Monday, March 19, 2012

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy - Not Really

Yesterday ended the two week run of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It's an icon known by farmers and ranchers all over the world. They come to look and buy the best of the best in animals and other things. The Houston rodeo has been going on for eightly years. Of course there are all sorts of livestock showings, many raised by school kids. One of the best things about this yearly event is the raising of funds for scholarships which so far are over $300,000,000 to education of young people.

It is the one time of year that many people want to dress up in Western wear whatever the cost. Some poeple only wear this once a year during rodeo time. Of course the real "cowboys" are always comfortable year round in this garb. I remember being in San Angelo, Tx a couple of years ago when I saw a "real cowboy" walking through WalMart wearing a western shirt, jeans, and boots complete with spurs. Yup, he was a real cowboy.

Then there are those who want to look the part and be seen in the latest Western atire. But, sadly many of these people miss the mark. Wearing short-shorts and cowboy boots does not a cowboy make. Neither does wearing a party dress with cowboy boots. I went to the Rodeo this week-end and again saw more wanna-be cowboys than real ones. Just imagine a teenage girl in black leggings, a very short dress and cowboy boots. Some women/girls like to bedazzel the world with all sorts of glittering outfits. Sorry folks that just screams "fake cowboy/girl".

But these two weeks are very popular venues. The county fair atmosphere is evident as the rides and games are all over the parking lots. The real livestock are shown off in a special building. There are also lots of different things having any and everything to do with things Western for sale by vendors. There are all sorts of jewlery, clothes, boots, hats, and decorations of anything "western". This year over a million people toured and bought and rode and ate/drank their way through money in the enjoyment of all this Western.

Many people come to see the headliners who not only do the saddle or bareback riding, bucking, roping or whatever the professional rodeo cowboys do. Let's not forget the calf scramble where the kids try to capture a calf in hopes of getting one to raise and show the next year. Ever seen chuck-wagon races? Of course many country music stars enjoy playing at the Rodeo. This year I saw Brad Paisley. Each day a different star performs from the likes of Alabama, to Reba. Some artists have actually earned the honor of, over time, singing for more than one million people.

But it never ceases to amuse me how many patrons want to dress Western for a few days but have no idea how to ride a horse or know nothing about raising any livestock. They just want to look like tha "Rhinestone Cowboy" for a few days of the year. Then the cowboy hats and Western wear go back into the box and closet until the next year... Yeehaw.