World’s Oldest Rodeo

Since I opened my restaurant a few months ago, it has been none-stop work, work, work… and more work. After taking over the restaurant, I discovered many challenges left by the previous owner. I’ve been working every day trying to increase business and rebuild the negative reputation the last owner had created for the restaurant. Slowly but surely, I am making very good progress. I am getting more repeat customers and my reputation of having amazing food is growing. And many of the customers the previous owner chased away are starting  to come back after hearing the restaurant has a new owner. However, I am still struggling to get the cash flow to flow… unfortunately, it is flowing more like a drippy faucet right now. And then there’s the employee situation — since the restaurant isn’t very busy, the servers are not making as much tips — keeping them has been a challenge. And finding a good server who can follow directions is even more challenging. It’s amazing when I asked people not to attach their resume but to cut and paste it in the email, and yet I still get so many people who didn’t bother to read and send the resume as an attachment. So much for being able to follow directions. Which was one of the criteria that I’ve listed in the ad.

Not that I’m complaining… I am still astonished that I was able to buy the restaurant with only my determination and trustworthiness. I am very grateful to be blessed with this opportunity. However, as much as I am passionate about it, I could feel all the hard work the last few months was starting to take a lot out of me.  I know I have to take care not to burn myself out. Finally, I forced myself to get away from the restaurant for a few hours last Sunday to have some fun with my camera. There was a big rodeo competition event happening and since I’ve never been to a rodeo, I thought it would be interesting to see what it’s like and of course, hoping to capture some good shots.  As I walked around the large stadium, taking care to not step on steamy green piles left from the hundreds of horses; the rodeo life is definitely very different from anything I’ve seen… people dressed in cowboy/cowgirl attires, horses in fancy saddles, menacing looking bulls huffing and puffing behind metal gates, large groups of calf and goats crammed into holding pen and country music blaring over the loud speakers; I felt like a fish out of water. It’s definitely not an environment that I would feel comfortable fitting in. However, the people were very friendly and polite. And I got to see some really brave cowboys in action. It felt good to get away from the restaurant and recharge my creativity using the camera.

There were many events. While it was amazing to see the brave cowboys in action and perhaps it’s my lack of understanding of the rodeo life; But I couldn’t help but feel sadness for the cruel treatment of the animals used in the events. They were chased… roped…

flipped and hogged tied…

Although, I have to admit… it certainly takes a lot of courage to grab the bull by the horns.

Or face the deadly possibility of being trampled by an angry bucking horse when you can’t hold on…

As I enjoyed all the actions of my first rodeo from behind the viewfinder — quietly I applaud and felt some satisfaction for the animals when I witnessed their determination not to let the cowboys win…

Don’t mess with me cowboy!

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25 Comments on “World’s Oldest Rodeo

  1. Love, love, love a rodeo. Last year we went to a fair in Winslow, ME and I was amazed that one of the events was cattle cutting and even more surprised when most of the successful teams were all women or had a woman or two. Watching the quarter horses at work is terrific. I’m glad you are taking some time out to do what you do so well….photograph! I am so glad to hear from you and think about you often.

    • We have a big rodeo coming up next week and I am looking forward to going back and do more shooting. Thanks for your kind thoughts about me. 🙂

  2. Rodeo life is a bit differant but you will find it hard to meet a nicer bunch of people. Hungry rodeo riders are good for your business.
    We are headed to the rodeo next week June 28 as we have a booth for the event and would love to dine at your place. Please share the name and address we look forward to meeting you.
    Cooled Comfort

    • Thank you for your nice comments. During my visit at the rodeo, one of things I noticed were the kindness of the people there. I met and talked with some very nice people. I am anticipating the rodeo next week. Sounds like the whole town will be there. I will be out passing out flyers. My restaurant is Aloha Grille, located at
      520 W. Sheldon Street — between Miller Valley Road and Grove Street. It’s by the Prescott College — not far from the rodeo stadium. I look forward to meeting you. 🙂

  3. Oh Em, how I have missed you and our photo walks! I am so happy that things are starting to turn around for you, for a VERY deserving person! Glad you are able to make some Em time, it’s really needed (I know I should follow my own advise here). 😀

    • Funny, I was looking at the photos I took from our first photo walk in Seattle the other day. I thought about the fun we had and that Jolene and I almost froze our fingers from the freezing weather that day. It’s good to make some “me” time. I’ve been working practically 24/7 trying to turn the restaurant around… my new friend here finally was able to lure me away with rides on a Harley bike. I want one for myself someday! 🙂

  4. I’m happy that you are slowly turning around the restaurant. A little time to yourself is a good thing. Continued good luck.

