When a tradition ceases to exist, it seems to wound the heart of a community. Fortunately, Lind proudly can boast of a tradition that has endured the test of time. With the exception of a few war years, and the historic Mt. St. Helens eruption, the Lind Community has been beautifully represented at many area parades and rodeos every summer.
All traditions have a beginning, and this one is no exception. Shirley (Watkins) DeVore saddled her horse, put on her best pair of Jodhpurs, borrowed a hat, and represented Lind at the Washtucna Parade and Rodeo in 1939. We sincerely thank Shirley, Terri Kaye (Maier) Ste. Marie, and our "secret" rodeo queen who have graciously shared some of their treasured memories. So, "hang on to your hat," and take another trip down "Memory Lane." We think you'll agree with the title of this section:
It's Not All Glitz and Glamour
Lind's First....Rodeo Princess
I joined 4-H during high school and when I was a senior I was elected to be a Rodeo Princess since I knew how to ride a horse. I represented Lind at the Washtucna Rodeo and Parade in 1939. Ken and I were dating at the time, and since I didn't own a horse, he made arrangements with his cousin, Dwayne Blankenship to loan me a horse. It took two men to hold the horse still while I got on him. He was beautiful, and it was a thrill to ride him. He really put on an act for me as well as the audience lining the street. He'd rare up on his hind legs and pranced all the way down the street. I felt pretty confident in my laced up boots, my cowboy hat, shirt, and jodhpurs, (riding pants). I was supposed to ride again the following day, but guess what? My wonderful beautiful horse broke loose and went back home, leaving me without my beautiful steed. I ended up riding a pinto "plug" horse. This horse had a difficult time even knowing how to run. WHAT A LET-DOWN!!
I married Ken in 1940, so my Princess days were over. I have many great memories of those days and was very proud to represent the community of Lind. Good luck, Lind Lions Club, for another great weekend! Shirley Watkins DeVore
I was born August 10th in Lind, Washington. My Dad worked for Union Elevator & Warehouse Company at the Pizzaro Station and we lived in the house across from Hattie Biermann. As I remember, we lived there until I was about 4 ˝ years old. From there we moved to Windy Hill and lived on one of the Hugh Phillips' places. We stayed there nine years and this is where I learned to ride a horse. I would often go with Roy, my brother, to get the cows and sometimes, I wouldn't hold on tightly enough and would slide off the back of the horse when going up a hill. Roy solved that problem by taking a halter chain and chaining me to the horse. I guess he just got tired of having to find a fence for me to use to get back on the horse.
I was very small when Roy decided that it was time for me to learn to ride by myself. I guess he was tired of letting me cling to his back when he went out for the cows. He put me on a gentle horse by helping me get on the fence and then pushing me onto the back of the horse. He said, "Now, walk the horse down the lane and when you turn him back, kick him in the side." Well, I walked him down the lane, but when he turned around and I kicked him, it wasn't long and I found myself on the ground. I did learn to stay on eventually and loved riding the horse. Many times, I had the job of taking water out to my brothers where they were hoeing weeks in the fields. I also enjoyed riding the horse three miles to the Phillips home ranch to see Mildred, the closest girl in the area. My dad wouldn't let me ride very far with a saddle and so I had to learn to ride bareback…just in case I was bucked off, or the horse stumbled. That way, I wouldn't get caught with a foot in the stirrup. I was finally allowed to use a saddle when I started high school.
Terri Kaye Ste. Marie
From the time I was eight years old, I dreamed of becoming a Rodeo Queen. Since my aunts, Mary Anne (Maier) Borgens and Clara (Maier) Nelson were past rodeo royalty, I had decided that they were the luckiest gals in Adams County. I vowed that I, too, would someday be that special. Well, my wish came true in 1960 at the age of Sweet 16. At that time, four businesses in town each selected a high school girl to sponsor. The candidate who sold the most rodeo tickets would earn the title of the Lind Rodeo Queen. Heck, you didn't even have to be able to ride a horse in those days. (However, I didn't mention that incidental detail in my later years. All anyone needed to know what that I was Lind's "Rodeo Queen". Who needed to know that riding a horse was not my strong suit!) The Lind Grange Supply was my sponsor, and I was very proud to represent them.
