Friday March 6, 2015
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Last week, a local bird cage liner (I will not call it a newspaper) published this accused individual's photograph and name on their front page. It made me angry that they would act as judge and jury and convict him on their front page. I called and complained and was told that "Well, he was arrested, so he must be guilty". To make things even worse, later in the day a salesperson for the bird cage liner called me and told me that the only reason this was on their front page was at the request of Payson Police Chief Don Engler. I do not know Chief Engler very well, but I DO know that he has respect for our justice system and would NEVER do anything of that nature.
Thanks Payson Roundup for having journalistic ethics and not publishing this accused individual's name.
Thanks, Pat, and yes, your mind is warped, just is mine is sometimes, also! Here's what I can't figure out: there is about a mile of the Houston Mesa Road that is unsafe for us to drive on because the guard rails were damaged during the Water Wheel fire. APS and Qwest did a wonderful job replacing power poles and restoring lines for power and phones. Now that those services are restored, as far as I can find out, the guard rails are the only remaining problem. If we could get through the problem area following a pilot car at safe and slow speeds, we could get to town much easier, But, the solution that the "powers that be" came up with are to route us on 10 miles of winding mountain roads with no guard rails, to end up on Highway 87 on another 10 miles of road construction... following a pilot car. Can you tell me where the common sense is here?
I don't mind the pioneer life up here, in fact, I enjoy it. But when government bureaucrats make silly and unsafe decisions about my safety I resent it, and so do my neighbors.
Can someone out there help me? I am kind of stranded out here in Whispering Pines. I prefer not to take the Control Road except in an extreme emergency because it is dangerous, especially during the Monsoon when the rains cause flooding in the washes.
No one, not the Sheriff's office, the Forest Service or the Whispering Pines Fire Dept. seems to know when the road will reopen. Can anyone out there help?
I believe the posse is just like the volunteer police. I don't know about bar bouncers because I don't hang out in bars. All the posse can do is call for back-up or help, but I believe that their presence there is a deterrant to crime.
I don't know the when and who of feeding volunteers and contestants started, but I think it's a good idea to show thanks to volunteers and to show hospitality to our visiting contestants. They aren't dining on gourmet cuisine. The usual "meal" consists of a hot dog or hamburger, chips and a soda.
Oh, and one more thing. The Possee was paid for overnight security at the arena so that vendors felt safe leaving their booths. The Payson Police Dept. has a few other things going on during rodeo weekend and it would be unreasonable to ask them to station an officer there overnight. This was before the P.D. had their volunteer program in place.
OK, lets see if I can explain some of these things to you. First of all, what you read was correct. Yes, special group rates for residents of a gated community.
Now to your other questions:
What kind of badges? Well, you need to identify your volunteers, so that they can enter the arena without buying a ticket. Same goes for vendors. Some of them employ several people and they need badges to get in the arena for the same reason. Other badges are for Media, Security, Judges, etc.
Why pay for hotel rooms? A group known as the Calendar Cowgirls would come to Payson for Rodeo weekend. The would appear at every performance carrying sponsor flags in the arena before each event. They also are in the parade. They did not charge a talent fee, mileage to and from Payson or meals. All they asked for was 2 hotel rooms for 2 nights. They would sleep 4-5 girls per room. Pretty cheap price to pay for good talent and good workers.
Buckles are not donated. The cost of championship buckles might be defrayed some by sponsorships.
You feed volunteers because you want them to know you appreciate their hard work. And they get hungry after working a 4-6 hour shift.
You feed contestants because you want them to feel welcome to your arena and it's also a rodeo tradition.
I'm sure I left something out, but I hope this helps a little, Pat
Rodeo isn't for everyone, just like professional football, basketball, wrestling or any other sport. I for one, wouldn't pay a nickel to watch a NASCAR race, but that's just me.
But people from all over the world love rodeo, Eurpoeans, especially. When I worked at the Chamber there were calls every day of the year from people wanting to come to the August Rodeo, planning their itinerary around it. Many locals don't attend the rodeo because of the traffic and crowds and I understand that. But that third weekend in August may very well be the weekend that supports many local businesses through the winter months.
And for the locals that say they care nothing about the August Doin's, want to know how many requests there are for "Comp" tickets from locals? It's well into the hundreds! They seem to come out of the woodwork that last week before the rodeo, and each and every one of them feel they deserve to get in for free, regardless of how much or how little they did to contribute to the event. The Chamber has tried over the years to find a way to make the rodeo affordable for locals, too. Half price tickets on Friday night, free admission for kids on Sunday, group rates for residents of gated communities, etc. I don't know what the answer is in regards to increasing community involvement but I hope the new Alliance does.
Tom, your mention of that cabin way out on the East Verde reminded me of something. I live on the land that was formerly the Meadows Ranch, now known as Whispering Pines. In 1884, Charlie Meadows started the August Doin's Rodeo and his history continues to this day. Let's try to preserve that history and celebrate it every third weekend in August.
The last rodeo I was involved with was in 2005, and my memory for specifics isn't as good as it should be. But a specialty act normally costs around $5,000. Other expenses to produce the rodeo include the stock contractor (about $23,000), feed for the livestock, printing of tickets, badges and posters, advertising, insurance, the rodeo announcer and flag carriers and their hotel rooms, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee, Sheriff's Possee, beer and other alcohol that will be sold, the VIP tent food expenses (you have to feed the volunteers and contestants), tent rental expenses, sheep rental and feed (for Mutton Bustin'). Then there's the prize money for the contestants that is increased every year and buckles for the winners of each event. And that's just what I remember off the top of my head!
The new group (the Alliance) will have to offset these costs by selling sponsorships locally and out of town. A banner in the arena costs the sponsor around $225 and to sponsor an event like bull riding is around $1,500. National sponsors like Dodge kick in about $2,000. Beer, vendor fees and ticket sales at the gate make up for the rest, and that's the scary part. A couple of inches of rain on Saturday night can just about kill ticket sales for the biggest night of the rodeo. Yes, you can buy rain insurance, but that costs a lot too. And if you buy it, you have to have someone certified by the National Weather Service sitting in the stands with a certified measuring device, just in case. We were lucky to have Anna Mae Deming to do that for many years, but sadly, she's gone and there is no one else in town qualified to do that.
So, as you can see, the Alliance has a lot of hard work cut out for them. I wish them well in this unstable economy and I continue to have faith that the people of Rim Country value our history and heritage and will continue to support the rodeo as they always have.
Charlene: Want to enter the Senior Women's Bull Riding with me?
I Googled the question "Are Blacks intellectually inferior to Whites?" and I couldn't find one source that had any statistics to prove your point. So, let's agree to disagree. But I hold fast to my opinion that intellect can't be judged by the color of one's skin.
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