Our Houston Chronicle Illustrator Goes to Rodeo – Reluctantly

Our Houston Chronicle Illustrator Goes to Rodeo – Reluctantly
Our Houston Chronicle Illustrator Goes to Rodeo – Reluctantly

I’m familiar with how frustrating the state’s schtick can be. Growing up, my foreign cousins ​​always asked why I didn’t have an accent, a horse, a 10-gallon hat, or the attitude for it, all of which seemed completely false when held up against the realities of my suburban childhood on the northwest side of San Antonio . The questions continued when I moved to New England, and finally—capitulating to the weight of societal expectations—I bought a pair of cowboy boots.

But Ken has taken a stronger stance against Texas exceptionalism, and part of that stance is that he doesn’t go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

So when I signed up to write a story about Rodeo’s Birthing Center, hoping that the kids would say the worst things when confronted with the miracle of birth, I was really looking forward to going to the Rodeo with Ken. (We thought the kids would be so funny that we could draw cartoons of the things they said.)

READ KEN AND REBEKKA’S WORKS: At Houston’s rodeo, a live birthing center teaches kids the miracle of life

I overestimated the kids’ reactions, but not the experience of going to the Rodeo with Ken. So I will share some highlights.

As we drove up I asked him how much he thought parking was. When he finally guessed, after three attempts that were far too low, he sighed. “Twenty-five dollars and you park and you’re at the Rodeo,” he said grimly.

When the woman at the gate told us to have fun, he gave a simple “hah.” Then, after a short tram ride from the parking lot to the property, another woman asked us to “Yeehaw!” he sat in stoic silence.

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Then we were in the middle of it – surrounded by the smell of dung and fried food and the banter of students. Ken looked worriedly at a terrarium filled with broken eggshells and a ragged chicken lying on its side. “Oh!” he said as the lady jumped up. “Little friend, I thought you were a gone!”

MORE RODEO: Read our Houston Chronicle coverage here

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