Behind The Scenes Of
The Pendleton Round Up…..Let ‘er Buck! 2013 Style!
This is the first of two blog entries on the rodeo this year…you know me…I take lots of pictures so hang tight, there is more to share!
This year marked the 103rd year of the Pendleton Round Up. We that live here are proud of our heritage and the years of participation in the rodeo, in a quiet little town called Pendleton.
I love capturing the life of rodeo in Pendleton and slack days a few days before the rodeo begins are perfect. It’s fun to capture the mood of slack, it’s sort of laid back but somewhat tense too as the arena crew and the contestants are getting the squeaks ironed out…the cowboys and cowgirls are more at ease and have the time to socially connect with the cowboy families and friends they see on the road.
This bronze plaque is below the bronze bucking horse at the main gate and explains the meaning of Let ‘er Buck and the classic image of the cowboy on the bucking horse. Double click on it and it will double in size to read it.
Often I will say, this year I’m going to take a break from attending the rodeo and go to the beach for the week…and then as August rolls into September…I begin to feel the magnetic pull of the yearly rodeo tradition. Heart felt memories return, flooding my heart with good stuff…stirring the spirit of Pendleton that I carry down deep in my soul, it’s part of what makes me who I am…next thing I know, I find myself at the rodeo once again celebrating with the crowd, the locals, my neighbors and friends.
The bronze Let ‘er Buck statue at the Round Up gate…a great work of art and incredible to see in person…things you see only in Pendleton!
As Round Up memories are stirred, the ones I cherish the most are the ones I have of Dad and I, such as taking our horses into the rodeo grounds before the rodeo and then bringing them home early Sunday morning after the rodeo was over. Or how Mom and Dad moved to town for the week to a hotel, with a swimming pool and I got to swim and skip school…oh geez I hope none of my teachers are reading this…I was really sick at home:) The parades that I rode in every year of my life until I was married…the Dress Up Parade which used to be at night and the Westward Ho Parade. As I grew up I was asked to be one of two pendent bearers for the Queen and Court…I loved doing that as we went to many parades out of town too and I had a western cowgirl jacket with matching slacks, hat and boots were dyed to match and had to wear my hair under a hair net in the same style the court had which was a neck length page-boy. Wish I had pictures of that!
Dad was a Round Up director on the board of directors from the time I was tiny, until he became President of the Round Up when I was 10-12. Here he celebrates his 50th birthday as President…his nick name was Terje, short for our last name Terjeson…his Grandfather was called Torje in Norway.
Memories of Dad when he was President of the Round Up…I got to meet Michael Landon, Little Joe from Bonanza…and see the Clydesdale horses up close and personal when they came…but the ultimate was seeing my Dad on his sorrel mare Gypsy in the arena running full blast chasing after the Queen and Court, riding hard and fast around the dirt track!
Mom and I were so proud of him! As you see I am still in the dorky stage of age…shortly after this I told Mom I would take care of my hair so I could grow it out…and I got a belt too!
The Presidents today continue the tradition, once the Queen and Court are introduced,
The court rides full blast around the arena waving…riding hard Let ‘er Buck style!
Then the President is introduced and he comes running out of one of the gates, chasing the Queen and Court around the arena track full-bore waving…
They all go out one of the gates…after two full laps of rodeo fun!
And the rodeo begins right away! It’s very cool to watch!
And lastly, memories of being a bored round-up kid…rodeo week was very long when you were a kid and you got tired of sitting all day everyday…often I would go over to the horse barn next to the rodeo stadium where our horses were, and get one out to groom, then hop on bareback and ride around the grounds. I loved spending time with my horses and I’m still horse crazy!
On Saturday of Round Up the jets do a fly over and oh boy is that cool…awesome and so very moving in your heart…I always get tears in my eyes as I am proud of the United States Military!
This picture is actually from the 100th year of Round Up when they formed a group of 100 flag bearers for the Westward Ho Parade…it made you dang proud of Pendleton and America!
The Round Up is the 5th season of the year around here, the directors and volunteers plan it all year long…the rodeo and all the celebrations last about a month…three weeks leading up to the rodeo and the actual rodeo the fourth week. As harvest winds down, you begin to feel the draw of the rodeo as memories come back to you…if you close your eyes, you can faintly hear the sounds of cowboys and livestock.
A time that is full of heritage and tradition…a time of honor and history…a time for old friends and families making new memories…its about life and good times filled with the memories of Round Up…the best rodeo there is in these parts…you won’t be disappointed!
It’s A Time To Let ‘er Buck!
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Love you both…I’m holding down the fort and proud to be your girl!