We would like to acknowledge just a few of each association's members and supporters who have passed away since the inception of Gay Rodeo. A reminder of what we've lost, as we continue to grow.
AGRA Roger Barger, Ron Barnes, Jrry Blair, Jim Brandl, Ron Christensen, David Cruz, "Bokkie" DeClerk, Ed Jett, Tim Kelley, Gilbert Mendoza, Rod Paulson, Joel Reiter, Barry Richardson, Michael Roose, Phil Santhon, Bill Sather, Rob Speir, Ron "R.T." Templeton, Keith Thompson, Dale Williams.
ASGRA Alan Merkel, Billy Oates.
CGRA Dan Bahr, Dan Bloomer, Gary Brown, Whitney Craig, Jimmy Davis, Stephanie Hostetler, Ron Jesser, Mickey Mcintosh.
DSRA Fred Beggs, John Diemer, Larry Feaganes.
Los Angeles Chapter: Ronald Amirault, Ron DiStefano, Frank Diaz, Terry Dunlop, David Eshelman, Steve Fields, George Fry, John Gleason, Maurice Lestage, Mike Major, Robert Mann, Patrick McGrath, Christopher Nicholls, Hank Phillips, J.R. Rodgers, David Sherman, Tony Villalobos, David Watkins.
San Diego Chapter: Cliff Howe, Tony Liepke, William Robinson.
San Francisco Chapter: Rob Bernardo, Richard Bray, Dennis Fargen, Brett Major, Mark Nilson, Derek Ow, Chevy Guerra, John Johnson, Gordon Beagle.
KGRA-Garth, Larry Schoonover. MGRA-Claude Cummings, Roger Fisher, John Kellogg, Bobby Lee, Adolph Lusk, Tom Marshall, Bob Shinault, Joe Wade. NMGRA-Charles Finley, Less Woods. NWGRA-Collin Jerden, Jim Luoma.
OGRA-Truly misses the many members that we've lost, as well as their contributions.
Austin Chapter: Bruce Eden, Glen Hostetler, Robert Lowke.
Corpus Christi Chapter: Rooert Johnson.
Dallas Chapter: Trapper, Randy Woodard. Fort Worth Chapter-Michael Robinson.
Houston Chapter: Dough Baum, Dean Casl"ell, Robert Christie, Donald Culver, Jim "Fanny" Farmer, Daniel Frausto, Bill, Holton, Lou Hondrous, De Wayne Jackson, Frank Karakasians, Richard Marino, Scott Miller, Kelley Parker, Rex Paul, Anthony Pitchner, Mark Ryan, Ralph Shackelton, B.J. Sommers, Walter Strickler.
San Antonio Chapter: Jerry Ludwig, Doug Stewart, "Hap" Veltman.
UGRA Les Hodder.
11/29/60 - 9/19/91
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.
It's a fairly simple and straightforward story to hear Wayne Jakino tell it.
After a fun weekend at the Annual Reno Gay Rodeo a decade ago, Wayne and half a dozen other people decided to put together a little group called the International Gay Rodeo Association, and the rest is history.
Take a moment here to look around the Rodeo Grounds ... we'd like to suggest to you that this Finals weekend is the result of something much more than "simple and straightforward". And we'd further like to suggest that yet another successful year of organized Gay Rodeo is the direct result of all the hard work and dedication of this year's Grand Marshal, CGRA's Wayne Jakino.
Things did start out rather simply. Wayne had enjoyed the Country flavor of a Western bar in Denver that closed in January of 1981. In June of that same year, he and John King came up with the concept of those "Iii bitty ole pissant country places", Charlie's. With the combination of Gay and Country, still a novel idea to him, Wayne decided to go check out something called the National Gay Rodeo in August, a once a year Rodeo in Reno, Nevada. What he found there was an entire cross-section of Country life, all Gay. He went home with lots of ideas.
A month later Wayne formed the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association, and led it as President. The next year he returned to Reno with 400 people, Contestants, Entertainers, and just plain Country Fans.
In 1983 CGRA held their first Gay Rodeo, and Wayne encouraged Texas and California to form their own associations and do the same. As these other States began to put together their own groups, Wayne formed the International Gay Rodeo Association, as the umbrella organization, and led that for it's first two years.
In his spare time, he also put together the International Gay Square Dancers Association, as a by-product of getting together with several State's dancing groups in an effort to put one together for Denver.
Wayne has continued to promote both CGRA, and IGRA in the years since then as the Trustee for CGRA. Among other things, he is the man most responsible for bringing Miller Brewing on board as our first International Sponsor.
Wayne has just recently stepped down as Colorado's Trustee, saying it's time for new faces at CGRA. But he's not giving up Gay Rodeo by any means. His current passion on the Circuit, is traveling around and serving as the Announcer of Rodeos that he's asked to, most recently being excited about helping out at Atlantic State's first Rodeo several weeks ago.
In his current moments of spare time back home in Denver, Wayne is serving the City of Denver as a Manager of Safety, one of a five-person team, under the Mayor, who help select Denver's Police, Sheriff, and Prison personnel. And he has just recently been selected as the first civilian to serve on the Police Commissioner's Consultants Panel. He is also serving Denver's Mayor on his Lesbian and Gay Advisory Panel.
As Hosts for this year's IGRA Finals Rodeo, Phoenix is honored and thrilled to have as our Grand Marshal, a man who is not only an outstanding leader in our Gay and Lesbian Community, but also a Founding Father of the IGRA, Wayne Jakino.
Our hats are off to you Wayne!
Wayne in our Hall of Fame