Interview with Raenn Gro

Denver, Colorado on July 8, 2017 | Interviewer: Rebecca Scofield

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Rebecca Scofield: This is Rebecca Scofield and I'm here with Rae Gro and its July 8th 2017 and we're outside Denver at the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. So when were you born?
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Raenn Gro: October 3rd 1960.
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RS: And where did you grow up?
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RG: In Salt Lake City Utah.
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RS: In the like actual city or outside of it?
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RG: I was in Murray, Murray Utah it's in the outskirts of Salt Lake.
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RS: Was it pretty rural at the time?
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RG: It was, it was before the freeway was totally complete we didn't horse and buggy anymore but kinda *laughs*
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RS: And what did your parents do for a living?
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RG: My dad worked for Utah Power and Light and my mom was a stay at home mom.
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RS: Did you have siblings?
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RG: I did I have an older brother and younger sister.
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RS: So middle child.
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RG: I am the brat.
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RS: And growing up did you have horses, or cattle, or anything like that?
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RG: I grew up with 40 head of horses we showed professionally appaloosa horses all over the country.
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RS: Wow did you guys stable them at home or did you?
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RG: We did, we did, so growing up I was the pack the water pack the hay, clean the horses for the show ya.
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RS: How much property did you guys have?
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RG: We had 5 acres is all.
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RS: So the stable was pretty close to the house?
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RG: Ya ya. We just walked outside and through the gate, there was my life.
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RS: And who actually showed the horses?
[00:12:12]
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RG: My dad did until I got older and then, dang I had to start.
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RS: How old were you when you first did a show?
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RG: I was 10.
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RS: How'd it go?
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RG: I was scared to death *laughs* I had a good horse but I was so scared, and he was awesome he was awesome.
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RS: Now did you do grasauge or?
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RG: We did performance horses and halter and so western pleasure and all that walk in stand em up the judge walks around.
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RS: Did you guys do quite well?
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RG: We were national champions for 13 years.
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RS: And were you at all interested in rodeo in high school?
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RG: I was but like I said we showed performance horses and that was a voodoo in that world of the horse country. Then I bought my first rodeo horse when I turned 18.
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RS: Wow, did you buy it like with your own money?
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RG: With my own money.
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RS: How did you earn that money?
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RG: Worked, worked a lot so ya.
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RS: Did you mainly like work for your parents on like with the horses?
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RG: Ya allowance and that, that was my job is the horses.
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RS: And how do you identify in terms of sexuality?
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RG: I'm a lesbian.
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RS: And was this at all apparent to you when you were young?
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RG: Ya. Ya.
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RS: How did that go in Salt Lake?
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RG: You had a lot, parents didn't like it they didn't know until, I moved out of the house I think I was 23. Growing up the Mormon family you know.
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RS: Do you still identify as Mormon?
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RG: No ma'am, no I ask to many questions *laughs* you know, how do you know that. What is it your place to judge you know *laughs*
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RS: How about your family how when did you actually come out to them?
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RG: A friend of mine helped me. They seen me at a bar they went and told their mom their mom told my mom, crash and burn.
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RS: How old were you?
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RG: I was 23.
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RS: 23
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RG: Yes ma'am, not fun. Was don't ask don't tell, you need to find the man to take care of you.
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RS: So what did you do after you moved out of your parents house?
[04:55:00]
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RG: Odd jobs got a real live job, worked at Southland Food Center in Salt Lake where they made the sandwiches paid for my horses and my all of that my house my where I was staying where I was renting my horses stayed at my mom and dad's house but ya.
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RS: Were you still showing horses or rodeoing at this time?
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RG: I was showing a little but I become a 4H leader and was, my kids were pretty good took them to state every year and we did open horse shows and competed and did open shows and there was little rodeos around there and then a friend introduced me to the gay rodeo.
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RS: When was that?
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RG: 90, early 90's.
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RS: And what did you think when you first went?
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RG: They told me I was going to compete, they didn't take me to a rodeo they said come on you're gonna compete with us they said you're gonna do roping on foot I said what *laughs* and they said we need someone to do wild drag I said what *laughs* so they handed me a rope and said can you catch that calf, I don't know?
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RS: How'd you do?
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RG: I didn't catch it *laughs* so I went home and I practiced, so I can catch, and then I had a girlfriend that we started roping together and team roping and did jackpots around and had a good time.
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RS: And did you trailer horses to?
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RG: I did, I did I competed in Denver in Phoenix in New Mexico Tucson Nevada.
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RS: What was it like trailering your horses?
