Juniper Joust Days

  • By Holton Secret Lab
  • 21 Jun, 2011

The Juniper Joust was a classic rodeo put on by two friends who invited their friends to have fun roping and cowboying…out here in Juniper Canyon…which is called the “North” country…they put a beef in the ground to b-q the night before to share it with their buddies for lunch…in the middle of nowhere…where we have a successful “Street Rod Shop”…”The Super Secret Holton Secret Lab”…where we live with family heritage and history…way out here…you know…in the middle of nowhere.

Can you believe a local rodeo began right here….across from the house…right over there…in that pasture in the mid 1940’s.

I would guess this is the beginning of the day long rodeo. People are still showing up…some of them rode their horses out from Pendleton to the rodeo…that is about 20 miles.

My Dad and Fred who was his neighbor and best friend….and counterpart in this cowboy rodeo thing way out here in the “North Country In Juniper Canyon”….decided it was time for a local rodeo to be born…and that is what they did…the “Juniper Joust” was formed right here…and today it is called “The Mustangers”…they meet six Sundays each spring close to Pendleton and put on a good rodeo…and it all started right “Here”…Where we live today…right across from the house over in the pasture.

Time changes things…but the heart remembers when….way back when…As you look through the old pictures you will notice there is not a creek with water in it…that all happened one night when there was a once in a lifetime flood here in Juniper Canyon…thank the good Lord I do not remember this part…poor Mom…I am sure it was a scary night for her…after the water receded a creek was born and is still there today…flowing all the way to the Columbia River.

Dad and Fred always did a b-q beef to feed between 200 to 300 people who came to the rodeo and Mom made a ton of potato salad…I grew up on her salad…I know it was good…I miss it and I miss my Mom.

Dad loved to rope and when I was little we went to lots of jackpot roping all over the Northwest…the best part was that Dad would haul my horse “Prince” with his horse to the roping…I got to ride my horse behind the scenes while he roped…it was fun for me as I made lots of friends.

I think this was the “Serpentine Race” or maybe a different way of doing “The Juniper Joust Pole Bending Race”.

The crowd was eating lunch in this picture and visiting…that old way of connection that we have lost today which makes me sad.

My Dad with his horse “Jingle” in the arena across from the house in 1948. He is standing on top of the creek that flows today…all the way to the Columbia River.

This is me at the current “Mustanger” grounds near Pendleton in 1960 riding Red, my second horse. I was running the pole bending race…I was 9 years old….love the glasses and short hair…remember pixie haircuts? Mom loved those!

Dad at one of the many roping’s we went to.

On to boogying with the barrels at the Mustangers…Red was a pro…he knew what to do and I rode hard….the way my Dad taught me to…hang on tight and use your head…use your body to direct your horse….yep…if your horse can feel a fly…well girl then they can feel every thing you do so make sure you do it right.

Red was my buddy…I was the only one who could catch him…Dad bought Red in Texas in 1949…he was a red bay like “Fannie Annie”. I know I look harsh for a 7 year old but it was serious business back then when your folks took your picture. My Mom was a saint….can you imagine your only child being out on a horse before she could walk. I do have pictures of me on Prince when I was 2 and when I was 3 but they are glued into my baby album and I cannot get them out…Mom glued them in with a very strong glue!

Prince with me when I was 4.

Prince was awesome and took good care of me…so did my Dad.

My Dad taught me how to ride a horse…and all that goes with it…responsibility for my horse and how to care for my horse and how to be safe…I rode with him in the mountains gathering cattle from the time I was six years old…he would send me off on my horse by myself moving cows…but he was always close by…keeping an eye on me.

Snip and I crossing Beaver Creek in 1963. Dad was serious about our cows…I still hear him saying “Now Marcy don’t run the cows…we need to keep the weight on…slow down…and just stay behind them”…Dad was fun in his own way with teasing me…I learned so much from him…I still see him riding in front of me leading the way…he was a great leader…always looking out for me and whoever rode with him.

Dad following me on his horse Gypsy…crossing Beaver Creek.

Mom cooked up a storm for us in a primitive log cabin on a wood cook stove…along with critters who kept us entertained…we did not have running water so I would go to the “Box Spring” and haul buckets of water…there was always a trout or two in the spring swimming around…This picture is of me on the far right…cousin Matt next to me and cousin Jerry next to Matt and then my Dad and then my cousin Gerald but I call him my Uncle.

“Beaver Creek and The Juniper T Ranch ” how I miss them both…they are front and center in my memory…in my present life I am far away from what I lived then…still in many ways I am still living a life that is filled with daily excitement…horses with horsepower in a different arena.

Now don’t think that “Wild Bill” was not a cowboy too…this picture was in 1993 at the Cattleman’s Ball in Wyoming. We make a handsome couple huh…and we still do  

In this picture we were watering cattle the summer of 1991. We lived 35 miles from the closest town…so what do you do on a Saturday night for fun…I know…lets haul water to the cows in that far pasture over the hill  

Stay Tuned….Wyoming Stories Are Coming..Along With Post, Oregon Stories.

Between cowboy stories and cool car details…horsepower and restorations…history and heritage…horses and cows…how can you ever be bored!

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