Monday, February 23, 2009


Now I realize this will seem weird to anyone who doesn't live in Tucson. However, to those of us who have lived here most of our lives it is anything but. Every year, for as long as I can remember...and technically even before I can remember since we have photos of my 1 year old self to document....the Rodeo comes to town the last week in February. And most of the town shuts down as a result. Schools close for Rodeo Break, many employers give their employees Thursday and Friday of the week off and everyone attends a variety of parades, rodeos and events. Like I said, it's a bit strange to explain to people who aren't from Tucson. (On a side note, my first teaching job was in Phoenix and when I asked why we didn't get Rodeo Break off my colleagues looked at me like I had been smoking something...they had no idea what I was talking about and broke out in fits of laughter after I explained the time honored tradition).

So, the Rodeo is upon us once again and while I haven't attended in years, nor do I really have any interest to, I do like the fact that it is a tradition that has been celebrated for decades and continues to draw such large crowds and stir such excitement.

Anyway, when I was teaching we were usually instructed to wear, in the days leading up to the break, our best Western wear which for most meant jeans, a Western shirt, boots, and some even busted out a cowboy hat or Bolo tie. I haven't taught in almost 4 years now so it has been a while since either me or my husband have dressed for the occasion.

Then my husband comes home from work today and announces that he has the option of wearing Western Wear this week. While he is not one of few that gets the days off he has been granted permission, from on high, to wear as he calls it "moose-knuckle" jeans. (Not that I would ever let him own such a thing). I was shocked. He works in an office building; a very professional one at that. Dressing down or casual wear isn't ever an option under normal circumstances. Apparently, all sense of professionalism is put on hold.................for the RODEO.

So, are there any traditions or events that are specific just to the area in which you live that "outsiders" would find different or strange?


Emerald said...

What a wonderful tradition. And one that is specific to your town. Very cool.

Joanne said...

I love regional traditions like that, they have so much personality! And they seem like a throw-back to simpler times, don't they? We have a lot of harvest festivals here, Strawberry Festival in June, Apple Festival in the fall, things like that.