Saturday, September 21, 2013
Living The Past........
A sepia photo of the Sidney Rodeo in Sidney, Iowa. I lived in Sidney four years starting out as a very young inexperienced teacher. Sidney sits on the bottom southwest corner of the pretending to be an Iowa town even though it wished it was in Nebraska or Missouri. Sidney is a long ways from Des Moines but is very close to Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. As a matter of fact Kansas City, Missouri and also the part of the city in Kansas is a close distance.
I have lived in Minnesota in the summers for many years and been at home on the farm in southern Iowa most of my growing up years and I find each experience leaving memories of such different ways of life. While living in Sidney I was in an upstairs apartment of an old Victorian house. Out the back west window you could see the hill that was steep and deep. The town was built on top of a semi bluff hill even though the bluffs along the Missouri River were a few miles west. The whole bluff scene of traveling up and down them was memorable.
I also lived near the geese and duck migration and the thousands of birds flew overhead at night as well as landed over in the swampy river bottoms to the west. I taught in a school once a week west of Sidney, in Percival. It was a small town with its small school still standing. The floods of a couple years back has almost wiped out the entire town now. Cowboy decorations and western themes are everywhere in the town even though it is an Iowan town. The court house in this county seat town was originally blown up during the Civil War and the present one was built to replace the original one. I don't quite understand why being so close to the Mason Dixon line. I am assuming they knew that the Sidney people were Iowans and were probably antislavery citizens even though they really were almost Missourians.
The rodeo itself has evolved from its once branding season, roundup time and breaking of wild horses. Today it is a regulated and many ruled sport. Sidney is one of the recognized rodeos where barebackers can come and gain points in their national score. When they add to there point scores throughout the year they finally tally it all up to see who was the best cowboy for the year. The town itself centered its four seasons around the rodeo. They make a lot of money from it as well as follow a town tradition of parades and festival time. The high school band was named the Sidney Cowboy Rodeo Band. They wore their red and white costumes and brimming white cowboy hats in all of their marching events. They practiced marching and playing with great vigor and zeal.
I see from research that the marching band is now called the Sidney Pride Marching Band and they do competitions during the year. I bet the cowboy hats return to their heads when the rodeo season comes around.
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