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  1. I was a student at Rice University in the mid eighties, and lived near Westheimer Stables. I would be there every weekend, and most weekday evenings helping out...giving riding lessons, and taking out groups of riders. It was a fantastic place, run by a feisty old redhead named Miss Avis, and her crusty old cowboy husband, John Willoughby. The latter introduced me to team penning, and we went on to win prize money at rodeos all over the state. It was a really happy time in my life...simple and carefree. Needless to say, property developers were always sniffing around the large and perfectly situated site, and it was only a matter of time before Miss Avis was forced to move on. My fondest memory is riding down Westheimer Boulevard to the local Circle K with John W, to pick up his beer...and him insisting that as a rancher, he didn't have to pay tax on the purchase! There would often be a black and white police car parked on a obscured edge of the property, waiting to pounce on any speedsters...and John took great delight in running the cops off his land!
  2. When Verna Lee Booker married Ted Hightower (date unknown), she began to train and ride more regularly. She devoted most of her time to and excelled at barrel racing. In 1949 the Hightowers purchased their first home which was located near the Diamond L Ranch, a rodeo arena on South Main in Houston. The arena, built by Black cowboy J. L. Sweeney, served as a venue where African-American cowboys and cowgirls came to compete. Verna Hightower gained early exposure and success in competitions at the Diamond L Ranch rodeos. She competed on the national level on the Black rodeo circuit in Okmulgee and Henrietta, Oklahoma, and Simonton and Pasadena, Texas, where she was very successful. Soon she became the “poster girl” for area rodeos.
  3. Woah! I found one of the first rodeos of Houston! I was browsing the newspaper The Houston Informer dated February 23, 1924 and came across a business ad for Cattlemen's Rodeo at the End of South Main Street. This was before the Houston Fat Stock Show and Livestock Exposition in the 1930s. I believe. Bassett Blakely & Frank Y. Dew Present. Under Personal Direction Tom L. Burnett. The Most Thrilling, Sensational, and Grueling Contests o.f Cowboy Sports Ever Staged In Texas The Cattlemen's Rodeo. Special Arena Seating 10,000- End of South Main Street. You could buy the tickets at downtown's Rice Hotel. Cattlemen's Rodeo Headquarters - Second Floor Republic Building. Phone - Preston 3327. From what I read, Tom L. Burnett was a wealthy rodeo businessman. A Hollywood Star. The Houston Post dated February 25, 1924: Others I found during the same time period. Sakowitz Bros. ad.
  4. Anyone remember or attend the Texas Prison Rodeo up in Huntsville? I was a little young at the time I guess, but I heard stories over the years that it was quite a show.
  5. link: http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGulfCoast...adena-Texas.htm Looks like, from these personal accounts, that the photo above came from the old rodeo grounds located on Red Bluff Dr.
  6. Well, I prefer the car show, but it's almost time for the rodeo too. This year it runs from March 1 - March 20. Everything you need to know.
  7. I liked Lasher, but he was just too laid back, bordering on dull. He always reminded me of an old washed-up matinee idol from the 30s. Speaking of Pat Flaherty, he was one of 4 men who rode horseback into Houston back in 1952 to kick off the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. This was the start of the Salt Grass Trail Ride. Edit: Houston Fat Stock Show Rodeo January 1955
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