The day I was chosen I had a mission. I hurried home from school, grabbed the phone book and proceeded to call everyone in town. First, I called the relatives, and then anyone else who might listen and buy a ticket. To get their vote, I would promise to deliver their tickets to their door. What a deal! My plan worked. I sold the most tickets, and was crowned "Queen Terri". I wouldn't have been any prouder even if I'd been chosen for my riding ability or my dazzling personality. It wasn't until a few years later that the Active Club changed their policy and riding a horse became a requirement! It was a very good policy since many a young girl found herself flat on the ground after an ill attempt of trying to stay in the saddle during the Grand Entry. (Without mentioning names, one of my princesses landed in the dirt in the middle of the arena.) Those were the good ole days!The honor was just what I'd dreamed it would be. However, I needed boots, so I borrowed a pair from Evelyn (Lobe) Heider. Her beautiful white boots just finished off my royalty outfit. (Then coincidentally, I drew Evelyn's name in the raffle drawing and presented her with a new travel trailer! I always thought that was a good pay back for her loaning the boots to me!? )
Being Lind's Rodeo Queen was not all it was cracked up to be, and my life's most embarrassing moments were soon to come. Up to this point, however, my royalty obligations had been packed full of fun and wonderful experiences. I'd been busy selling tickets, buying an appropriate outfit, and just enjoying the moment. It was exactly as I had dreamed it would be. My first major appearance was to lead the Lind Parade as their Grand Marshal, and I was extremely proud to take this position as first in line. Coming to the first corner of the parade route was easy! However, I had been instructed to stop my horse, dismount, and officially be crowned "Rodeo Queen". I savored that moment, as well. But then I faced the biggest challenge of the entire weekend. Somehow, I had to get back in the saddle. Of course, it wasn't like you see in the movies. I did not slide my foot into the stirrup and gracefully seat myself on my horse, I did not swing gracefully into the saddle, and my horse didn't act at all like a horse of royalty! Instead, he danced and pranced around the street as I struggled to gracefully find the stirrup with my toe. It was very difficult to try and look regal and to smile at the people lining the streets. After all, I was the Grand Marshal, and my dancing horse was holding up the parade! Finally, help arrived and I was boosted up into the saddle. Not a pretty picture for a newly crowned queen. But, I survived the ordeal, and can even laugh about it now.
My next obstacle would come at the arena. First of all, I want all of you "wanna-be queens" to know that it is not easy to learn the "Royalty Wave" and at the same time look poised and beautiful as the horse makes the fast trip around the arena. But, it can be done, and I did it, the best I could. I went around that arena smiling and waving, all the while looking relaxed and poised on the back of my horse. The royalty wave was down pat, and my horse behaved like any horse befitting a royalty rider. However, this "dream come true" was soon to turn into a nightmare. My mother was at the arena gate, camera loaded and ready when I gracefully swung my leg over the saddle to dismount. Of course, I was totally impressed with all of the handsome, whistling cowboys who had lined up by the gate. Gracefully, and with a smile on my face, I swung my leg over the saddle. All at once the sound of tearing fabric could be heard by all. (The cowboy's whistling turned to laughter!) The entire crotch of my pants had ripped out....front to back, and too say the least, I was absolutely devastated! Of course, Mom immediately whisked me off to a friend's house and with her needle and thread repaired my pants. We went back to the arena, I joined my royalty in the Buckaroo Seats with mended pants and a partially mended heart. But, I soon learned to laugh at that experience, as well, and it has definitely become one of my most treasured memories. They were certainly the good ole days!
All of this occurred before the new arena was built. Lind's rodeo was still held at the arena west of town with "real cowboys". It was the best! After I married Terry and we moved to Seattle, we always made an annual trip to Lind for the Lind Rodeo. We'd park Dad's wheat truck at the arena fence, buy a keg of beer, and ask 15 – 20 friends from the coast to join us for the fun. Our friends fell in love with the rodeo and the friendly people in Lind. We all met new friends, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the old ones, too. More than once, we'd meet a cowboy who just happened to get bucked off his bronco by our truck. When he'd recover from the spill and the defeat, we'd invite him and his buddy to join us out at the farm for a BBQ. Met ole Irv Dust that way! Definitely the good ole days! Thanks for the memories! And best of luck to the Lind Lions Club for another successful Derby and Rodeo! Terri Kaye Maier Ste. Marie
(And an update on those white boots and the Travel Trailer. After a visit with Evelyn (Lobe) Heider we learned that she did remember those white boots and loaning them to Terri Kaye. They were thrilled to win the trailer, and so was Jim, their only child at the time. He spent endless days playing in the new trailer until Bob and Evelyn decided that they should sell it. They put an ad in the local paper, and it immediately had a new owner. Jim was devastated when they took the trailer away. Riding his stick horse, he stood where the trailer had been and cried. Wonder if Jim remembers?)
