Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fascination, Inspiration, and Awe

Hello, again!

There have been a whirlwind of activities since the last time I have had a chance to report! Monday night was the "Get Acquainted" party where we got to see all of the Miss Rodeo America contestants dressed in beautiful rhinestone-dazzled leather outfits. It was a very fun and relaxed atmosphere because the girls were not judged, and there was a dance after each contestant introduced herself again and got to say a few words about their pageant experience. I thought it was a great night because it gave us a chance to talk to the girls, try an array of tasty hors'devours, and dance the night away! I got to meet many of the other state "ladies in waiting" and took many pictures with them. There are many nice girls that I am looking forward to traveling with during the summer!

Tuesday was the PRCA Luncheon where the contestants paraded around in their chaps and answered rodeo knowledge questions in front of everyone. We ate a scrumptious Iowa chop and were entertained by Susie Dobbs. Troy Ellerman, the commissioner of the PRCA, spoke a few words of encouragement to the contestants, and Harry Vold, the stock contractor of Cheyenne Frontier Days, served as the auctioneer for the live auction benefiting the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship fund.

Later that night we filed into the ballroom of the Orleans hotel for the Miss Rodeo America fashion show . . . and what a production that was! Amanda Jenkins, the current Miss Rodeo America, was involved in a comical skit with many PRCA contract personnel notables, while PRCA announcer Tim Fuller served as the emcee. Set to a NASCAR theme, all of the contestants participated in choreographed dance routines while they showed off their personality and ability to relax and have fun.

When the room lights dimmed and spotlights surged to life, each contestant came out one-by-one and introduced herself by telling the audience her academic endeavours and future career aspirations. The dresses were stunning, the hair was beautiful, and the girls were polished. I sat and watched in awe and excitement because I know that I will get to be part of the elite group next year! Erika looked spectacular and modeled her fashion show dress better than anyone else . . . and not just because I am partial! Wednesday morning we listened to the first round of speeches, and I was impressed with quite a few of the girls' speeches, however, I am excited to try my hand next year!

The rest of the day we spend relaxing by driving to see Hoover Dam and visiting the local Dairy Queen. It was mind-boggling to think that the engineers were able to build something so great without the modern technology and equipment of today! We drove across into Arizona, which is in a different time zone that Las Vegas, however we survived the "car lag" just fine as we crossed back over into "Vegas time" about 10 minutes later. The Magnificent 3 and I just stayed in the car and drove over the dam, but we had a lot of fun watching people try to walk along the road and almost get blown away by the wind! It brought a whole new meaning to the term "wind tunnel"!

My Miss Rodeo America pageant experience as a lady in waiting has been great; I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to watch, take everything in, and learn for next year. I have been fascinated with the beauty of the contestants, inspired to study and do well next year, and in awe of how the "Miss Rodeo" organizations are able to create such a mature, poised, and well-rounded public spokesperson and ambassador for the greatest sport on dirt.

Until next time,