The air was cool and crisp, with the first trial run of autumn. The breeze bustled about, trying to impress folks with his frigid breath. The sky, periwinkle blue, contained not a cloud, and the day was just what the preacher ordered. Today was round up day at his church, the last Saturday in September, and this event culminated weeks of planning, rehearsing, serving and getting ready. Today was the realization of a dream that began in the preacher’s mind, months before, when he went to a small rural church that needed a rallying point. Thus was born the idea of round up.
My father, a minister for over fifty years, was always some- what different. Not only did he march to different drums, he usually played the tune to which he marched. He approached things in unusual ways all of his life, and, therefore, I was not surprised to hear of his plans for a western round up to instill enthusiasm, motivation and a victorious spirit in the hearts of a discouraged congregation. With his flair for the dramatic and the out-of-the-ordinary, he zestfully set about putting everything in operation, ably assisted by my mother, quite an organizer in her own right.
Round up began in the early afternoon with games. The buck- ing bronco, really a barrel slung on a rope between two trees, proved to be the star event, for it provided the most laughs, as one after another tried to ride it.
Friends and guests, attired in various styles of western garb, visited and played together throughout the afternoon. The preacher once again stole the show, clad in his jeans and western shirt, with a two-holster belt slung round his waist. There were little old ladies in long dresses and bonnets looking
like they were on a wagon train. There were families dressed just alike, in jeans with shirts to match. Everyone, in addition to western clothes, wore a smile, for this was indeed a happy time.
Wonder what 75-year old, real-life Annie Oakley had to do with the festivities? Grab your copy of Our USA Magazine.
Gene & Mary Gibson