Confessions of a Former Rodeo Queen
It was April, and the contingent from the Lind Active Club came to the high school to get the names of all the girls who were lined up to run for Rodeo Queen. In those days, none of this was decided by horsemanship--NO! NO! The way to ascend to Queen was to sell the most rodeo tickets. Makes a lot of sense---Ticket Sales = Rodeo Queen! Hey, now there's a thought!!! Anyway, the guys gave their speech (Did I tell you that one of them was my uncle?) which was very nice and filled with community spirit. AND NOT ONE GIRL VOLUNTEERED TO RUN! Well, being the community minded girl I was, and basically having a big mouth, I proceeded to berate my fellow Pep Club members and told them they should support their community, etc. (Mind you, I had hated horses ever since our Dolly ran away with me when I was nine and caused me to slide down our big wooden corral gate, filling my young chest with slivers.) When I was finished, my uncle said, "So, does that mean you are going to run?" I was caught!!! I glared at the two girls in the high school who could have ridden circles around Annie Oakley, and said "Of course!" Two younger girls then raised their hands, and we were off to the races! Now mind you, there were rules about ticket sales. We were not to start "selling" tickets until the next week, as the tickets were not yet ready. Well, two of us waited, and when we started phoning people, we found out that the third contestant had pretty much covered the phone book from cover to cover BEFORE the required date to start sales. Needless to say, we were not happy campers. Well, we trudged on anyway. I was related to almost everyone in town, so I managed a few sales, There was also a hidden benefit.....I got to take the car out on weeknights to drive around the countryside selling tickets. This gave me the opportunity to go out during the week and park and make-out with my boyfriend (who my parents didn't like at all) so it wasn't all a lost cause!
Then the night of the big "Ticket Count" was upon us. Rumor had it that the girl who jumped the gun had sold more tickets than either myself or the other contestant. We were NOT happy, so we put our heads together, and the other girl offered to give me most of her ticket sales so that the "cheater" wouldn't win. I hesitated about 30 seconds and said "Sure!" The tickets were counted, and SURPRISE, I was Lind Rodeo Queen!!! I thought I was pretty hot stuff for about a minute....then reality set in.
I didn't like horses, couldn't ride worth a damn, and had hated the rodeo since I saw a calf get choked to death during the calf roping. I think I was about five, and the image stayed with me forever. In other words I had all the perfect qualities for a rodeo queen, don't you think? But there was no backing out now. I went to Spokane to appear on the noon news. I rode the wonderful little float in the Lilac Parade and waved my arms off. I went shopping and bought my first rodeo outfit and had my picture taken to appear in the Lind Leader and Ritzville Journal. Oh, oh! My pants were much too short for my long legs, so it was off to purchase yet another outfit with pants that were long enough. Of course I had the regulation white hat, white boots trimmed in gold, and the white gloves that all Lind Rodeo Queens HAD to have. I thought I looked pretty cool! Hey, this might not be so bad!!! I had borrowed a horse (but of course had not ridden her) and THE BIG DAY was upon us. I made it through the parade, had dismounted, received the crown, gotten back on my horse, and had not made a fool of myself--yet!
Then came the Grand Entry! You know, that spectacle where everyone races into the arena with big smiles and waving their hats at the crowd. Well, I bounced my bottom around that arena, and I even waved with my hat. The smile was actually me, gritting my teeth and praying that I would survive. Then we all lined up, faced the stands while the announcer introduced us. We were to race our horse up to the fence and wave at the cheering crowds. When my turn came, I kicked my horse, once again grabbed my hat, and started toward the fence. People cheered and clapped and honked their horns. My horse figured she was not heading for that bunch of noise, made a sharp left turn and headed out of the arena. I, on the other hand, was still heading straight west toward the stands. I dropped my hat, lost my stirrups, and was about to get my great outfit VERY dirty......but I saved myself! I grabbed hold of the saddle with both hands and pulled myself back up. Saved! Incredibly clumsy and undignified, but SAVED!!! Did I mention humiliated? Did I mention the little voice in the back of my head saying "That's what cheaters get!"? Did I mention that after all of this embarrassment, the Royalty was required to go up and sit in the Buckaroo Seats, right over the chutes? I got to see "up close and personal" all of those innocent little calves getting their necks broken. There was no escape!
