Americana & Rodeo Patriots

Americana & Rodeo Patriots


I meant to put these pictures up on the 4th but time just got away from me. I am fascinated by fairs this year. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like rides. (Once, when I was a kid my brother and I screamed so loud they stopped the ride.) And don’t get me started on the bad food and waste of money.


This year, though, I’ve been drawn to them. After hearing about the St. Paul Rodeo at my Zumba class, I decided to go. Only 30 minutes from Portland, in the heart of Oregon’s “Red Land.” 


It was so fascinating. It was as if there was a partisan truce for the day. Lots of red, white and blue gear, but nothing political. Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. People from around the globe speaking languages of faraway places. The underclass and the power class sharing the same space at the same time while living in two separate worlds—at the very same time.


When I was a teenager I was a farm hand at Wilhelm Farms in Beaverton, a small family run farm. My first crush was on a tall, lanky, dark-haired farm hand who was rodeo rider. I remember taking the Greyhound out to see him ride in the rodeo on a hot dusty, Saturday. (Ah, the innocence of a simpler time.)


As I roamed the fairgrounds, I wondered what T-shirt he might be wearing these days and what size cowboy hat he might be sporting.

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