Watching the television coverage of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire as it threatened Show Low was a gut-wrenching experience for all of Arizona.
Because Show Low High School where the television crews covering the fire were located was such a huge part our family's lives for seven years, we were especially moved by what we saw on the screen. Watching a school where I taught and coached, and from which our children graduated become the potential victim of the raging firestorm was difficult.
While mesmerized by the television coverage, we couldn't help but remember all of the great times our family enjoyed on the school campus that in the past few days had turned into a fire camp.
Beating Snowflake in 1983 for the first time in the football history of Show Low High School raced through all our minds. The campus of Show Low High was a huge celebration the evening we upset the Lobos. Young and old alike celebrated in one huge gathering on the same site the firefighting crews were pitching their tents.
My son Gerry's graduation with the Class of 1984 and the SLHS reunion 10-years later are fond memories we will hold dear. The pep assemblies, Christmas plays, school dances and athletic contests all helped make Show Low High a special place for our family.
Most importantly, we remembered the many friends we made in Show Low and how they were being ousted from their homes by the inferno.
Luckily, gentler winds and cooler weather slowed the fire as it advanced toward Show Low and the high school.
With no containment of the Rodeo-Chediski in sight, the town and school continues to be threatened. Only when the fiery menace is extinguished and the school still stands will the multitudes of former students, teachers and coaches at Show Low breathe easy.
Calling all prep cowboys
Any Rim country high school students interested in participating on the 2002-2003 rodeo team should call Mike Amon at 474-0689 or Margaret Parker at 476-4301.
The first Arizona High School rodeo of the year will be Sept. 13, 14 and 15 in Payson. Students from around the state will compete in pole bending, breakaway roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, goat tying, bull riding, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding.
Twins Jeffrey and Summer Kelley are off to a jump start on the youth motocross circuit.
Saturday, in their first competition of the season, Jeffrey raced to a fifth-place finish in the beginners 5- to 8-year-old division. Jeffrey rode a 50cc KTM motorcycle.
Aboard a 50cc Suzuki, Summer finished eighth in the same age division.
According to their father, Kevin, the twins had a thoroughly good time and are looking forward to entering more motocross events as the season wears on.