My family had a reunion-type thing at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Sister Iris lives there, and it was
a completely inconvenient time for me to leave work but I did it for family harmony and need many karma points for not killing them nice to be able to enjoy the experience with my family. Plus, I am given to understand that the local innkeepers mark up their prices ever-so-slightly during this tourist-driven attraction, so the free lodgings were a bonus.
Frontier Days is a celebration of western culture, and the week includes festivities such as pancake breakfasts that feed thousands, parades, a carnival, concerts and many other related activities. Such as a vendor fair outside the rodeo arena. Where vendors sell western-themed items. Did I mention the vendors?
Because they sell western-themed items. Such as soap.
Before the rodeo performance we attended, I found a soap vendor with handmade delectable soaps of homemade deliciousness in a flavor that made me stop in my tracks and whiff it repeatedly and sigh OUT LOUD because it was so wonderful. It was such a wonderful smell, in fact, that I remembered it throughout the four-hour rodeo.
Afterward, I made everyone wait while I raced back to the vendor and purchased a bar of sweetgrass, cedar and sage soap. After I came out, I proudly shared my brown bag of wonderful scentitude, while slightly chagrined I had not bought more than one bar.
One and all, sisters, nieces and mothers, they all held their noses and pronounced it “phewy.”
Then, they started with the mocking, claiming that soap is not an appropriate purchase at a rodeo, because who goes to a rodeo to buy soap. I refrained valiantly from pointing out
because I forgot that Sister Lily was wearing a birthday necklace that I had purchased for her at a rodeo, and who goes to a rodeo to buy jewelry, after all.
I contend that handmade soap is a native heritage item plus essential to dirty cowboys on the range, many of whom could have stood a little closer to the bar of soap, if you know what I mean.
So here is my poll. Vote as you will, either with me or with my deluded kin. Not that I'm telling you how to vote or anything.
Was buying soap at the rodeo both appropriate and traditional?