Mason County News
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In My Opinion
Rain During Roundup? Another Mason Tradition
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 • Posted July 11, 2012

At the time I'm writing this column, we've officially had just over a quarter of an inch of rain in Mason since the weekend. The forecast for the next few days calls for a good chance of rain every day. Friday shows 40% chance, while Saturday shows a 50% chance.

When people are planning outdoor events, they usually scan the forecasts nervously as the time for the event approaches, keeping their fingers crossed that beautiful weather will be part of the celebration. But, sometimes it rains.

If you're having an outdoor wedding, rain can be devastating. Very few brides look good in a soaking wet, white dress.

If you're holding a baseball tournament, rain can delay the games indefinitely.

But, if you're having a football game, lightning is the thing to watch for. Rain is simply an inconvenience. I've played many games in the pouring rain, sliding about in the mud.

The weekend forecast is of special interest to Mason this week, since it's time for Round Up. That means ropings, arts & crafts fair, auto shows, parades, rodeos and dances. Almost all of which are held outside, in the open air. If it's raining, those events can be a bit,,,,, problematic.

But, we've just gone through one of the toughest drought years on record. Though we've had some nice rains during the winter and spring, we're still in recovery mode, and we have a way to go before we can safely say that we're out of danger.

No one wants to complain about rain when you've seen how bad lack of rain can be. No one wants to worry about a bit of drizzle during an event when we remember how bad the smoke and dust were when there was no moisture. We're even hesitant to wish away the rain when we know that it will affect our plans, for we never know when it might return once more to offer its nourishment to the dry land.

In 2007, it rained almost all summer long. The Mason Rodeo Association struggled through the Round Up weekend, dragging the arena and modifying events as best they could, and everything still worked out fine. On parade day, the morning stayed clear and comfortable; but, the rains returned just after lunch, shutting down the arts & crafts fair early. The dance moved up to the Community Building that evening, so everything worked out fine.

I remember, many years ago, we had gone through a summer of very little rain. When Round Up time rolled around, it was hot, dry and very dusty. Temperatures during the Saturday rodeo were still in the 90s, and everyone was drenched in sweat. At that night's dance, everything was going normally until around 11:00 p.m. That was when we heard the thunder rumbling, and finally saw the lightning in the southern sky. And then, just before midnight, the sky opened up and the rain started coming down in sheets.

Back in the 1970s, the bandstand at the dance slab was completely covered, and the folks playing that night simply moved their equipment safely under the cover and continued playing. The crowd, after months of sweltering heat and blowing dust, were more than happy to continue dancing in the rain. I remember twirling about the concrete floor, kicking up puddles and reveling in the cool feel of the clothes as they clung to the dancers! It was one of the best Round Up dances I ever attended!

The events of the next week are an important part of our summer here in Mason. Keep an eye on the forecast, and watch the sky closely; but, do not let your plans be derailed just because nature has plans of her own. Keep an umbrella close at hand. Stash a raincoat where you can reach it quickly. Put away your sensitive electronics, as you don't really need them once you arrive at Round Up anyway.

Let's make rain a Round Up tradition, just like the parade, the Queen's court and the jackass race. It is, quite literally, a tradition we can live with.

It’s all just my opinion.

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