Keith died of AIDS on September 19, 1991
Keith Allen Thompson
The recent passing of Keith Thompson has left a hole in the AGRA that we won't even attempt to fill.
For being such a little guy, he took up amazing amounts of space and energy, so it isn't surprising that so many people referred to him as "the little firecracker".
Born in Guymas, Oklahoma, Keith was first introduced to Gay Rodeo by AGRA perennial All-Around Champion, Greg Olson in 1986. Greg pushed him to get involved in our AGRA 1987 Rodeo, and Keith never looked back. He ended his first Circuit year as the Finals Champion in Bull Riding, and doubled his Championships in 1988 with Finals Buckles for Bareback Bronc Riding and the Wild Drag Race.
Keith became a favorite on the IGRA Circuit in the late eighties, earning Buckles too numerous to mention, and making just as many friends all across the Country. He picked up a new nickname, now being affectionately dubbed "Miss Mess", a name that became so well known, that some of you now reading this may have just realized who we're writing about. Back at home, Keith proclaimed himself part of the "Coronado 4", a Phoenix area "brat pack" of similar firecracker types who all lived in one of our local neighborhoods.
Yet Keith was more than just a bundle of party energy.
He was a hand, waiting to help you, an ear, willing to listen, a hug, when you wanted to celebrate a win, and a shoulder, when you needed to cry. Most of all, Keith was a smile and a laugh, always welcoming everyone into his life, whether you were a friend or a stranger.
Keith was last able to compete in Gay Rodeo at GSGRA's Los. Angeles Rodeo of 1990. But Gay Rodeo was such a large part of his life, that when it came time to present a Panel at a local showing of the Names Project Quilt, soon after his passing a year later, his Mother presented a panel that showed Keith on horseback, walking away into the distance.
Keith is one of the many IGRA Members who are missed, and will be remembered.