Making Progress, Pilgrim

This week, I made a bit of progress on my biggest concerns, and knocked out a bit of the research.  I have my list of winning ranch team ready to start loading into a timeline.   I also found some of the information on when events changed and moved during the past 35 years of the […]

This week, I made a bit of progress on my biggest concerns, and knocked out a bit of the research.  I have my list of winning ranch team ready to start loading into a timeline.   I also found some of the information on when events changed and moved during the past 35 years of the Round Up.  I completed the 2 hour training for the IRB (painful!) and have the application for approval printed up and ready to submit.  I wrote up the questions I want to ask in my interviews, and managed to get a line on a few people who may agree to be interviewed or may know someone to interview.  I was given e-mail addresses for these potential interviewees, so I wrote up an introductory e-mail to send asking for an interview.  Now comes the hard part, I am very nervous about asking for interviews.  I can’t decide if it should be a professional or informal type of request.  People in this town can be funny about discussing what goes on in this town.  Thank goodness, I at least can mention the person who gave me their names, so that might smooth the introduction.  I know I’m not the only one nervous about contacting people for interviews, so if anyone has any advice on making “cold calls” for interviews, please pass it along.  Professional or informal?  I look forward to your thoughts.

Texas Ranch Round Up Project Contract

The goal of this project encompasses better understanding the community goal of the activities included in the week of the Round Up event.  This includes attempting to determine if the cattle ranching community (or at least of the ranches selected to participate) wish to share their “love” of their lifestyle, or attempt to limit enjoyment […]

The goal of this project encompasses better understanding the community goal of the activities included in the week of the Round Up event.  This includes attempting to determine if the cattle ranching community (or at least of the ranches selected to participate) wish to share their “love” of their lifestyle, or attempt to limit enjoyment of the event only to those who share it.  Without being able to participate in the event before the end of the semester, observation will be limited to interviews and informal queries of community members – in an attempt to obtain unprepared and potentially more unbiased responses to questions. As potentials for interviews, I would like to layer the interviews through participation status – rancher, volunteer, guest speaker, and crowd.  I am hoping to contact one guest entertainer for an interview.  She has performed at the Cowboy Church service several times and is scheduled again for this year’s event.  I am hoping that she can provide insight into the idea of a full religious service at a community event.  This appeals to me as a unique experience for an event not associated with a religious holiday or celebration. The website may be rather basic as my abilities with the WordPress structure are limited.  I do plan to create a timeline of event winners and showing when new events were added to the Round Up over the years.  I would like to show a map, probably using Google Maps, to show the locations and sizes of the ranches involved.  Since this is a well reported event each year, I am hoping to include videos from You Tube or local news stations on the website.  I also hope to include samples of items from the various surrounding events, such as artwork, poetry, and pictures of food from the chuck wagon.  I’m not certain how best to display these, but will seek an interesting format to prevent merely another drop down menu.  I would love to learn how to have the images flow through the main page. My biggest difficulty may be finding people to interview.  The official committee communication person appears to be hesitant to respond to my request for contacts.  Understandably, the committee may be concerned about my academic treatment of the Round Up’s ideals.  I am seeking points of contacts through other channels, but my interviews may be later in coming.  While I am working on finding candidates to interview, I will be researching the archives for perspectives on the event from previous decades.  A big question will be to the claim that this event helped launch similar events across the nation.  If this event was the first of its kind, how did the idea catch on to become popular in other cities? Timeline March 10: Send invitation to Ms. McIntyre for interview.  Have names for other potential interviewees.    Have list of winning ranches for timeline.  Have questions to the IRB. March 15:  Begin creating timeline of winners and new events. March 17: Gather videos and news stories on events. March 22: Begin interviews.  Begin building menu drop downs. March 24: Interviews continued.  Begin transcribing. March 29: Continue Interviews and transcribing. March 31:  Begin website build, hopefully with improved graphics. April 5: Continue Interviews and transcribing.  Website Building. April 7: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 12: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 14: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 21: Project Draft Completed. April 23: Update website from feedback April 28: Work on improvements to project. Begin work on final project blog. April 30: Work on improvements to project. May 3: Work on improvements to project and presentation May 5:  Final project Due. May 10:  Presentation on final project. May 12: Peer Review Due. May 14:  MSU Graduation

Prospectus

            A recent event in Wichita Falls may have an impact on the environment of the Texas Ranch Round Up in Wichita Falls.  One of the largest ranches in the area, the W.T. Waggoner Ranch, was purchased by an individual who also owns other ranches and professional sports teams in the U.S. and other countries.  […]

  •             A recent event in Wichita Falls may have an impact on the environment of the Texas Ranch Round Up in Wichita Falls.  One of the largest ranches in the area, the W.T. Waggoner Ranch, was purchased by an individual who also owns other ranches and professional sports teams in the U.S. and other countries.  Since the Round Up is limited in participation to only select working cattle ranches in north Texas, it will be interesting to observe whether the change in ownership affects the ranch’s attitude, behavior, or overall participation.Participation in this event includes not only competing in the rodeo events, but also the cultural, art, and family events – even going to church as a “cattle ranching” community.  Even a small change in the make-up of the main competitors could make a change in the atmosphere of the event – or not.  It will be interesting to attempt to discover if this change makes any difference to the competitors or organizers.This event includes many smaller events held under its overarching idea, such as the art and poetry events held each year during the “Round Up.”  This seems to be building an entire tribute to the ranch lifestyle during this weekend of events.  Does Wichita Falls become an extension of ranch life for the weekend?  Do the events assimilate everyone attending into the ranch culture?  How do the participants of the events view the spectators and vice versa?  Since this appears to be an event meant to highlight a singular culture, it will be interesting to examine the expectations and outcomes for participants, organizers, and spectators.  Are those participating wishing to extend the life of the ranch culture or attempting to give “outsiders” a glimpse into their way of life?  Does the charitable aspect of the event affect the participation and expectations? Since the event occurs after the end of the semester, I will be relying on interviews, news stories, and other written observations to attempt to answer these questions.

Texas Ranch Roundup

Considering the idea of highlighting a culture that members of a community wish to preserve, I am looking at the Texas Ranch Roundup as a subject for my project.  This is a highly celebrated event here in “the Falls” each year, and hosts many events surrounding the cattle ranch competition to highlight many aspects of […]

Considering the idea of highlighting a culture that members of a community wish to preserve, I am looking at the Texas Ranch Roundup as a subject for my project.  This is a highly celebrated event here in “the Falls” each year, and hosts many events surrounding the cattle ranch competition to highlight many aspects of the ranching way of life – from fun kids’ activities to arts and crafts, chuck wagon cooking, and a well-attended church service.

    The roundup is a well established event, though not as old as I was searching for  – established in 1981.  The roundup website claims that events around the country have “followed in the footsteps” of their original event: “It all started here… we are the Original Ranch Rodeo… celebrating 35 years of showcasing historic ranches, the hard work of true cowboys and every facet of ranch life.”  (http://texasranchroundup.com/#)

TXRRup
The official logo from the Buzz radio website (http://1063thebuzz.com/events-wichita-falls/the-original-texas-ranch-roundup/15-august-2014-kay-yeager-coliseum/)
The event’s official logo definitely expresses the ideal of the tough, hard-working ranch hand.  The larger than life image of the ranch hand holding a brand in one hand and a lasso in the other evokes Texas pride, entrepreneurial spirit, economical capitalism, and the ideal of a simpler form of life.