Sunday, April 17, 2016

This Ain't My First Rodeo

Honestly it was my first rodeo. I've never really cared for horses and cows and Cowboys and Cowgirls stuff. I mean I had the "required" cowgirl outfit when I was little but that was about it. They have the big Dixie National Rodeo every year in Jackson but I've never thought about going. You see this weekend was planned around one simple event, school was out on Friday. So I had a 3 day weekend and I wanted to go somewhere. Period. I thought while the rest of the folks were whooping and hollering at the rodeo we could stroll through old houses, shops and gardens. But the more I mentioned our trip to folks they  started saying "oh you need to go to the rodeo". Our B&B host and hostess said online was the best way to get tickets so while we were eating dinner last night, little old multi-tasker me set out to get tickets. But none were to be found. Then just as I was about to give up a lady sitting at the table behind us said she worked at the prison and there were tickets available. She took our names and said she'd take care of it first thing Saturday morning. Now I still wasn't sure about this but maybe it was meant to be. I really wanted to  believe but not sure how much fun it would be for us non cowboy folks. After a lovely breakfast I really wanted to find some fresh Louisiana strawberries. Shirley, our hostess suggested the town farmer's market. We set out to find it but it wasn't open today. We then started the 20+mile journey to Angola Prison.As we neared the prison, they handed us a flyer telling us what could and could not be brought into the prison area.  It was pretty countryside and we arrived along with about another gillion folks.  . We had just started walking to the prison when a sweet man offered us a ride in his four seater ATV. I gladly accepted and away we went. He even took us to a side gate with a very short line. We went up to the will call window and asked for our tickets.  No problem. They were ready for us. We went in with no waiting (this will become important later) they didn't even search my purse. We shopped and I picked out a few things and then I found the plants
. Oh my. If we had been in Paul's truck it would be full but since we were in my car I had to limit myself to two big pots with a tomato plant and I think a cucumber along with some herbs. I both some small basil plants too. They hold them for you until the rodeo is over. We thought we had looked at all the booths and we weren't ready for lunch so we went on the prison tour. It really was interesting.  I mean really. Here are just a few fun facts: Angola is a male only prison, there are currently 6,298 prisoners, 1612 employees, some even live rent and utility free on the 18,000 acres. They grow all their own food, they work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, they pay taxes, the first three years they make $.02 an hour, they can work up to $.20 max., they are separated by level of offenses. And lots more information.  When we returned I just thought we'd walk back in and not have to wait in the mile long line, and Paul could have but I had a purse. And now they were searching all purses. And the line was about a mile long.  (wait time would have been about an hour) So we opted to walk to the car and leave my purse. Then we just walked back in. Sweet!
We ate lunch and then found our seats. Stephanie L. if you ever read this please know how grateful we are for the front row grandstand seats. We had the absolute best seats in the arena!
Right behind the area where the men got on the bulls and bucking broncos.  As in so close that we got hit with dirt from the bull's hooves. (I'm sure some of that dirt had other stuff that I really didn't want in my hair. Ugh!

I was so impressed and it was really a lot of fun!
I have to say the whole time I was there my heart hurt for these men, what went wrong in their life for them to commit such crimes. They are grown, rough men but they are still some mother's sons and the best I could reason is they either broke her heart or she wasn't a fit mother.   I pray they will turn their life around and if they are released will have a good life.
Now here are some action shots.

A little before the end of the rodeo I made my way down the stairs and waited for Paul, we picked up my plants and hurried to the car. We were bumper to bumper all the way back to the highway.  We got back to the B&B and rested a little. I kept feeling little pieces of " rodeo dirt" in my hair and could stand it so a shower was in order for me. Then we got gussied up and headed to dinner at The Myrtle's restaurant The Carriage House. It was a lovely dinner and. We even had time to shop some before calling it a night and heading back to the B&B.  Here is a picture I snapped as we left the gift shop.  I didn't notice it at the time but if you look at the lower left hand corner I  think I see a small foggy pictures that looks like children.  I forgot to mention that The Myrtles is the MOST haunted house in America.  Or maybe it is just my eyes playing tricks on me.

Night y'all because I can't keep my eyes open any longer.
Until nest time,
Love ya,


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