That night, however, I did escape! As usual, there was a Rodeo Dance on Saturday night. At that time, it was held at the tennis courts. Well, I put on my new (somewhat backless) sundress and marched proudly into the dance. Let me just say that the place was filled with mostly inebriated parents, and VERY drunk cowboys. Kids were not allowed, so myself and my two princesses were by far the youngest people there. The wall of cowboys came at us! They smelled of sweat, horses, booze and Copenhagen. Ugh!!! They staggered over to us, smokes between their fingers and grinning their toothless grins. "Can I have this dance, ma'am?" The other girls and I just sort of hung our heads, trying to pretend we hadn't heard. Well, one of those "John Wayne Wannabe's" was not taking "No" for an answer. He grabbed me around the waist and pulled me out of the crowd and proceeded to walk all over my new (and oh, so pristine) white pumps! Not only that, his hands seemed to be have multiplied, and were all over me (Where was my father when I needed him?) I was highly insulted! After all, I was THE QUEEN!! Well, I disentangled myself from his "embrace", stormed out of there and ran down the alley to the safety of my grandmother's house. Mind you, the Royalty was supposed to be introduced at intermission. Well, I was nowhere to be found. Another Queen blunder! Did I mention that the old "Cheater" word was once again zinging around in my head? Lets face it, folks, I was NOT Rodeo Queen material! And finally, did I mention that at the time, I hated every moment of the Rodeo Queen fiasco? But now I look back on those times, along with all of the other wonderful memories I have of growing up in such fun, funky and solid little town, and I know that those memories are among the things I treasure most in my life. Thanks for the ride, Lind! I love you still! A Former (remorseful) Rodeo Queen
Note: (And don't ask ME who she is, because I don't know...and Carol's life has been threatened if SHE tells!) SE
I Remember When...... (year 2000 stories)
Everything has to begin somewhere! Did you ever wonder about the history of the Lind Rodeo...who started it, where it was started, and how it became such a success? Here we are, been crowned as champions, and we remember many community members who have enjoyed the camaraderie and excitement that makes a Rodeo Weekend successful. We also recognize those who were there in the beginning, and reading their story makes the weekend all the more special!
It seems that early cowboys had a lot of responsibility. Not only did they sometimes raise the bucking stock, they had to build the arena, prepare the ground, sell tickets, participate in all the other community activities, and then enter as a contestant. It appears it wasn't quite as easy as it is now....or was it? The following two stories were written by cowboys who really know! They were there! And, they both can definitely remember how it feels to land hard on a pair of Wranglers!
Thanks, Lewie (Lobe) and Emil (Sackmann) for giving our community a little background, a lot of history, and a special insight into Lind and Rodeo Weekend! Enjoy their recollections that follow........
WHAT A HORSE.......! (Late 1930's)
by Lewie Lobe as told to Carol Kelly
He was quite the horse..... For some time, he was reliable, capable, and most of all, he was dependable. Cutting and hauling hay at the Hugh Phillips' farm was what he did....and he did it well. One day, however, all of that changed! Whatever happened to him, happened to him "good" and in a split second, he became the wildest bronc this side of the Rockies! Didn't take long either for Hugh to decide that he'd be better off in a bucking chute...and that's exactly where he went. He was wild, he was unruly, and he was just plain mean! Local cowboys tried riding him, but too many hit the dirt so he was eventually hauled to the Ellensburg Rodeo. However, no one could ride him there either, and his next shot to stardom was at the Pendleton Roundup, then on to the Calgary Stampede. Time and time again, he proved to be the wildest bronco on the circuit, and time and time again, the cowboys spent their eight seconds digging their heads out of the arena dirt. Hugh Phillips had a winner, but he refused to sell him and eventually he decided to bring him back home and to the Lind Rodeo.
