By Twylla Crosby
Sometimes Jim and Deloris McMillan find a small ‘Thank You’ card in their mailbox from a kid who participated in the Kids’ Junior Rodeo at the Boone County Fair.
The cards, usually hand written, sometimes with drawings, are special to them.
“I’ve saved every one of them,” Deloris said.
Thirty or 32 years ago, the fair needed something for the kids to do, Jim recalled. Their two oldest daughters, Theresa and Tana, too young for regular rodeos, wanted to compete. That’s when he and Deloris helped start the Kids’ Junior Rodeo.
They were well qualified for rodeo.
Jim, who is a farrier, competed in high school rodeo in calf and bull riding, and in rodeo for many years. He was a finalist at the High School National Championships and was in the top five or six in Nebraska State and Mid-States rodeos several times.
Deloris, who works at the Nance County Gene Center hog facility, said she learned to ride before she learned to walk, as she grew up on a ranch in the Bassett area and competed in barrel racing.
“We wanted the city kids to come out and have fun,” Jim said.
The first Kids’ Junior Rodeo was held in the pit area of the Boone County Fairgrounds racetrack, “… it was bad for the kids when they needed a restroom, as they had to go over the gate, through the grandstand area . . .,” Deloris recalled.
The kids loved the rodeo then and still do, judging by the number of entries every year.
Entry is free, but parents or guardians must sign a notarized consent form for each child that competes.
Read the complete story in the June 19 Albion News print and e-editions.