Company’s comin’, Crossett! For most of us that brings to mind a flurry of cleaning and straightening and fussing with the tiniest of details.
For my entire childhood I both anticipated and dreaded Bridge Night. I dreaded it because Mama would make us all help her clean. I anticipated it because it meant getting to eat fancy snacks. “Just one — one — of each,” she would say. That was a rule Papa never followed, by the way. For him, the appetizers were so good they were worth hearing Mama fuss, I guess. And we got to eat them in our bedrooms! It was a once a year delicacy because comp’ny was comin’.
Now it is time for Crossett to play host to cowgirls and cowboys and spectators of the Annual PRCA Rodeo. And we need to get busy and make sure we put our best face forward.
On June 24, our town Rodeo Parade will kick off the event and turn Crossett into Cowboy Town. Because of the ongoing pandemic, it almost didn’t happen. A ban on gathering included events like rodeos. And rightly so — the Crossett rodeo has long been a tradition for entire families here. We suit up in our jeans and cowboy hats and boots and weather the sweltering heat to watch some of the most exciting action within our city limits.
The Crossett Rodeo is where neighbor Marie Johnson met the man who would become her husband, and 52 years later they still do life side-by-side. It must be that rodeo magic. It is where Joellen Johnson remembers seeing Lane Frost ride, and where Lindsey Coulter watched Tracy Lawrence perform. And for neighbor Diane McClain, just the fun of seeing the livestock arrive on the Sunday afternoon before the rodeo was enough to get her in gear for the tradition.
To this day I put Jim Shoulders Road on my route to anywhere in town just to get a good dose of that rodeo energy that lingers even when the contestants are not here and the stands stand empty.
Because it is such a giving event for Crossett, we, Crossett, need to give to it. Let’s spiff up our storefronts and front porches. Let’s pay attention to the tiniest of details--sweep the gutters, trim the hedges, paint the fence rows, straighten the shutters. Take a good long look at your property or properties as if through the eyes of a visitor who might want to move here or in the very least might want to come back to visit.
And then — of course — give back to the rodeo by going to the rodeo. Get yourself a sno cone, a cotton candy and one of those yummy rodeo burgers. Remember when the Eaglettes and Eagle football boys sold those throughout the stands? I know one little girl who watched them every year vowing to do that when she grew up...and she did.
The Crossett Rodeo is special. It is a tradition. And it is worth getting ready for. See you there! I’ll be the one in the not-yet--broke-in new cowboy hat, so good luck!