It’s a western thing and I don’t quite understand …

Since living in Colorado many aspects of western living has had me scratching my head. I’m a guy from Detroit and even wearing Cowboy hats seems like a kind of affectation on par to wearing a "pirate shirt". Still loads of people out here live and breathe the whole western way of life – bless ’em. I remember having lived here for not quite two months and being puzzled at why so many people were dressed like cowboys … Oh! I live in The West now. Duh! (Whap!) That has always left me feeling like I am visiting a far away land where people dress funny, speak oddly and do loads of strange things. Only that place was now my beloved home.

Still it’s interesting to me that in our modern digital and internet era people still fondly cling to traditions that are essentially anachronisms. As a very non-traditional fellow I find most traditions to be interesting. "That which I don’t understand fascinates me". I’ve been trying to delve into these western things to not only better understand my home but also these people who love their modern yet old style western world. The stories that I’ve done on ranches, rodeos, county fairs and the people in the small western towns have helped me prepare for the next venture: Rodeo Queens. I really didn’t get it but I will.

I’m starting a project focused on Rachel Klederman, a 23 year old Miss Rodeo Colorado finalist and favorite. I’ve made contact with her and the photos start Tuesday as she gives a presentation at a rodeo queen workshop. I’ll keep y’all posted on this thing as we go along. I’ll be doing a most likely 3 chapter multimedia story for my local paper that will follow her from prep to the big state pagent to a bit afterwards. I will be talking to a number of magazines about picking it up because this is more than big hair and shiny outfits. More about that as we go along.

Now I have to get a whole western outfit to fit in. I don’t want to be the only one not dressed western, ya know that whole "blend in" thing. Wow. I won’t recognize my city slicker self.

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