Moving the booth from Greeley, CO to Ames, IA, we followed the historic Mormon Pioneer Trail through Nebraska. Along the way, we stopped for a quick swim at Mormon Island State Recreation Area right off Interstate 80.
We spent Wednesday morning watching rodeo slack. Too many contestants means that competition takes place outside of normal rodeo times. Here, the cowboys line up and wait for their shot at calf wrestling. Some do it in under six seconds!
The Greeley Stampede is filled with families in cowboy boots and hats. Yolanda Heaton works at KUNC, our partner in Greeley. She and her daughter Brook came to the rodeo dressed to impress.
This morning the local Kiwanis club sponsored a $4 all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast complete with sausage, eggs, and the signature dish: hot flapjacks. We stepped nextdoor to capture the chefs in action.
Our first participants at the Stampede, Jeffry Buechler, Daniel Crisbin, and Erica Yerkey, are friends and neighbors from Orchard Grove trailer park in Boulder. Jeffry and Erica interviewed 10 year-old Daniel. Outside the booth, Daniel assured our next participants, "This is awesome!" Later that day, David Moyer interviewed his grandfather, Anthony Trinidad, in honor of Father’s Day. Anthony, age 86, told David about growing up in Gibraltar before immigrating to America at age 19.
MobileBooth West is the first stand along the main vendor strip at the Stampede, just before the National Guard and Navy tent and trailer.
Today the booth moved down the road to Island Grove Regional Park, home of the Greeley Stampede. Here, the booth passes the site of the flapjack feed on the way to its home on 14th Ave. across from Island Grove Pool.
Ken, a local electrician who works at the Centennial Village Museum nearby, helped us prepare the booth to record at the rodeo. His father used to ride in rodeos, but Ken preferred to work with machines. Now, he restores cars, trucks, and antique tractors.
Colorado’s Cache La Poudre River begins in Rocky Mountain National Park along the Continental Divide. Sometime in the 1820s French fur trappers were caught in a tremendous snowstorm and lightened their load by burying gunpowder (poudre) in a hiding place (cache) along the riverbank. MobileBooth West facilitators Carolyn Bancroft and Karen DiMattia reached the Poudre after a four mile hike through rain, wind and some snow.
Bob MacLeay talked to his daughter, Jennifer MacLeay, about being a combat engineer in World War II, and fighting to liberate Vianden, Luxembourg. “We lost every seventh man,” he said. Fifty years later, he returned to Vianden with thirty-six fellow soldiers. Townspeople filled the streets to greet them. “We were able to know that someone appreciated what we had gone through.”
Karen Barton, a professor at the University of Northern Colorado, interviewed her mother, Phyllis Hoodak while Phyllis was visiting town. Phyllis grew up in Brooklyn. She described herself as a “devilish child,” yet looked “prim and proper.” Her perfect childhood day was a trip to Coney Island complete with a ride on the Merry-Go-Round, knishes, popcorn, and a Nathan’s hotdog.