Sunday, September 25, 2011

My oh my, how things change in a few short years...

Last weekend, Dan, Lana and I drove to Oregon to see my parents and take in a few festivities at the Pendleton Round Up.
We went to the Westward Ho! Parade and that was it (these pictures are from this year's parade). It's a great parade and a fun time, but a far cry from the Pendleton Round Ups I enjoyed when I was younger, specifically in college.


My sophomore year, I decided to drive the 8 hours back home for a quick weekend. My parents didn't want me to make the trip by myself, so I asked several friends to go with me. For some reason, the thought of driving for hours and hours, getting up early, sitting out in the sun watching a rodeo and then staying up too late dancing, and driving 8 hours back to school just wasn't all that appealing to many of the friends I asked. Fortunately, I talked my new friend, Alisa, into the adventure. Alisa and I didn't know each other all that well and had just started working together. Alisa was the ultimate city girl. She worked summers as a consultant at the GAP for crying-out-loud, but she was excited for this new adventure.


Alisa fell in love with the Pendleton Round Up the minute she laid eyes on her first cowboy. She was full of questions about the rodeo and the animals, but she really took to it when the first cowboy won his event, and in his excitement, threw his hat into the crowd. Alisa looked at me and said, "I want a cowboy's hat." "Okay, that's cool, they're being sold everywhere this week, we can get you one." "No, you don't understand, I want a REAL cowboy hat, ya know, from a REAL cowboy!" I laughed and explained that cowboys generally don't give their hats away, but she would have none of my explanations and was bound and determined to get her hands on a real cowboy's hat.
Later, at the dance, we both spent time out swinging on the dance floor, but she was still set on getting a cowboy hat. We met up with a guy I knew from a rival high school, dressed in his cowboy best, including a white straw Stetson cowboy hat. Alisa turned on her city-girl charm and somehow ended up with his hat on her head. She was beaming and it was obvious she had no intention of giving the hat back. The guy invited us to a party, gave us convoluted directions and told Alisa he'd get his hat back at the party.
Well, his directions turned out to be horrible and because these were pre-everyone-has-a-cell-phone days, we couldn't have gotten a hold of him had we tried, so we just went back to my parents house and the cowboy hat was officially Alisa's.
The following year she had her sights set on getting a belt buckle. Again, she wouldn't listen to my explanations on what she'd possibly have to do to get her hands on a belt buckle. Just like before, at the dance, she turned on the charm and while dancing with a cute cowboy, she flashed her doe eyes and asked, "How does a girl like me get my hands on a belt buckle like that?" She must have some Jedi-like powers because instantly the helpless cowboy TOOK IT OFF AND GAVE IT TO HER. It was an event I'd never seen before and doubt I'll ever see again.

Now, all my road trip and Round Up friends are scattered around the country in New York, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin. It's been fun to catch up with them about our Round Up memories on facebook and online, but we all definitely agree that although those days were fun, we wouldn't go back even if we could. Sometimes it's nice to be a grown up.

Because grown ups get to enjoy the parade next to blonde babes who like to wave at the princesses and horses.
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1 comment:

Anita Cory said...

Love this story! Thanks for sharing it!