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RG: It's a lot of work, it's a lot of fun, it's a lot of work but I was used to it growing up because we showed horses all over the western United States.
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RS: And were you able to afford your own trailer and truck?
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RG: Yes I had my own trailer my own truck had all my own tack.
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RS: And were you able to get time off work to?
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RG: Yes, vacation and all of that that's how you do it.
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RS: And at the time did you have like a stable partner or where you dating?
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RG: Off and on, you know I've rodeoed with the boys my partners never weren't that interested in it so I jump in the truck and say let's go, let's go play.
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RS: And so in those early 90's years were you still working in Salt Lake?
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RG: I was, I was I worked like I said at Southland Food Center and then I found this really cool job, driving carriages downtown, the horse and carriages and then I fell in love with draft horses, and then I did that until 2003 and
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RS: Did that pay pretty well?
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RG: It was commission and tips and so it depended on what kind of a tour guide you were and if you learned the church side of Salt Lake and if you learned the not so Church side of Salt Lake told the darkside what really went on in Salt Lake.
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RS: So a lot about reading your customers?
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RG: Yes a lot about reading and figuring out what you could tell them and where the red light district was and what really hapened in that building and how come that one has holes in the front of it still *laughs*
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RS: How long were the tours usually?
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RG: Usually a half hour there were half hour hour however long you wanted to go I'd drive you.
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RS: And where did you pick up?
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RG: Around temple square or anywhere around the downtown area at the hotels.
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RS: So how many years did you do that?
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RG: It was about 15 years.
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RS: And where were you living at the time?
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RG: I was living up on the north side right up from the barn, they had a barn up on, what was it 4th west and, 3rd, north so I was up in that area.
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RS: And would you always use the same horses for that or was it sort of just whichever horses you got on that day?
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RG: When I started it would be whatever horse I got and then that's what I would drive and then I got trusted by Lane Overson and then I got the better horses and I got Sailor. He was my fave, well one of my faves, he was a part quarter horse part percheron and he hated men, hated em hated the smell of alcohol and if it was a grey haired bearded man, he hated him, don't come near him please don't touch my horse, he's gonna bite you don't touch him but he was, he had a beat and we were the fastest I could go fastest in town on that horse and he loved his job. And then we got a pair of Belgians from one of the Plum guys that didn't want to pull, didn't want to be in it, didn't want to pull, so we separated them and Mike did really well he took to the street really well Red not so much. The guys would take him out and within 15 minutes they were walking him back in, on foot he no. He had a bad habit so I talked Lane into letting me drive him and he said no the guys can't do it and I said so let's go. So I got on the carriage I went off, I got to the first stoplight and the horse reared straight up in the air, cause horses like, 3 feet out in front of me is his rear end *inadable* ya straight up in the air. I didn't know what to do I said walk on he dropped down and we walked off, I got to the next light he did the same thing I said walk, on he dropped down and we took off, by the end of the night he was standing on all 4 feet, and all the guys hated me because he became my horse.
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RS: So do you think it was the lights that like scared him or was he just being fussy?
[00:20:20]
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RG: He didn't like stopping it was not in his vocabulary, and he didn't like that car in front of him, and he didn't like the traffic, and he was just nervous, just scared and, he was more scared than I was so. It was either he was gonna fall on me or we were gonna walk on *laughs* it was gonna be our walk on.
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RS: And did you ever have any problems with other employees, I mean were you out at this time to your colleagues at all?
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RG: Oh ya, ya I, only hid it from my family when they told me I couldn't tell my mom see me on the news and because I was royalty for back then when the Utah Gay Rodeo Association was going. I was Miss UGRA and I did a news interview, ya that was a good phone call, but I said mom this is me this is me I can't be what you want me to be, I just can't. So.
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RS: How did your sibling take it?
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RG: My brother don't care, you know he, my sister still into that church thing I guess.
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RS: What about just living in a place like Salt Lake that is, is you know quite well known
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RG: yes
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RS: as a conservative place did you ever have any sort of blatant acts of homophobia or anything?
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RG: Umm, not really, I would do my thing, I'm gonna leave you alone you're gonna leave me alone, the only problems I ever had, and I try and I think its funny and my friends think I'm crazy, but my haircut, I get kicked out of womens bathrooms and I have security called on me *laughs* but it's funny because security walks in and go have you seen a guy in here and I go nope.
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RS: No I have not *laughs*
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RG: No I have not *laughs*
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RS: Thanks for checking
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RG: Thanks but no, its okay, people are funny. They have a stereotype and I am not gonna fit it ever *laughs*.
