Hank Snow, in his famous song, "I've Been Everywhere" was the way of rodeo life for Merlue, her father and mother, and two sisters for many years. There were many ranching chores to be done, but they managed to enter and go to a limited number of rodeos, mainly in the summer months. Rodeos from Akron, Burlington, Burwell, Benkelman, Cheyenne, Phillipsburg, Hugo, KitCarson, Yuma, Eads, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Estes Park, Wintergreen, Loveland, Longmont, Sterling, Kremmling, Holyoke, McCook, North Platte, Ogallala, Tulsa, Oklahoma city, Kansas City, American Royal, Sidney, Iowa, Deadwood, Phoenix, Tucson and many others bring back fond memories of being on the "Rodeo Trail."
Some of the rodeos bring back vivid memories, especially Greeley. Campfires, pickups with campers, many double-horse trailers were made into living quarters during the rodeo. Merlue's family usually stayed in a motel. But there was a time when Merle made a "camper"--one Spring--it took on the appearance of a metal quonset (dome-shaped). There was an upper deck/berth and a full mattress on the bottom of the bed of the truck. One night, it was raining, the truck and camper were parked in a nice grassy area. The pickup began to "shake, rattle, and rock" like they were in a tornado. Merle opened the back door of the camper and was greeted with many "curious, glowing eyes of the bucking bulls" which had been turned out in the "infield."
Merlue's Mother was a beautiful seamstress and made many, many western shirts, pants, etc. for the family, as well as friends--(hundreds over her life-time). She used sequins, rhinestones, lace, etc. for Merlue's barrel racing outfits. Each shirt was one of a kind. She would pack fried chicken, etc. when the family headed out for a rodeo. (Usually there was munching on the lunch before they were just a few miles from home). Rodeoing in those days was much different than it is today. Everyone visited and usually stayed over for the next performance. Rock solid friendships were made--what beautiful memories.