s Rodeo, I had a few different appearances to make! I was able to chat with the 4-H students in the county about my platform, “Dream Bigger!” We chatted on Zoom about how to set goals and manage the steps to really push ourselves to dream bigger. I was really impressed with the interaction each student made! Along with that, I had the honor of dropping off autograph sheets and rodeo tickets to all the 4th graders in the county! Let me tell you what, that was a lot of signing of autograph sheets but it was well worth the time to be able to hand out a special surprise to students in Lawrence County.
If you have been following along with my blogs you have heard about me carrying huge American flags in the opening of many rodeos. Well, I obviously didn’t really know what a big flag looked like. I soon found out what a really huge flag was in Moulton. Think if you were to take the measurement from the ground to the top of my hat while sitting on the horse and then double that. You then would get the measurement to the top of the flag. Yes, that is no exaggeration. I have never been so nervous to carry a flag in the opening until this very moment. What didn’t help the situation was I was on a high energy barrel horse that was prancing around as I’m about to go into the arena. That didn’t help the situation by any means. Luckily, she settled just fine as I entered the arena and we had a flawless opening. My arm sure was sore the next day from holding up such a ginormous flag.
Again, if you have been following along in Brooke’s blog world you might recall a little story from Huntsville, Arkansas. I found myself in a very familiar situation at the Lawrence County Cattlemen’s Rodeo. This is where the “bam” to my time in Alabama came from. I was riding a very well trained calf horse for the opening. He warmed up like a champ and wasn’t afraid of the flag at all. Well as I loped out into the mucky, muddy, and deep arena this horse decides to add some theatrics to the performance. Yet again, I start out the saddle bronc riding and continue to ride this horse out as he crow hops around half of the arena. I remember right as he started throwing an attitude, I thought to myself this can’t be happening again. Well sure enough I found myself hanging on for dear life but managed to stay on this time around unlike in Huntsville! The one common denominator of these two events was the amount of mud in the arena. Each time the horse was a great horse, I just managed to catch them on the wrong day. I have come to the conclusion that I am an expert at turning a broke horse into a bronc horse!
Miss Rodeo USA 2020
Brooke’s Bloopers: The bronc horse didn’t even make the bloopers this blog because I have an even better one! I was helping hang banners the Friday morning of rodeo weekend and some of these banners were to be hung on the wire above the bucking chutes. The wire was a pulley system that could be let down to reach so you could climb on the chutes to zip tie the banners on. As I was doing that and climbing along the fence line I abruptly feel my feet slip out from under me. I scramble to grab something to hang on to. What had happened was I was standing on a gate and it had come unchained and swung open. So there I was with my arms and legs wrapped around the top bar of the panel, like a koala bear, as the gate was wide open to the pen of bulls. I just hang there for a second to make sure the commotion didn’t disturb the bulls and send them flooding out the gate. When the coast was clear I reached for the gate with my foot and all was good. I chained the gate and turned around to the pickup men just about to bust a gut over the stunt I just pulled. We all had a good laugh and I managed to finish hanging the banners without any more issues.
Queens Corner: Autographs are such an important part to the role of a rodeo queen. Nothing makes me happier than receiving a message from a parent of a child that has continued to talk about their signed picture days after the rodeo! It is a good reminder to take the time at each event to offer your time to sign autograph sheets no matter how many different duties you have that evening. There have been rodeos where I have signed pre rodeo, mid rodeo and also post rodeo autograph sheets and there is always someone who might not of gotten one if I hadn’t have been there. Just think if you were a kid that didn’t get one because the queen only signed autograph sheets after the rodeo and you didn’t get to stay the whole time.