The Elm Grove Youth Rodeo brings out people from all over the state as well as lots of home folks. Some you don’t get to see but once a year. Even if you’re not a rodeo person, it’s an exciting place to be. You surely couldn’t do anything else for a buck for adults and 50 cents for children. And their reputation for good hamburgers is well spread. They served well over a thousand the first two nights. This 2007 rodeo has to be one of the biggest yet. There were plenty of contestants for every event. I only got to attend Saturday night and only those who qualified for the finals competed, and it was over by midnight. It lasted much later the first two nights. The rodeo opened with Elm Grove Rodeo Association president Bobby Deeds leading the Grand Entry parade around the arena followed by the presentation of the American and Texas flags and a host of cowboys and cowgirls from far and near. The Cowboys Prayer was given by Steve Adams. Again, Steve did an outstanding job of emceeing the event and keeping the contestants on their toes and all the other things the announcer has to do. Three cowboys who were instrumental in the organization of the Elm Grove Youth Rodeo many years ago and who are still ‘at it’ were on hand and were recognized in appreciation of their many years of service. They are Andy Cummings, Junior Evans and Glen Bush. New this year was a parking lot located across the road on the east side of the Elm Grove Community Center and Rodeo grounds. Some of the folks that I spotted from Mercury included Tommy and Jane Penn, enjoying their granddaughter, Miranda Jane (they call her M. J.) She is the daughter of their son, T.J. and wife, Tracy. Wanda Dennis was accompanied by her son, James Dennis and grandson, Cody, of Odessa. (Cody is a competitor at rodeos and had recently won $l,500 competing in Andrews.) Her son, Ben, also of Odessa, was there but he is considered home folk now, as he is active in our community. It was an exciting night for my family. Conrad and Kenny Massey, my brother’s grandsons, accompanied by Dakota de la Cruz, won first place in the Wild Horse race and received the coveted belt buckles. I also enjoyed spending some time at the Mercury Store. Gary Weatherman stops by for a snack on his frequent trips to check on the family ranch at Mercury. He is definitely still a rancher, even though he is busy as an engineer at Loadcraft in Brady. I asked him if he was keeping busy at Loadcraft. He definitely is busy and stated that now, for the first time in 20 years, they are doing business in the USA as well as in other nations. He was preparing to go on a business trip to Saudia Arabia this week. This is exciting. After such an exciting weekend ‘at home,’ San Angelo, my new home, pales in comparison.