There is something at work here among these rodeo folk. Something not quite physical, yet keenly felt. It is here all around you, and each time you sense it, it wi II take on a different look .... or sound .... or emotion.
Look around you and you will see it. You will see it in the determined face of the cowboy in the chute just climbing onto the back of his bronc, or the cowgirl fighting to stay on the back of a ton of spinning bull. You will see it in the joy and enthusiasm of the dancers, singers, entertainers, and crafts folk as their skills bring to life the culture of our country and western community. You will see it in the tears beneath the brims of countless cowboy hats during the "Riderless Horse" ceremony honoring those they have known who cannot be with them today to enjoy the competition and celebration.
Listen and you will hear it all around you. You will hear it in the roar of the crowd for a great ride, and in the hush of the arena when a competitor is injured. You will hear it in the applause, meant as a token of respect, as that injured cowboy or cowgirl is helped from the field. It is there in the hundreds of genuine "Howdys" you'll hear all weekend.
It is here all around you and you can touch it. It can be felt in the handshakes and hugs of old friends reunited and new friends found. You will feel it too in the looks of pride on the faces around you as they watch their partners, sisters, brothers, and friends test themselves to the limits of their ability. Even though just amateurs, to their loved ones they are heros just the same. You will feel it in the courage you see in everyone that steps into a pair of boots a saddle, or a chute to try to do something they never thought they could but somehow found the will. You can feel it in the months of training, planning, and preparation by the judges, officials, and volunteers that have made this rodeo posible.
Yes, you can sense it all around you in many different forms, yet it affects most it touches in the same way - they become family. There is somethign at work here and it is the
SPIRIT OF RODEO.
To this spirit and the family it creates we dedicate this event.
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt began in San Francisco, in June of 1987, as one person's protest to the AIDS epidemic. Propelled by the death and tragedy that confronted so many around the world, especially in the Gay and Lesbian community, Cleve Jones searched for a way to make people understand the overwhelming loss and frustration that was affecting him, and so many of his friends.
Cleve chose the Quilt to be a personal tribute created by friends and family in remembrance of loved ones who have died of AIDS. Since 1987 the message of the Quilt has brought AIDS to the attention of millions of people around the world.
Today the Quilt is a powerful, visible reminder of the epidemic we continue to face. The entire NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, now measuring 15 acres, will be displayed on the west grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, from Friday, October 9, through Sunday, October 11, 1992. The AIDS Memorial Quilt contains over 21,000 individual 3' x 6' panels, each one commemorating the life of someone lost to AIDS. When unfolded in Washington in October, it will measure over 12 football fields with a walkway of 10.5 miles in length. All fifty states, many US Territories and 18 foreign countries will be represented.
The Names Project website
by Rita Roughstock
My goodnessl Is It really rodeo time already? Gracious, it just seems udderly amazing that my first year here in the east has gone so fast. There's been sooo much .QlBI here to prance around In that I've just simply lost track oftime. What's a self respecting heifer to dol Why it just seems like yesterday while passing through Arizona that I rememberhearingabout this upstart rodeo group trying to set up shop here in the east. I knew I liked them the first moment that I heard how their president. Mike Lentz, earned his first buckle. Well, I hitched a ride on the first cattle truck heading east, and here I am one year later.
And what about those ASGRA cowboys recruiting new members at the rest stops enroute to Nmfolk. Jeff, you really must lower those quotas on the membership committee.
One of my favorite events this year was Christmas when my dear stepsister Hedda sent me a stud, uh, I mean, spud. as a present. While he isn't exactly smart (okay he's dense!), he always has an eye out for where to find fun. Who can forget the night our manly/studly fund raising chairman was named "first Dowager Empress."
Of course, we all remember our royalty contest when we accidentally found our honorary Miss ASGRA - Gary S - yodelling and clogging in that cute, but tasteless, dress from K-Mart (or was It from Mother Poe's closet ... who can tell?) We love 'ya. Gal)'.
Speaking of K-Mart. have you been shopping lately Gaither?
We definitely were proud of the annual D.C. Pride fesUval. Lordy, all those people and so little time. D.C. really knew we had a rodeo associaUon and from the applause I heard they are proud to have us.
Well, calves, this has been one helluva first year for all of us. The rodeo is proof that our purpose Is right and our love and strength unbreakable II
God Bless and LET'S RODEO!
ln July of 1991, four would-be cowboys came together seeking a new adventure at the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. Within a few weeks, Phil Hastings, Phil Rlggln, Mike Lentz, and Dave Hehr began to transform a dream into the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association. Through their perseverance, this vision has blossomed into an organization exceeding their wildest Imagination.
Within three months of its founding, membership had grown to 107; ASORA had held its first general membership meeting, began publication of a newsletter ("Thirteen Spurs"), and began holding rodeo event seminars, social activities and monthly trail rides. Perhaps most significantly, Atlantic Stampede 1992, ASGRA's first rodeo, was approved and set in motion.
To begin the 1992 IGRA rodeo season, a large contingent of competitors and supporters traveled to Dallas. John Workman thrilled the whole contingent by winning a buckle in his first attempt at bull riding. Several other competitors made strong showings, collecting ribbons and placement points toward finals. However, everyone was reminded of the serious nature of rodeo when Darrel Choat suffered a concussion during bull riding and left the arena via ambulance.
As the year progressed, efforts were focused on expanding the membership base beyond the immediate Washington, D.C. area. An ASGRA cogging group, the Capitol Hill Cloggers, was formed. Growing contingents of members ventured to the Road Runner Regional Rodeo In Phoenix and the Great Plains Regional Rodeo In Oklahoma City. Our rodeo team continued to develop prowess as they garnered eight ribbons in Oklahoma; Dave Hehr set a new lGRA record in chute dogging, five members attended seminars to begin the rodeo official certification process.
The flurry of activity continued through the summer as ASQRA members participated prominently In gay pride celebrations In Baltimore, Washington and New York City. More than thirty members visited Denver for the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. The team of fourteen competitors placed in several events, leaving Denver with six ribbons but again sobered by the reality of several scary Injuries. At the San Francisco Rodeo, Gareth MacKenzie claimed the second ASGRA buckle of the year in goat dressing.
"Team Atlantic" enjoyed its greatest competitive success yet at the Great Plains Rodeo In Wichita. Each of the ASGRA participants won ribbons, points and prize money in at least one event. Both Darrel Choat and John Workman won buckles, and several other members moved into positions to potentially qualify for the lGRA finals. Our royalty were busy hosting a major fundraising dance and readying themselves for the International competition to be held at the 1992 lGRA finals Rodeo. At the lRGA convention In St. Paul. ASGRA delegates took part in committee work and helped to write changes to the international bylaws and rodeo rules. Our group even had a dance team compete in the amateur division of the lGRA annual dance contest. Jeff Shaw received IGRA accreditation as scorekeeper and secretary.
Just over a year ago, the founders set what seemed like lofty goals for a fledgling rodeo association: become an lGRA member by 1992, enlist 50 members within a year, and prepare to host a rodeo by 1994. Instead, ASGRA received lGRA sanctioning within ten days, swelled to over 300 members, and Is now hosting--two years ahead of schedule--the first gay rodeo east of the Mississippi. Our goal from the beginning was to be an Inclusive group that offered members of the gay community a chance to enjoy good times and friends with a country and western flair and to focus energies toward helping those in our community who need our assistance. We will continue to expand social, recreational, and training opportunities. We encourage you to join us as we move forward into our second year.