“My Kids Used to Show”
By Ramona Petrosky
They climb the bleachers slowly now at cattle shows,
their knees very stiff and backs given out long ago.
But their eyes are as bright as a child as they sit down the way;
“My kids used to show” they proudly will say.
Things have changed a bit from the days they ran the road,
these show moms and dads from a generation ago.
They did without Siri, Google, or GPS to tap.
They found obscure fairgrounds Indiana Jones-ing it with only a flashlight and map.
There was no screen time to pass hours through the day,
maybe just a coloring book, rope, or toy tractor tucked away.
Sitting around the showbox they’d laugh the hours away,
not playing XBox in the trailer like some do today.
Many today wouldn’t believe that families showed with no living quarter trailers at all!
In a pinch they slept in their truck or alongside the cattle at their stall.
These folks took care of business plain and simple like,
and did all they could to raise their kids right.
Many show families feel like a traveling circus you can bet,
but these veterans did their tricks without even a net.
There was no cell phone to call if you forgot something for the show,
or road service to text for a fix or a tow.
The lucky ones had show friends to rely on,
to borrow an item or caravan along.
It meant something for a friend to say,
“I’ll follow you as far as that town and then I’ll turn my way”.
You smiled with thanks as you loaded your own,
knowing for you that friend was taking a longer way home.
Few people remember traveling without a cell phone,
on dark country roads when you’re truly alone.
When your last caravan buddy peels off at their exit with a “goodnight” tap of their lights,
in the long wee hours of those tired rainy nights.
Riding on your last spare tire, everyone else sound asleep as they snore;
you’re praying to make it home, just a few miles more.
Chances are these kind folks down the bleachers from you,
have raised a veterinarian, ag teacher, or industry leader or two.
They’ve probably established or grown a youth program for their breed,
with their love of agriculture and kids they’ve planted a seed.
Sure, the pictures and banners they chased faded years ago,
but their fire burns just as brightly to watch today’s show.
So give a smile, a hand up, or tip of the hat down the row.
In the blink of an eye you’ll also look back and say “My kids used to show”.
Copyright 2018, Ramona Petrosky.