Another Day at the Rodeo.

Sam Houston State Teachers College is no Sam Houston State University.  Back when SHSU was SHSTC, there was an event held that not only drew thousands of visitors, it raised the price of everything from gasoline to grape soda.  Each Sunday in October there was a rodeo held in the arena at Huntsville State Penitentiary, attended by thousands. They parked all over folk’s yards, trashed our town and left without a bit of consideration for those who resided there.  Sam Houston students rather disliked the rodeo and the rodeo’ers.  They saw a great show, however. There was very little to care for on the part of the inmates.  A time spent in the infirmary, from getting bashed around by wild bulls, was a small price to pay for a few days rest under clean white sheets. Rodeos were held every Sunday in October from 1931 until late 1980.  The deterioration of the arena and the half-million-dollar cost of refurbishment, was too much for the facility to remain. Attempts to resume failed and the whole thing became a historical memory.  For all the students attending Sam Houst0n, the cessation was a joyful time to enjoy a good meal at a good price in downtown eateries.  The rodeo got some positive press as it was featured in the movie, “Urban Cowboy” with John Travolta, Debra Winger and Scott Glenn.  It was during the filming of that movie that a disguised John Travolta attended our show at the Tower Theater in Houston. My friend, Ed Geldart, played Travolta’s father in the film. I never had a desire to attend a rodeo, ever.  Even though UnAmerican, that and auto racing has no interest for me, at all. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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