  5. I absolutely love your photos. They make the Rodeo look both contemporary and vintage. It’s amazing to think the Rodeos still survive in the modern US. It looks like an exciting day out although, like you not sure about the treatment of the animals. Good luck with your restaurant, I know how hard it is with long hours and keeping good staff. I hope the day out recharged your batteries. GG

    • Thanks GG for the compliment. Looks like the Rodeo is a big deal around this part of the country. In a couple of weeks, there will be another rodeo that will last through 4th of July. I’m not sure if I will go… guess I’m just not much of a cowgirl. 🙂

  6. I’m happy that the restaurant business is working out for you, in spite of the challenges and cash-flow. If I lived closer, I’d come visit and sample all the goodies on the menu.

    Here’s a big wish that each day brings you a bit more success — you deserve it!

    • Thanks for the wonderful wish, John. Hopefully soon, I will get my restaurant website up so at least you can see the food and maybe it will make you want to take a road trip to sample them. 😀

  7. Oh, Emily! How delightful! And I am so excited about your restaurant venture! You have taken on one of the most difficult business ventures in the world and i can’t tell you how much I admire your courage! I wish so much that I lived close enough to sample your wares, or even work there (that’s meant to be funny – you would lose too much money replacing broken dishware with a server like me!). One thing I can promise you – my resume would be a cut and paste in the body of my application e-mail! 😆

    I also want to take this opportunity to tell you that I have added another blog to my writer’s blog. It is called “Reflected Glory – My Adventures in Photography” and your honest comments would be gratefully received. You are a pro whose comments I would really appreciate. I am slowly improving, but enjoying every moment of every day I am with my beloved camera. In between all your busy-ness, should you find the time, please stop by! http://myphotoreflections,wordpress.com

    Until then, I am keeping you in my prayers for a successful and enjoyable new step in your varied life! As always, I wish you enough. . .

    • Thank you Paula for your supportive words and humor. I welcome the chance to work with people with sense of humor any day… even if you do have to break a few dishes in the process. 🙂

      I’ve looked at your new photo blog and I think you have some great things going for you. Very nice composition and style. I will put you on my blog roll and hopefully when I get more time, I can start visiting and commenting on a more regular schedule. And yes, please continue to keep me in your prayers… I’m sure that’s why the right people seems to show up to help me out when I really need it. 🙂

  8. It’s good to hear that you are making progress in getting things turned around, both at the restaurant, and your life.

    I won’t try to defend the rodeos, they’re the celebration of the bygone ways of bygone days, hopefully never to return.

    • I agree, they should abolish the rodeo. Although since Prescott boast to have the world’s oldest rodeo, I doubt that will happen any time soon… too bad for the animals. 😦

      • Emily you better learn to embrace the world in which you live as you are smack dab in the middle of cowboy country… the biggest rodeo country around. It will grow on you..we are nice people who love animals

        • Thanks for the reminder. You are right. Although, it has been hard for me to get out and learn about my new world since I bought the restaurant. However, I am learning more about it through my customers. And I look forward to learning more… 🙂

  9. I noticed that the bulls were together and quite docile when I attended my first rodeo. Just before they open the gate, I saw there was a rope tied to the rear torso and scrotum. One hard jerk as the gate opened and you had one pissed off bull. That’s why it’s bull riding.

    • The ropes are around the flanks the area just behind the rider. It is just a bit irratating creating the buck. There is no pain to the animal. The bulls are treated well as they are very valuable.

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