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Sunrise at Helmville Rodeo

In Praise of Bees
September 21, 2021
A Couple of Three
October 5, 2021

Sunrise at Helmville Rodeo

Six AM sunrise at Helmville Rodeo
Sippin' hot Joe in my camp chair
Early campfire burnin' in the pit
Me livin' a life way beyond compare

As always we arrived a day before
It's Saturday so we'll be seein' slack 
This morning's a cool, crisp 49 degrees
Dang it's mighty good to be back!

Circling our wagons and such
We gather each year in this pasture 
Horse trailers, pickups, RVs and tents
Comin' together for relaxin' and laughter

Midst the workin' stock west of the arena
We putter and set up for our stay
Folks comin' from miles around
All for a piece of the Cowboy Way 

There are no numbered campsites 
Never an assigned spot or place
Park wherever it suits yer fancy 
Be responsible, respectin' your neighbor's space

Can't completely get to the bottom of
The peaceful, correct way I'm feelin' 
But I can say one thing for sure
Bein' here each Labor Day's powerful appealin' 

We share common Cowboy values 
These, my people with whom I'm gatherin' 
Respect, integrity, honor and traditions 
People I wanna be 'round given my ratherin'

Even the dogs go sniffin' and howdyin'
Runnin' together chasin' sticks and balls
Joinin' up from one camp or another 
Purty much ignoring their master's calls

When the rodeo officially starts tomorrow 
The grand entry ready to ride
The rodeo announcer will ask God's presence
And I'll be getting a mite wet eyed

When that horse bearin' Ol' Glory
With thundering hooves flaps by in the breeze
I'll be proudly removin' my hat
As will all the men as they please 

This three day weekend here in America 
We'll see us some fine rodeo events
Cowboys and Cowgirls all tryin' 
To take home some dollars and cents

Who can turn three barrels fastest?
Who'll go eight seconds on the rankest bull?
Who will head and heel the quickest
Or calf ropin', the best time pull?

These athletes will all be competin'
Some on two legs some on four
Each doin' their level best
To take home a buckle and top score

And as for we admirin' spectators 
Why we'll be rootin' and cheerin' 'em on
Stompin' and yellin' in the grandstand
Until another Labor Day is gone

And of course you can sure bet all
Your lunch money or the comin' month's rent
You'll see us again next September 
For this down-home all American event

This ain't like the Daddy of 'em all
That happens each July in Cheyenne 
No this is maybe a little grandchild
And I'm a grateful, highly devoted fan

See, it's alot more than just rodeo
Although that is our favorite sport
It's not just camping wherever in a pasture
Though that grace I am pleased to support

This tiny community of far flung neighbors
Is of course a big part of the appeal 
Coming together for more than fifty years 
This American volunteer effort to reveal

When you ponder these freedoms together 
The like-minded, the traditions, the code
And gather 'em here on God's Montana stage
Well, it's lots more'n a horse or bull gettin' rode

by Rik Goodell

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