Wednesday, July 9, 2014

100 Days Project -- Day 95

Old-Fashioned Fun - Part 3

So, back to July 4th. Parade over, we headed down to the rodeo grounds for the Ranch Rodeo. We got there a bit early, so got to listen and watch as Marcus gave the teams all of the rules. Marcus is in charge of Centennial Ranch, just outside town, which is owned by Dave Woods, and father-and-son John and Mark Lacey. Centennial Ranch built and owns the rodeo arena and is largely responsible for the ranch rodeo each year. They have made important strides in conserving ranch lands in Bridgeport Valley, and if you're interested in the cool things they've done, you can read more about it here.
After Marcus was done, the riders took some time just riding around the arena to get warmed up. The view at the arena is pretty spectacular, though our amateur-ish photos definitely don't do it justice.
At a ranch rodeo, teams of working cowboys and cowgirls representing their ranches compete, so to start, each team was introduced. They rode into the arena and lined up.
Though this picture is a bit too far away to see clearly, if you look carefully, you'll see that the rider fifth from the left has a child with him in the saddle. Cool of this cowboy dad, yes?
As Lee Greenwood sang "Proud to Be an American," four cowgirls rode out with flags representing the Centennial Cattle Company (sponsors of the rodeo), the State of California, the United States Marine Corps, and of course, the Stars and Stripes. A young girl (whose name I can't remember) sang the national anthem, made many in the audience tear up, and then the rodeo began in earnest.
You might be wondering why the USMC flag was there. Watch this, and you'll see.
There was plenty of team roping.
And saddle bronc, too.
We enjoyed the rodeo for a few hours, and then went back to the motel to get out of the dust for awhile. We sat outside in the shade with Stella and Brian, had a few beers, and enjoyed good conversation and tasty snacks that Stella provided.
In the early evening, we headed up to Mom's house to BBQ and watch the fireworks. Bill, Cathy, and the girls stay at Mom's, and the girls have begun a tradition of leaving messages for Mom in the stones outside the family room window. Gotta love those girls and their tender thoughtfulness.(And that's pronounced "Mee-Maw," as that's what Abbey, Alyssa, and Emma call Mom.)
Stella made a delicious mango salsa with homemade tortilla chips, though I failed to snap a photo. Perhaps because it disappeared too quickly! Mom made the salads below -- bean salad, beet salad, and ambrosia...yum!
Bob and I brought burgers to barbecue and a very important summer staple -- Fresno State corn!
And Brian did all the cooking!
Just kidding. Bob actually did the bbq'ing, and Brian just happened to step in when I showed up with the camera! Though it's hard to tell here, it's also important to note that the bbq tools are fashioned after golf's a set I got Dad before he passed. He'd be pleased they're being used, I think.

Emma and Alyssa just brought their appetites.
As did Abbey.
Sara joined us, too, and we only asked her to bring her gorgeous smile -- which she did. Cathy brought dessert, which you'll see in a moment. On a side-note, there's actually an interesting "it's a small world" story about Sara. She is the youngest of six children of Willard and Joanne Eidson. My dad and Willard went on the California Highway Patrol together years ago in Ventura, and though we transferred from Ventura when I was just two and never lived in the same town as the Eidsons again, our parents were great friends, and all of us kids grew up together. We often spent summer vacations wherever the Eidsons were, and they with us. Sara went to high school in Ventura, and was good friends with Brenda. Brenda met Mark Lacey at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and became Brenda Lacey. So when Sara comes to Bridgeport for the 4th, she stays at Centennial Ranch with Brenda and her family. Cool, huh?!
And now, back to the bbq.
So fun having Stella and Brian with us for all the festivities.
We're really working on getting Emma more comfortable being herself in front of the camera. It's a struggle.
And though Mom typically does her best to dodge the camera, I did manage to snap this one.
The desserts that Cathy made.
We ate ALL of it during the fireworks -- SO YUMMY!!!
With bellies pleasantly full, we all settled on the front deck, waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to begin.
Well, there might have been a few more trips back into the house for additional servings of dessert.
One of the many great things about Bridgeport is that, even when it's hot during the day, it always cools down in the evening. Just perfect for snuggling up in sweatshirts and light blankets.
Sara borrowed one of Dad's shirts to stay warm -- I'm certain he'd approve.
I didn't attempt to take pictures of the fireworks, but you'll have to trust me that they were wonderful. They really were.
And sharing them with so many people I love?...priceless.
Happy 4th of July!

1 comment:

Linda W said...

Fireworks this year were awesome! Always a good time in Bridgeport for sure