Thu, 1 February 2007
Who was the tallest, strongest, most "Texas" tall tale hero of them all? Why, it was Pecos Bill.
In the heyday of the cattle drive, when cowboys would gather around the campfire after a hard day's work, they might entertain themselves by outdoing each other in spinning whoppers. Pecos Bill grew (and grew, and grew) out of those informal contests; and many fantastic deeds and adventures were attached to him. In our version of the narrative, we relate how he was lost on a cross-country trip as a baby and raised by coyotes, then rejoined the human race as a cowboy. At this occupation, he earned a name for himself by inventing the lasso and taming a cyclone. And then there was his legendary courtship of Slew-Foot Sue.
During the past week we crossed the Pecos River, and we even passed through Pecos, Texas, where we had a rehearsal next to the West of the Pecos Museum and the National Rodeo Hall of Fame--which was established here because Pecos was the site of the world's very first rodeo, back in 1883. (The word "rodeo" comes from the Spanish word meaning "surround", which is what cowboys did a lot of.)
Families on the Road
We also attended a gathering in Dallas for Families On the Road (FOTR) a nationwide group of RV'ers (and often homeschoolers) who stay in touch online. The gathering was held at the clubhouse of the Dallas KOA. And the following day we drove to Houston and visited the Free Range Family, a homeschooling family who are preparing to go on the road fulltime--and who attended two of our performances last year while they were living in New Jersey.
Dennis (cowpoke), Kimberly (Slew-Foot Sue) and Zephyr ("Bill")