A bowlegged cowboy sits atop the fence rail in the Rim Country Museum's newest exhibit that celebrates Payson's history and the old West.
Payson is the site of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, dating back to 1884 when Arizona Charlie Meadows and Johnny Chilson held the first formal event in "midtown Meadows."
The exhibit was designed by Dick Wolfe. He and volunteers Jason Amon, Mike Amon, Bill Armstrong, Lita Nickelson, Jayne and Jinx Pyle, Don Wolfe, Marilyn Wolfe and Harry Shill are still working on the exhibit. They plan to be done sometime next week. It includes many old black and white photos including one of trick rider Nancy Sheppard and another where Cline Morris is in a "cowhide race."
Just why Cline is being dragged behind a horse is a question for your museum tour guide.
Local rodeo queens from 1954 to 2001 have their own photo gallery.
The sparkle of the crown is exceeded only by the sparkle apparent in some of the women's eyes.
There's fresh-faced Lynn Young from 1972 and Jamie Wagoner from 1977 with her arms full of flowers.
District 1 County Supervisor, Tommie Cline Martin was queen in 1968, when she was still Tommie Cline.
Karen White had a crown taller than her Stetson in 1969.
And, it may surprise some that not all the queens were young.
Looking stern, her white hair tucked under the brim of a straw cowboy hat, is Polly Hicks Brown. She was queen of the rodeo in 1966.
Visitors can step upstairs to see a collection of antique tools.
There is a hay hook and a steer dehorner.
Observers might feel pity for the mule that had to haul 100 pounds on each side of a pack saddle.
An iron lawn mower, apparently suitable for deep grass, makes a body grateful to live in the era of the electric mower.
So far, there are 11 tools on display for museum visitors to guess their use.
There is a stand-alone "buggy bolt wheel tightener."
If a person lost the wagon wheel wrench that came standard with new wagons and touted as "the only tool you'll need," the tightener was a good tool to have.
The antique tools are on display upstairs through Payson's 125 Anniversary Celebration the weekend of Oct. 4.
Rim Country Museum is located at 700 Green Valley Parkway. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Call is (928) 474-3483.