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September 8th, 2002

Ride 'em Cowboys!

I left Jeane's at about noon, and went up to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds for a day of the rodeo. I watched two events, the Dolly Madison event, and one that I don't know the name of, but the guys rode in on a horse pretty fast, plucked a flag out of a bucket, rode around barrels in the circle, and had to drop the flag into a bucket on the other side before heading out. Pretty impressive!

The Dolly Madison event was a "drag" event. Three folks, one dressed up as "Dolly Madison" and the other two were her "heroes." Each of them was assigned to take an item from Dolly and bring it back to their stations, and then go back and rescue her.

When the clock started, Dolly ran straight across the arena to a huge (pirate's type) chest. In it she had to find the two items that the guys were going to come for. So, she just bends over and starts yanking everything everywhere out of the chest until she finds the two items.

In the meantime, the two guys go to a barrel, put on a dress (over their clothes) and a wig, and then make their way over obstacle courses to get to Dolly. The one has to jump over to (wooden) horses, and the other one has to "row his way across the river," which is basically a wooden platform on a track. He jumps on the platform, grabs a rope, and then pulls himself across.

As soon as either of them gets to Dolly, she hands them their item. They have to go back (through their respective obstacle courses), put the item on the starting barrel, and then go back over the obstacles back to Dolly.

Once they're both there, they pick her up and take her to the one obstacle course (the "river") and all three of them jump on that platform and pull themselves across. At the end of it the two guys stand up and lift Dolly again and take her across the finish line.

About 10-12 teams of three went through this, with the team doing this in the least amount of time winning. It was quite entertaining.

I had some delicious pit-cooked turkey and some "boardwalk" fries for lunch. They had a dance floor set up under a huge tent, and that's where I spent most of my day (surprise, surprise).

I left the rodeo at about 5, took the shuttle bus back to the metro, took the red line from Shady Grove to Galleria Place where I swapped to the green line. While switching trains, I ran across Phil Chimento! I haven't seen him in about 20 years. I thought it was him right away, but adjusted my pace to end up right behind him on the escalator. I wanted to hear him speak to confirm it was him. He did. I said, "Hey Phil! It's John from NCP!" He was floored. How bizarre; how bizarre.

My 9:45 flight was delayed a half hour, which was not fun. We waited for 10 passengers coming in from Manchester on a flight that was running late. We landed at 11:15 instead of the scheduled 10:45, so I guess it wasn't that much later. I was tired though.

Oh well, it was a great weekend. I believe I have become a rodeo fan for life. I know I'll be at the next one.

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