Saddle up the horses, let’s go ride in the parade.
Something about a parade that’s always made our heart skip a beat. Photographs indicate our first parade was in conjunction with the ‘54 Territorial Celebration, but we sure remember leading our dog, Gal, in several pet parades a few years later. Once we got a quarter for her being the fattest entry. We always wanted to ride a horse in the parades.
Our dream came true in ’63, when we rode our first horse, Spot, in the Strong City Rodeo parade through drenching rain. That didn’t dampen our spirits, as we’ve tried to be in nearly every parade possible since then. Sadly, we missed a couple of locals this year due to judging commitments, but there are fond memories of parades we have been in.
We never missed the Council Grove Rodeo parade in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the Herington Fair parade of ’68 sticks out, because we rode our albino mare, Candy, alongside our friend on his black mare Pesky, a sister to our future stallion, Dennis Good.
One time, we drove our black and white spotted mare in both the Chapman and Alta Vista parades. A palomino we were riding kicked another cowboy in the Abilene Fair parade, which made us very upset and much more careful. A different palomino was taken to WhiteCity for the parade, but we were early and had to go back seven days later.
In the Dwight parade five years ago, we rode a big sorrel jenny mule and took our share of chiding. Haven’t been to the Alma Fair parade for awhile, but we didn’t miss it for years. At Alta Vista, a couple of times, we were the only rider, “The Lone Ranger,” as Gene described, when he gave us a photograph of ourselves, as he’s done several times.
An especial parade was in Council Grove, when we formed a dozen-member group, The BB Riders, all on horses we had produced or trained. Christmas parades are fun, but our coldest one was in Topeka a couple of years ago. The holiday parade at Council Grove was highlighted one year when we drove Blacky and led Trixy, the pony.
Best parades ever had to be two times when we were again the only entry. With our new bride seated on the buggy seat beside us, and Trigger and Pat the ponies providing power, we paraded down Newton’s main street on our wedding day. We also drove Zane, the stud, pulling the snazzy surrey from the church, with son, Tyson, and new bride, B.J.
We’ve been to the American Royal parade and try to watch holiday parades on TV. It’s just the kid in us, but we anticipate riding and driving horses in many more parades.
Although we’ve collected a couple of parade awards, more have gone to our wife; she’s better looking. Best advice comes in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize: So run, that ye may obtain.”
Most parades are glorious affairs. Remember Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem?
According to St. John 12:13: “People spread palms, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”