It took a lot of locals to get the rodeo and the arena ready, and this year was no exception. Bob Haggerty, Chet Phillips, Bill Abney, Carl Kron, Lester Snouffer, Godfrey Meilke, Bus Swarts, and many of the Sackmann boys worked hard to put on the popular rodeo, and this year would be even better. This year they'd advertise their rodeo and spotlight the "wildest, meanest horse" on the circuit. The word was out and many of the local farm kids would get their chance at Stardom. For a couple bucks, they could enter the rodeo and hope that just maybe they'd go home with a prize. Who were these "cowboys"? Emil Sackmann, Clarence Fode, and Lewie Lobe, to name a few. Anyway, the big day arrived and the anticipation of the "draw" would soon be over. Someone was gonna ride, or try to ride, that wild mean horse owned by Hugh Phillips. The numbers were placed in a hat, and after each draw, a sigh of relief could be heard from the prospective winners. No one had drawn that horse. Then it was Lewie's turn, and the sigh heard by others was a gasp for air from Lewie. He drew that mean, ornery, steed! Imagine a 16-year-old about to put his entire life on the back of that animal! Petrified and shaking in his boots, Lewie knew that he would either try, or die trying. Of course, this was no ordinary horse, and when it came time to saddle him in the chute, the event began. It didn't take long before the rodeo officials would blindfold the horse and take him to the middle of the arena to be saddled. The horse was ready....and so was Lewie. Riding behind Chet Phillips, Lewie carefully slid onto the bronco.. ....but not before Chet tried to discourage the impending disaster. He warned Lewie time and time again, saying that the horse would throw him so high that the black birds could build a nest in his jeans before he hit the ground. Well, that put a little "shake" in the knees, but with a cheering crowd, Lewie knew that he had to climb aboard. Sliding into the saddle was the easy part, and even gripping the reins and saying the silent prayer seemed easy. When the blindfold was removed from the horse's eyes, Lewie closed his. And the next 8 seconds seemed like an eternity. Lewie waited for the explosion and the close-up view of the arena dirt. However......nothing happened. The horse firmly planted all four and stood in the middle of the arena, not even twitching a muscle. The silence was deafening. Seconds were ticking by....and still, the horse hadn't move a muscle. Seeing need for encouragement for both the rider and the horse, the crowd started cheering, and Lewie started spurring. The more the crowd yelled, the firmer the horse planted his feet, and the harder Lewie spurred. Finally, the eight seconds was over...and Lewie was still sitting on that horse in the center of the arena. Lewie slid off the back of his "wild" draw and ran to the fence and to safety. Harry Kasper, the rodeo announcer, asked the relieved rider if he'd prefer a re-ride, and on his way over the fence, Lewie said, "Hell no!" Well...all's well that ends well. Lewie lived, and so did the horse. Both the horse and rider had their "moment in the sun"....but now it was time to do what they both did best. Lewie went back to school and the horse went back to the hay fields....!
EMIL SACKMANN: Some of the young guys that didn't go to the service, decided to put on a rodeo. Some of the Active Club members who instigated the whole thing were Chet Phillips, Bus Swarts, Carl Kron, BobHaggerty,and Walter Wahl, Walt Heider and Clarence Sackmann.
The Active Club voted to go ahead with a rodeo provided we could get the horses and bulls. Well, we did get the stock from just about anywhere we could find them. Some horses were from area farmers and some were wild horses from a place in Moses Lake. (That is where they found that one Wild Horse that I had to ride). Bulls and calves most likely were from Kron and Haggerty, and some may have been from Hugh Phillips and Chet Phillips, too.
The rodeo arena was the old ball field, east of the town, where the swimming pool is now, with a big high fence. But, they just had a little snow fence to keep the animals corralled. The cars were parked along the outside of the fence. I guess that made it seem more secure. They didn't plow the ground up soft. The
ground was hard....with rocks....I tell you....HARD!
Some of the events at that first rodeo were Bull Riding, Broncos, Calf Roping and Horse racing. Some of the horse riders were Otto Lobe, Lewie Lobe, Clarence Sackmann, Edgar Phillips, and me, Emil Sackmann. My brothers, Reinhold and Godfrey Sackmann, rode the bulls. Chet Phillips always won the horse race. He thought his horse was the fastest and couldn't be beat. So, Reinhold bought a fast little black racehorse, so he could try to take the title from Chet. When Chet heard that, they didn't have horse racing any more. There were no prizes at that time, either. I don't remember when that started.
