Did you know that the name of the rodeo grounds in Etna is the "Pleasure Park"? It's an unusual name, for sure, and I like to think that when the old rodeo arena drifted away in the big flood, the Board of Directors opened up the naming of the new facility to the local schools. And, after tallying up the votes, "Pleasure Park" narrowly beat out "Dirt Field," and "Rodeo Rotunda."
Kids always come up with the best names. When I was a director on the rodeo board, we'd hold an annual contest at the local elementary schools to name the rodeo parade's theme. My favorites: "Hodeo Dodeo, Let's Have A Rodeo," and, "Strawberry Dirt." I voted for them both, and they lost by a margin of 8:1.
This is just a long way of telling you that this last weekend was full of rodeos for the Eastside Gang. Lacy was in her final high school rodeo and the May Rodeo was on Sunday. We took Dylan to both. Remember, Dylan is no rodeo rookie; in fact, she spent a majority of her weekends last summer snuggled inside a Baby Bjorn, watching bucking bulls and fast horses. That did little to prepare us for the '08 rodeo season.
Now that Dylan is both mobile and in love with animals, the rodeo grounds were like a giant amusement park for her. We had to pry her tiny, but unusually strong, fingers from the fencing around the bucking horses. I think if we walked away, gone to the Lion's Club booth for a Lion Burger and a Coors, she still would have been clinging to the top rail of the fence, saying, "Hor-seee," when we returned. The bull pen was a little more problematic because once she saw the bulls -- "Mooooo," -- she wanted to crawl in there with them. Luckily, Donny, the bullfighter, brought his dog and that gave her something else to maul.
Between bulls, horses, dogs, a shiny crown on the queen, daycare buddies, and lots of dropped food to nibble on, Dylan was in Seventh Heaven at the Pleasure Park. She went to bed early on Sunday night and was asleep as soon as her head hit the crib, immediately dreaming of eight second rides and strawberry dirt.