Last Saturday families lined the downtown streets of Houston, Texas in order to watch the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade. The morning began very early for us and bitterly cold. It was not so much the temperature, but the stout wind that cut right through our layers of clothing. We met other members of the Grimes County Jr. Deputy Sheriff’s Mounted Posse in Plantersville at 5:30 a.m. to begin our journey south to the big city.
The Sam Houston Trail Ride invited the Posse to lead them through the parade. It is an honor to be able to be a part of representing Grimes County in such a big event in the 4th largest city of the United States. My husband, daughter, and son, Jake, rode in front of wagon #1 along with other members of the Posse, including Sheriff Don Sowell. Meanwhile, our little boys, Isaac and Andrew, rode in wagon #1 with me.
We had such a good time and were impressed with the turnout this year despite the cold. The parade route changed this year due to the light rail construction, but the slight change did not inhibit attendance. In fact, it felt like there were more people this year.
Riding through Downtown Houston is an experience of a lifetime. The skyscrapers never seemed taller as you look up to the sky on the back of a horse or from the inside of a wagon. The buildings form a man-made canyon of sorts, which seem to funnel the wind more strongly. It was definitely more cold during the parade than before or after the event.
The city of Houston and the Livestock Show and Rodeo do a great job promoting Go-Texan, our western heritage, and our history. At times like this, I cannot help be a little sentimental. It was not that long ago when my ancestors rode horses as their only means of transportation. You’d only have to trace it back three generations with my great-grandparents and our lives barely missed overlapping. They both died within a year or two of my birth.
Here I am in 2013 raising my family on a cattle ranch. We might drive cars and pick-up trucks instead of horses and wagons, but the spirit is the same. Loving the land, the hard work, the fresh air are qualities that we share. Supplying beef and providing for our families have not changed either. The parade helped remind me that the spirit of the Ol’ West is alive and well.