Bus Swarts saddled my wild horse and begged me not to ride it, since he was sure I'd get killed. Well, I got bucked off on the third jump. I landed flat on my back and it knocked me out..cold. I came to and the doctor was standing over me. I got up and after that, I was the pick-up man for the rest of the contestants.
When that first rodeo was over and we left to go home, Allie Urquhart, and Edgar Phillips were drinking whiskey. Allie hollered at me and when I went to see what he wanted, he offered me my first drink of whiskey. He said, "If you're man enough to ride one of those horses, then you're man enough to drink whiskey."
There was such a big crowd at that rodeo that we decided to make it an annual event. There were approximately three rodeos at the ball field. In the meantime, Walter Wahl headed up building the rodeo grounds down on the flat, west of Lind. With a new arena, we had real cowboys come to participate. A guy from Republic (McGowan) brought in the stock. A few weeks before the rodeo, some of us would pile in a car and go to the surrounding communities to sell tickets to our rodeo. That was the only means of communicating and getting more people to attend. A couple weeks before the rodeo, ALL of the farmers came in and worked at the rodeo grounds to get it ready. AFTER the work was done, they had a beer or two.
On the day of the rodeo, the community enjoyed a parade in the morning. Chet Phillips and Bob Haggerty carried the flags on their horses to lead the parade. There were some horse-drawn floats, but nothing fancy like the ones today. There were wagons loaded with wheat sacks and some of the wagons were pulled by 4 - 6 horses. Men pulled the old wheel/reel hose fire trailer. It has about 200 feet of 4" hose to fight fires. (It is still in the fire station.) The parade was a chance to show off a fancy horse and buggy. Right before the rodeo, the rodeo stock was driven through town the old-fashioned way. After the parade, everyone went to the park. But in the 1940's, everyone brought food for their family and it was a day of visiting. There were games to play. The ones I remember were sack races, horse shoe contests, running races and sack sewing contest to see who could sew up a full wheat sack in the quickest time. Two years ago, I had to go to town to sew wheat sacks at the Union Elevator for parade day. It seemed that nobody knew how to do that any more.
The older people took part in all the events, too.The Mayor and the Big Cheeses made speeches on that day. There was a large gazebo on the center of the park, and that's where they all stood to give their speeches. There must have been other contests because I remember my Mom and Dad winning the prize for having the largest family in attendance. Mom and Dad were so proud of all of us.
When Reinhold, Godfrey, and I were teenagers, we would take care of the animals at another part of our farm. There was a barn there and we'd put the calves in there with straw and ride those calves to practice for the rodeo. I don't think that our parents knew we were doing this! We sure had a lot of fun at the time. The End
Lind Rodeo with Stories! (Be sure and read the stories of past rodeo queens and Lind cowboys and their experiences during this exciting time in Lind's history.)
The Lions' new Arena
The new chutes with sponsor signs
Gary Bittick & Cody Bittick
Carry the colors in the Rodeo Parade
One of the early local cowboys
As you will read below, the first rodeo arena was at the old ball field, east of the town. It was where the Lind Swimming Pool is located now. A snow fence was put up for an arena, and then cars parked around the perimeter. The ground wasn't prepared for the cowboys' hard falls. The stock, also, was gathered locally and from nearby towns. Instead of having a chute, the horse was blindfolded and held in the middle of the arena until they could saddle it and get the cowboy in the saddle. It was crude, but that's the way they did it. It must have been acceptable as the rodeo endured until the early 2,005 when the cost to sponsor it became too high for the club. Finally, and after many disastrous rodeo's, the Lions Club decided that enough was enough and they began concentrating solely on the Combine Demolition Derby. The chutes were removed, and more and more state of the art bleachers were added to the perimeter of the arena. It's a classic arena, and is updated every spring.
Anyway is welcome to use the arena for their sport or activity. To make arrangements, just get a hold of a Lion Lions member.
Butch Englehart Seems his horse is headed South, he is headed North...?
Wild cow milking was a popular event for locals. Not positive who this is, so if you know, let me know.