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Fall 2010

Round-Up and recovery

Locals often see Mike and Jill Thorne on the two-lane highway between their ranch outside Pendleton and the Oregon city’s rodeo grounds. As the 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round-Up comes in September, the couple is busy preparing both the rodeo site and their community for the big party.

Since the first bronco bucked, the event has been drawing participants and spectators from across the Pacific Northwest. Today, it’s one of the 10 biggest rodeos in the country. It may be rooted in Oregon, but the event has many ties to Washington, including two of its key volunteers, Mike and Jill … » More …

Fall 2003

Rodeo Queens and the American Dream

Whether we meet them in a pasture, at a burger joint, or in a comfortable kitchen, the women in Joan Burbick’s Rodeo Queens and the American Dream take us beyond the dust and glitter of the rodeo that for one season made them royal. Burbick, an American studies professor at Washington State University, began her engrossing study by wondering, Where are the former rodeo queens whose pictures appear annually in local newspapers? How have their lives turned out? Talking with the women yielded much tougher questions.

More than a series of interviews, Rodeo Queens explores rodeo as an American “cultural ritual.” Without losing sight of … » More …