As we know from television, movies and other media, the westward expansion to our manifest destiny was the work of white men of European stock. The women were there for, well… you know what went on upstairs at Miss Kitty’s Long Branch Saloon.
But in the Old West a person could get away from life’s previous entanglements, get a fresh start or simply lose oneself.
Ken Kesey, author of the great American novel, collaborated with long-time friend Ken Babbs for, Last Go Round in 1994. The book was appropriately titled; it was his final work of fiction. The story takes place at the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, the second annual. The characters in the story were real people. Kesey’s father had told him stories about the Round-Up and the disputed results of the bronc-riding contest.
Pendleton citizens had such a good time 1909 with Fourth-of-July horse races, Indian dances, greased-pig contests and fireworks that they decided it should be an event on its own, separate from Independence Day. The first Round-Up took place in 1910 and has been held annually – except 1942-1943, World War II hiatus – every September since. The event brings more than 50,000 people to Pendleton, nearly quadrupling its population. Continue reading “Racial Diversity at the Pendleton Round-Up”