Ozark Viewpoints

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rodeo food

During the Rotary Rodeo's run on the American Legion Grounds, there wasn't much regulation regarding the food being served. But when health regulations came to the community, the club was no longer permitted to bark the selling of hamburgers. There was some regulation regarding this, so the type of food quickly became Rotary burgers.

At the same time, the open-air facilities where the Rotary burgers and hot dogs were prepared were ruled as taboo by the same health people.

When the first accommodations were met, a project of roofing the cook area and screening the facility was next in line, which really made the service much more presentable to the public.

Drinks

At the same time, cold drinks were served in various flavors of pop in bottles that were chilled in coolers filled with ice. Along came a regulation that the ice must contain some kind of disinfectant for the safety of customers.

The pop was carried out in the crowd in wooden cases, along with a second Rotarian carrying a box of burgers and dogs. On the hot evenings a case of soda pop didn't go far before a return trip to the cooler was necessary.

Cooks

Prime cooks for the club were Dr. G.A. Purves and George Joslin, who claimed records each year for the number of sandwiches they had taken off of a couple of grills.

In later years, when the event moved to the present location, a more modern cook shack was constructed, but one thing had been omitted -- that was ventilation.

As nights in these parts can be extremely warm, especially into the summer months, sweltering conditions existed at the heaviest part of the cooking evening. The ladies, Rotary Anns, putting the sandwiches together needed breaks out of the building to survive.

Even Glen Nicoll, in charge of popcorn, went outside at every opportunity. His job was to keep Boy Scout Troop 76 members, who were assisting the club in its selling efforts, with full sacks of their product.

Legal or not, in later years, cooking over a charcoal fire was moved outside. With a larger grill and much more comfort, it's possible Dan Bailey and myself might have broken previous Rotary burger-cooking records at the Rodeo.

Got modern

Serving drinks also hit the modern era when the rodeo moved to Hailey Arena. Machines were available from suppliers, and paper cups were provided, which made it easier for those dispensing the product and those consuming it also.

This created somewhat of a problem, which was quickly solved by the Boy Scout troop, as they regularly made trash runs through the grounds. In return, Rotary, which sponsored the troop, make a financial contribution each summer.

First day

The opening Friday night of the rodeo won't see a parade coming down Main Street, something that a lot of folks looked forward to each year. For some, it was an opportunity to saddle up the old gray mare and take a ride.

Repeat

This is a yarn once told that is worthy of repeating.

When the rodeo was on the American Legion Grounds, Sue sang the National Anthem each evening. This meant she had to climb a fence, get on a catwalk and go to the speaker's stand. Using the announcer's microphone and accompanied by a record, she performed the task.

Then, it was back down, over the cattle pens, to the fence and back to her seat in the front area of the west side of the arena.

One of those rainy Saturday nights, she scrambled out of the arena with the crowd on the muddy ground and went home. The next morning she woke up to discover that the set out of her engagement ring was missing.

She went back on Sunday afternoon and performed her singing chore and returned to the same area she was seated the night before. Using her foot to move the grass, something caught the sun and it was the stone she had lost.

One person near her, after discovering what had happened, asked her if "she had stumbled over the stone?"

Omitted

Last week's column was supposed to have served as a reminder of June 6, the date in 1944 when Allied Forces, led by the American Armed Forces, landed in France to begin the defeat of Germany.'

This event always serves to remind me how little space American high school textbooks give to this period in our lives. It also reminds me of one teacher, Jack Farrow, who devoted some of his social studies curriculum each year to the subject. Now, so far as education is concerned, it's a lost period in our history.