Let’s make a deal: No more “drunk cowboy” references. Perhaps, maybe, in years past there were participants in the Chuckwagon race who couldn’t hold their liquor and proved it by drinking a bunch and then showing their lack of social regard. Sure, that happened, really, it did.


That was then.


A conversation with Clinton Police Chief John Willoughby summed it up when he said: “We just didn’t have a whole lot of trouble this weekend.”


He’d had extra officers on, big crowd in town and all (some of those officers had stories of races past and dealing with drunk cowboys) and, end of the day, nothing happened. Nothing. Happened.


Oh sure, the ambulance crew had stories of people getting hurt. No surprise, a cowboy getting hurt at a rodeo is hardly news. But what you didn’t hear about was people in the camping area getting need-an-ambulance hurt from being drunk and doing stupid stuff. It just wasn’t happening. Willoughby thought this had to do with Dan Eoff and his team cracking down on rowdies over the years to the point where the word was out and people didn’t come here expecting to be able to party stupid.


I’m not smart enough to know just why, but I do know I spent a lot of time in and around the races this weekend, and didn’t spot anybody being a fool.


In this issue:


Chuckwagon races: This thing is so big, so all-encompassing, that it’s hard to express. There were tens of thousands in town, sure, got that, but there was so much going on I wound up with, first, more pictures than I’ll ever put in a newspaper, second more conversations than will ever reach print and finally, I wound up not covering various things going on because I was sucked into the Chuckwagon of it all.


(So regrets to Shirley, didn’t cover your event, and I hated that I didn’t get a chance to catch the outlaw Soapbox Derby race, especially since the last one was so much fun. Other misses as well.)


But please, take a minute and review the pics. Gosh this thing is big, and I suspect there’s no other event quite like it.


Damascus: This is a tough situation. On one hand they can’t write tickets, and to that hand it was pretty carefully laid out - agree or not - why they can’t write tickets. On the other hand they’ve got people speeding through town.


You can tell the frustration when you speak to police involved in this thing, Damascus Police most of all. They see a car go speeding by and they can’t really do anything about it. What makes this worse is that nobody signs up to be a police officer who doesn’t want to do something about the health and safety of the community they serve.


And with that you’re sitting in a police Tahoe, radar squalling and the driver waves as he speeds (speeds!) past.


It’s a tough situation with enough frustration for everybody.


Sports: If you play football for Clinton you have, end of the day, two main goals: Win state and beat Heber. Phase one was completed weekend past when the Battle of the Little Red trophy was able to stay in Clinton for another year.


Good. It’s always good to start the season with a goal being met. Here’s to many more.


Around town: Dirty Bowl this weekend, which is an important event to raise funds for feeding seniors in the county. Also school board early elections are underway. Don’t just get out there, do something.