MY MEN & ME
After a full day at work, I drove up Thursday night with the Puddy Dogs in tow. Sterling had to stay in Big D to supervise the completion of our foundation renovation at the house.
We arrived at our favorite La Quinta within spitting distance of the Airport host hotel and Fair/Rodeo Grounds. It’s our favorite because they do not charge for the pups staying, there is a pool and a dog out door area complete with disposing stations for puppy potty breaks. After unpacking to the sound of the digital ocean on the hotel’s TV I had a BLT and iced tea and headed to bed.
Friday morning was the board meeting across the street at the Holiday Inn. I was in face by 9:00 am, in a meeting with the royalty team & our VP/Royalty Liaison Gene by 9:45, then off to the actual meeting @ 10:00. There were many familiar faces. The new Royalty Logo I have been working on was submitted to the board and now is approved as the official IGRA Royalty Logo
I’m very pleased that Royalty has its own logo. It is a step in the right direction of branding Royalty after years of being a money making force in gay rodeo Now If I could just land our own corporate sponsor, I would be happy as a clam. And if I could find a new producer for my CD, this would bring all my personal goals for my year to fruition. My financial requirement of $1,200 is already surpassed ($3,095 so far) and this is just 6 months in. Two more shows coming in June. I’m really hoping to top $12,000 by October. But I digress.
After the meeting I drove to the airport to pick up Sterling. We went to dinner at the Cattlemen’s Cafe in Stockyard City. Great Steaks. Then off to the Royalty Review @ Partners Too. I closed the show and was out of face by 11:00pm.
Great night sleep then back in face for rodeo day # 1 by 9:00 am. Manned the raffle table till grand entry. You know, I find it interesting how each association handles Grand Entry. Oklahoma had the staff announced who came out and stood in an arc. Then came the IGRA Black Sashes, arm in arm leading the riderless horse (in honor of those who have passed) to the tune of Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors”. Followed by members of our team and all other royalty throughout IGRA. This year the horse was draped with the sash and Crown of the very first Miss IGRA Fritz Capone who passed away this last year. Very moving ceremony. Then Miss TGRA Trisha Davis sang the US anthem, I sang O Canada and former Mr IGRA Wade Earp gave the invocation.
Then back to the hotel and off to S & B’s Burgers for dinner. WOW, deep fried Green Beans for starters (I find it shocking the the Texas State Fair has missed the boat on this). I then feasted on sweet potato fries and a Black & Blue Burger (Blackened Burger with Blue Cheese, avocado, lettuce & Tomato. All this in a refurbished gas station while listening to 80′s hits. Wonderful experience and they are sponsors of both All Around saddles for The Great Plains Rodeo.
That evening was the annual Texas Tea Party with Trisha and I co-hosting. It was quite fun and again very moving throughout the evening as we were raising money with tips and auction items to benefit Mari Taylor, Ty Teigan, and The Mother of Kimberly Kaye (all battling cancer) Trisha closed with a special tribute to them of Sandy Patty’s “Love in any Language” with not a dry eye in the house.
Then it was off on a bar crawl. The first stop was Phoenix Rising where I performed (a seldom seen lip synch) duet of “Does He Love You” with Raven Del Ray! What fun!!! Then home again, home again jiggidy jig for another good night’s sleep.
Today, same hits different day with exception of Trisha’s unfortunate early departure home. I sang US anthem & Wade pulled double duty of singing Canadian anthem and giving invocation. Then back to hotel to bask in the breezy spring day by the pool for a bit before reapplying a face for the awards tonight.
I think what I enjoy most during my time on the circuit is talking to individuals about their own associations and experiences in Gay Rodeo. I love getting to know people I have never had the opportunity to spend time with and ask questions about their story of what IGRA means to them. More often than not they say it is more family than blood. Personally, I have been raising funds as long as I have donned a wig and a dress. I have worked with many organizations over the years. All have been enlightening as well as beneficial in helping those who cannot help themselves. Of course no matter how hard we try to keep drama at bay, when working in a day job or in a volunteer capacity there will be that aspect to some extent. But to me it seems that the percentage of those goings on are rather low. Most Rodeo people I find have enough horse sense to know muck when they see it, where it is in the barn or anywhere else!
One realization keeps resurfacing in my mind as the year progresses. We go through life, working, dealing with pitfalls and preconceived notions from others expectations of who we are and what is expected of us. We build that life through education, mentorships from those around us. (good bad or indifferent) We deal with what the world throws at us, we deal with the repercussions of our sexuality. More often than not along the trail of this very short thing called life, we leave bits and pieces in the dust that were important to us way back when. When I became involved in IGRA, by way of TGRA it immediately began to bring back my early love and enjoyment of the company of horses and horse people. It brought me back home. From now on, no matter what a few nay sayers come up with to try and defuse or lessen my purpose and drive to be the best Miss IGRA I can be, I don’t want to loose that childhood love for my horsemanship family again. I’m here to stay regardless. I’ll keep showing up to simply do what I do and respect the cause of rodeo and carrying for my family here as best I can!
So with all that said i just want to give a shout out and Kudos to Oklahoma. It’s always one rodeo not to miss.
Keep tuned in Gentle readers and let me hear from you. And I hope someday to have at least one good conversation about what makes you happy and gives you the joy that this organization has given to you.