Horses, Rodeo and GenealogyWhat do these three have in common? I suppose the butterfly in China affects a tree falling in the Redwoods of California theory might come into play, but I propose that it is Memories vs Stories. This is the question that I’ve been pondering since last week’s RootsTech 2015.
My last blog questioned whether anyone would read my blog, much less care about what I said. The three day principle has blossomed in my life. What is the three day principle? It takes about three days to integrate a new concept into a person’s being. The scriptures have three day events such as the period between Jesus’ death and resurrection and Alma the Younger’s three day unconsciousness and conversion.
My mind is ready now to recognize the lessons that I learned during RootsTech. I now know the significance of stories vs memories. Here is an example of memories and my next blog will be about the power of Stories.
HorsesChina said goodbye to the Year of the Horse on Wednesday, and on the first day of the new lunar year revelers welcomed the Year of the Sheep or Ram, an auspicious year. (Oh, yes, by the way, I’m an Aries, a ram)
Sometimes just recording a memory can be like saying goodbye to the horse year. Perhaps in the next cycle covering twelve years, horses may become more significant to a person, but now is the time to remember, see lessons learned, record and move on.
Sometimes a memory becomes a story that only you can tell and it benefits others. That’s what a blogger hopes for. That is why I blog. RootsTech taught me that others feel exactly the same way.
RodeoTucson’s annual tradition of Rodeo begins this Saturday. When I first moved here in 2001 it was unnerving to find schools in session on President’s day and out of school for the Thursday of the annual Rodeo Parade and day after. Two days off school for a rodeo, go figure.
TUCSON’S LA FIESTA DE LOS VAQUEROS BEGAN WITH A BANG
Headline in the Arizona Daily Star in 1925 reads:
“Cowboys are asked not to shoot up the town”
Tucson in 1925 was a frontier town:
The first Tucson Rodeo was held in the middle of Prohibition. With so many visitors expected, decisions were made to clean up the town. Arizona State Prohibition Director Frank Pool led a force of federal officials to town two weeks prior to the rodeo. The Arizona Daily Star reported that 25 stills were captured and an estimated 3000 gallons of moonshine destroyed.
· Taxi fare from downtown to the rodeo grounds was set at 25 cents for a party of four.
· Prizes at the 1925 Rodeo Parade included a 750-lb. block of ice, 100 lbs. of potatoes and a “Big Cactus” ham.
Leighton Kramer conceived the idea of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros to draw visitors to Tucson during the mid-winter season. Kramer was a winter visitor himself, and president of the Arizona Polo Association.
In 1925, Kramer and the Arizona Polo Association created La Fiesta de los Vaqueros and the Tucson Mid-Winter Rodeo and Parade. The event would give visitors a taste of cowboy range work and glamorize Tucson’s Wild West notoriety.
From Kramer’s official welcome in the 1925 event program:
Not so many years ago the first pony express came to a sudden halt on our Main Street, carrying civilization southwestward. Not so many years ago the first railroad whistled in. Gone is the past. The hitching post has been removed. A new civilization has put steel and concrete and built a mighty city where only yesterday horses grazed within the memory of living man. The Pioneer Spirit lives. Heroic memories never die. The Old Frontier will be revived-at Tucson, February 21, 22 and 23, 1925—as a community revival. We are proud to offer this attraction to the people of American as a glorious reminder of yesterday.
Tourists, cowboys and cowgirls, local society members and Navajo Indians enjoyed a rip-roaring time at the Rodeo Dance at the Santa Rita Hotel the night before the first Tucson Rodeo. Wayne Hamilton and the 10th Calvary Band provided music. The next morning, thousands of spectators crowded the Downtown parade route and 300 people participated in the first Rodeo Parade.
One of the most striking costumes in the parade was worn by Lone Wolf, a Native American artist, in full regalia and flowing headdress, that of a Blackfoot Indian Chieftain. Local ranches were represented on horseback, mounted polo players wore their white helmets and bright silk shirts, and the 10th Cavalry and 25th Infantry bands from Fort Huachuca provided rousing music. The city leaders and the University of Arizona declared February 21, 1925 a city holiday.
Memories of Horses
My memories of horses are varied and certainly not story material. The earliest memory I have of horses is about a house mom rented after her divorce when I was in fourth grade. Apparently she got a good deal (really cheap rent) because the owner kept his horses on the back half of the lot on Cooley Place in Pasadena. Mr. Watts was a Mounted Sheriff and they rode in the Rose Parade every year. The horses were big and very scary to me, but not to my sister Loni.
I remember my Pomona neighbor’s two girls, Donna and Carol Uebele, on all fours prancing around the yard holding a scarf to their rear ends and rearing up, tossing their heads and waving their tails. They spent hours playing “horsey,” Loni often joining them. I thought they were nuts, besides it hurt my knees to run around on all fours. My friend Sandy Benjamin used to draw horses and horse heads all the time and I admired them; but she also drew models in fancy clothing and I admired them more.
I remember during marching band walking behind horses and having to step over the very large droppings of poop. Someone told the tale of a little girl furiously digging through a large pile of horse manure, and when asked why, replied “There must be a pony in here somewhere.” The eternal optimist. Are you getting the picture? I too am an eternal optimist.
Horses and My Genealogy
You must be wondering about how a horse figures into my genealogy. Nine generations back William Hicks of Baltimore, Maryland (died 1710) and his wife Jane had a daughter Elizabeth. Her brothers were all mentioned in his will, but she and her older sister Rebecca (who married John Armstrong on 26 August 1714) were not. How did I find the two girls? In court records where Elizabeth in a Legal obligation gives her mother, Jane (widow of William who married Thomas Cutchin) Cutchin/Guggin, a horse.
The document is dated 30 Jan 1723 and reads: Baltimore County, Maryland. This instrument of writing doth oblige me, my heirs and assignees to make over unto Jane Guggin one bright bay mare with a star in her forehead and the first colt that this said mare brings is to be given unto William Armstrong sons to John Armstrong which said mare shall belong to the said Jane Guggin during her natural life and after death to fall unto Elizabeth Hicks with all her offspring except the forementioned colt in case the said Elizabeth Hicks should go to Virginia after her marriage and return unto this County again then the forsaid mare shall be delivered unto the said Elizabeth Hicks and her husband at once. As I witness by/my hand this thirty day of Jan 1723 Elizabeth (E) Hicks, John Harscock(Hancock?), Samuel Deson
The Big Mystery about Elizabeth Hicks
The Big Mystery about Elizabeth (born about 1699) is WHO DID SHE MARRY and WHERE DID THEY END UP LIVING?
This document gives me Elizabeth’s signature too. How cool is that? But can I show you? No because it is in PDF format and this blog won't accept that. So you won't get to see it unless you go to her personal page at FamilySearch.org and look under memories for Elizabeth Hicks LD33-FSP
This of course is not a memory of mine. But it is the beginning of Elizabeth’s story and my absolute delight in discovering a female ancestor and the excitement of possibly discovering who she married and who her descendants are by sharing this in my blog. Now that would be a horse of a different color, wouldn’t it?
My next blog will be about a story that only I could tell and how it came about during the weekend after RootsTech 2015.