Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Salt Grass Trail

During my time at the Houston Post as a roving columnist I became involved with something known as the Salt Grass Trail. I joined this ride because it was a publicity stunt which brought me new readers, and because it publicized the Houston Fat Stock Show. In the beginning there were ony 7 of us, led by Reese Lockett, the mayor of Brenham and a former professional rodeo participant. E.H. Marks, who had a ranch west of Houston, arrived with a covered wagon. From this small beginning the trail ride grew bigger every year. People were married on the ride, at least one woman was raped, politicans joined while running for office, many people joined who liked trail rides, and young people joined because it was exciting. When 12 covered wagons and about 3,000 riders showed up it forced us to get organized. You had to belong to a group to join up. I joined the Port City Stockyards group. We slept on bedrolls during our three day trip and had delicious food cooked at the stops. I was involved with this ride for seven years. Each time we arrived in Memorial Park in Houston we regrouped and formed a segment of the annual parade which opened the Houston show. All this publicity moved the Houston show and rodeo into second place in the state, second only to the annual show at Fort Worth. I had a strong gelding horse at that time and I rode him from Friendswood to Houston to Brenham and back. It was a great adventure.

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