When we pulled into Interior, South Dakota, we were stopped by a parade. Most places put their horses at the end of the parade. Here, they led it.
A circle of trailers signaled the rodeo grounds and we found our spot in the bleachers next to a fella I’ll just call Fella.
Apparently my denim and flannel wasn’t convincing because the first words out of his mouth were, “So, where ya from?”
Fella went on to tell us there was a pot-luck in the park later on. We were welcome to come. Didn’t even need to bring a dish. He told us the fireworks show at dusk would last a full hour.
Fella talked us through the rodeo and pointed out his grandson. Then he excused himself with these words: “Well…all my friends have left. I guess I gotta go talk to my wife.”
We watched the rest of the rodeo in the dusty, fading light. The final event…right after bull riding…was called the “wild ride.” I asked the woman next to me what it was.
“God only knows,” she replied. “Mostly, they think of the dumbest thing they did last year and then they try to top it.”
This year it included a man who rode an angry bronco wearing only his boots, hat, underwear and leather chaps.
Only in America. Happy birthday to us.