Back to Kansas from the Land of Oz

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OK ya’ll. I’m going to travel back in time and to another culture.

The place is Kansas where Dorothy and Toto originally made their way to the magical Land of Oz via a tornado. Imagine that I am Dorothy, but I don’t have Toto the dog (I do have a cat, however, as my colleagues and students know). I clicked my heels and went back home for a high school class reunion and the annual Labor Day Celebration in Hoisington, Kansas.

Certainly a different cultural scene than Houston, Texas.

This, my friends, is a big deal. Hoisington, Kansas has had a Labor Day Celebration and parade for 119 years.

Yes, 119 years! Continue reading

The Long Road to Rodeo

Well, it’s March in Houston, Texas.  You know what that means…it’s time to get your boots on and get ready to Rodeo!  The trail riders have finally made their way to Houston.  I live in Montgomery County and always love seeing the various teams moving in from the north, even if they slow down traffic.

Not me. And my steer was full grown. But this is the spirit of the thing.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officially starts on March 4th and runs through March 23rd.  As you know, there will be plenty of music (Brad Paisley starts us off this year), food (yes, all of those deep fried items and barbecue), and fun (the children’s petting zoo and pony rides). But what you may not know is that this is the culmination of months of preparation for thousands of Texas 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students and their livestock. I have to admit I always get nostalgic at this time of year.

You see, in central Kansas where I grew up on a farm and cattle ranch, late February and early March is when you select your steer for the annual 4-H fair and livestock show in July.  Continue reading