I grew up in the Balch Springs/ Mesquite TEXAS area of Dallas County, TEXAS. Since an early age (in the 1960's) I knew that the Mesquite Rodeo was near the old Brickyard on Hickory Tree Road in Mesquite. My Grandmother Raney wanted to go see the Rodeo in the early 1970's and paid for tickets for the whole family. The intermission entertainment that night was a monkey herding sheep wihile riding a sheepdog. (Tommy Lucia still does the act today with Whiplash) I was hooked on going to the rodeo ever since. This area I grew up in was still very rural and people used to keep horses on their property or near their homes. On rodeo night it was common to see folks riding in from several miles to get to ride in the grand entry. Really enjoyed seeing Frank McIlvain as barrel man and bull fighter. Got to see the Gay family boys at the start of their careers, along with Monty "Hawkeye" Henson with his feathered hat and flying dismount. The Rodeo Parade has also been a mainstay every April.
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