Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 10-4-10
Country people tend to take care of their own and it seemed odd to us when the Red Cross started a push to serve rural areas after a personal loss such as a house fire. But when you realize that so many people are now transient and may live in a rural house for a brief time, never getting involved with the community nor seemingly interested in any lives but their own, the Red Cross started to look like a good idea. Then a huge fire roared through several subdivisions and the Red Cross really went to work and did a superb job. The need was obvious.
When a neighbor is suddenly unable to plant or harvest his crops, depending on the season, the Red Cross is not the answer. Neighbors who have knowledge of the producer’s equipment or can bring their own to do the work, are the answer. Several machines going through a field can finish the work quickly and no one farmer has to take the brunt of losing precious time in his own fields. It’s a group effort of seeing what needs done and doing it.
Rodeo cowboys do lots of things a little bit differently. Helping a friend in need is one of them. In a recent specific case the need was for financial assistance. A local resident who is also a team roper has a daughter with a formidable and rare strain of cancer that only one person out of one million gets. Even with good health insurance there are always expenses that are not covered. In this young lady’s case, she has to travel every two weeks to Ann Arbor, Michigan for treatments. That’s a long haul from southwestern South Dakota so she and her parents have to fly in order to not miss much work.
Area cowboys and cowgirls decided to put on a fundraiser. To have a good one you need a cause and willing workers. They had both. It also helps when organizers and entrants have a “pedigree” as it were. The event was primarily organized by Robin and Paul Tierney of Oral, S.D. Readers may recognize the name Paul Tierney as he was the 1979 World Champion Tie-Down Roper and 1980 All-Around World Champion. Events ran at the fundraiser were: calf roping, open breakaway roping, youth breakaway roping, steer roping, team roping and barrel racing (2,3 and 4D and youth 3D). Among the barrel racers competing was Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., the 2006 and 2008 Canadian National Finals Barrel Racing Champion. Lisa rode horses she was training during the fund raiser, a good experience for them. Having her and Paul entered didn’t discourage others, after all, who wouldn’t want “bragging rights” that he or she beat a champion?
A concession stand where every item was donated by neighbors in the Oral and Oelrichs vicinity gave all of the proceeds to the cause. Team ropers gathered the most dollars as there were 88 teams entered. Many entered multiple times just to build up the coffers. It was a long, full day and thousands of dollars were raised to help out the neighbors because neighboring is what we do.
Peggy writes from southwestern South Dakota. She can be reached through ThankAFarmer4Food@yahoo.com.