All Hat and No Horse!

Jul 29, 2023 | 2 comments

Vicki, Shirley, Jean, Sydney — Rodeo Grounds, 2023

This morning I pulled on my boots and slapped my cowboy hat on over my windblown locks and went with Vicki, Jean and Shirley to the Cowboy Breakfast!  Nyel would have been proud.  I don’t think we ever missed a Cowboy Breakfast in all the 37 years we were together, except maybe the last year or two when he was wheelchair- bound.

Nyel absolutely looked the part.  Tall, rangy, long legs molded into those old levis, with polished boots and well-worn Stetson — Wow!  And when he got comments (mostly from guys — the girls just looked) his reply was always a smile and “Yep!  I’m all hat and no horse!”

Sometimes, especially if we knew kids who were competing, we stayed for the rodeo.  But usually it was the breakfast that was the big draw.  And all those extra pancakes that Guy Glenn, Jr, managed to get onto Nyel’s plate before we finally left the premises!

Nyel After The Cowboy Breakfast, 2014

I was glad to see Guy still hard at it today — still making perfect pancakes!  But I missed Charlie Watkins and Judy Eron of Double J and the Boys.  Charlie always got my eggs just right — “no runny parts!”  (Though, truth to tell, they were pretty perfect today, too!)

When we lined up to give our order, we were greeted by Tucker, Carol, and their son Charley and family who must have been there at the crack of dawn.  (Later, I learned that they had gone back for the rodeo, too!  I think Vicki, Jean and Shirley were planning to do that, as well.  I was content to come on home and enjoy a gorgeous summer day with a lovely wedding happening across the street!)

Bitty Redell, the first Long Beach Rodeo Queen, 1947

 We shared a table with a lovely couple, Susan and Larry(?), who have a second home up on Douglas Drive — just a stone’s throw from “beautiful downtown Oysterville.”  We urged them to come to Vespers tomorrow — I hope they do!  It’s my turn to do the “Oysterville Moment” and I think  I’m going to tell about the beginnings of the Rodeo here on the Peninsula.  (In case you are wondering… yes, it’s an Oysterville story!)




  1. Caroline Miller

    My dad used to take me to rodeos when I was a kid. Never a dull moment at those events. Maybe you should expand that Vespers “Oysterviille Moment” into a book.

  2. Anne Nixon

    Loved those rodeos for many years! I “see” one often as the granddaughters give me an Aura and on it I’ve put an old rodeo picture. Wish I could say I was riding one of those broncs, but no, I’m not in it.
    Do remember one summer in Oysterville tho, when the folks rented Nancy and me horses. Mine loved to canter on the wet sand, but Nancy’s was more interested in getting back to the barn! Judy, Pete, and the Holway kids often went along, and we had such fun!


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