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RS: Did you feel like there was a good sort of base solid gay community in Salt Lake?
[00:15:00]
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RG: Back then it was starting to nowadays there is. Things have changed over the years but I had a good core of friends, and they were rodeo people they were people that liked to go camping, in our world we were normal and straight world we were normal, we'd do anything we want, it don't matter, I don't wanna job you because you don't like cream in your coffee *laughs*. So
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RS: And so you're driving draft horses during the day and then on weekends you're
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RG: I'm going to rodeos
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RS: And were you going to straight rodeos too or just gay rodeos?
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RG: I did but I could only barrell race, and I was good at that, buckles and money I was good at that, It wasn't enough. Some of the boys at the straight rodeos told me I could never ride bulls, I have a bad habit, that's what my dad would do to me, you can't do that you're a girl, kay give me your rope *laughs* load it up, wow really *laughs* so I took up bull riding and steer riding and steer wrestling and all of it, all of it. I used to break horses and if it bucked I rode it *laughs* ow *laughs*
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RS: Were you ever significantly injured?
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RG: Umm only by horses because I broke more horses than I rode bulls, I was stepped on a few times, when I shoot dogged I was mauled pretty good. It was funny when they I'd be turning their head and they were falling and they had their feet on my chest and it was like no get off get off get off *laughs*
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RS: This is not the way it's supposed to happen.
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RG: But I one my first buckle down in Nevada and my mom and dad finally came around and finally showed up at one of my rodeos and they were there when I won.
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RS: That's wonderful
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RG: Ya
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RS: Did that feel good?
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RG: It did, it did, it did. And it was a lot of fun.
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RS: If you had to characterize the difference between you know as a gay women going to a straight rodeo and then coming here how would you describe that difference?
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RG: Wow umm... I don't have as much fun as a straight rodeo, I will sit in the stands and criticize everything that's going on, from the rough stock to the roping to the barrel racers, because A I was a leader I was a teacher of kids, I've done it I've been there I've done that and it's hard for me to sit there, so I have to... find something to do with my hands and keep my mouth shut. Because the cowboys the straight cowboys don't like it when you tell them how to do their job, they really they really don't and them straight little pretty cowgirls don't like it either but I'm working on that I have some of my old 4H kids that, I'm getting them to join my rodeo association and say look this is what you can do you don't have to be just a barrel racer you don't have to be just the pole bender, you can rope you can do things on foot, you can the wild drag really, my first rodeo the boys hooked me up with that one ya here hold this rope okay *laughs* After the steer drug me around the arena twice and I emptied out my pants of the dirt, I said no next time I'm taking my buckle off *laughs*
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RS: And, so during this period, was there a Utah Association? In the 90's or early 2000's?
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RG: Yes there was and we ran our first rodeo in 2000 and it ran till 2006, and then the rodeo association disbanded.
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RS: And were you involved in the leadership in those years?
[00:20:05]
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RG: In the 90's I was I was vice president and part of the royalty team and all of it and then going to the rodeo's and all of that and then I decided I was going to change my career path, and then I came back in came back in, came back to Utah in 2005 and got another horse and started, hittin some rodeos not straight rodeo I was hittin straight rodeos or open shows cause there was not a gay rodeo it was all outside of Utah. And then last year no 2 years ago december some friends hit me up and said why don't we start the rodeo association backup in Utah I said you're crazy there's not enough people here that are interested and they're like how do you know and I'm like I'm old *laughs*
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RS: I know what I'm doing
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RG: And all the other members are members of other organizations and they didn't listen to me and in January of 2016 we reorganized. We got our 501c3 in July of that year we were seeded back in the IGRA in August and, that was the proudest day of my life, because by then they had made me president and I cried for hours and right now ya, I'm a little proud of that. We are small, we have 25 members right now, none of the old competitors are coming back yet, they're watching because of what happened before, they wanna know we're gonna last they wanna know that we're gonna be there for them, and as previous competitor and hopefully to compete again, I'm gonna be there I'm gonna give it everything I got and they know that, but they want proof, and we did give it, Little Rock couple months ago we put our bid in for convention for IGRA convention to come to Salt Lake in 2018, and if we can't get it for 18 we have the same bid same hotel everything's ready for 2019, and I'm working on bringing the gay rodeo back to Utah in 2 to 3 years.
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RS: And what are, I mean what are some of the things you have to do in order to organize a rodeo to make sure that your association is strong and healthy?
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RG: I have to I'm working on getting corporate sponsors, I work with with the royal court of the Golden Spike Empire cause I'm gonna need their help they've been in Utah for 42 years, and... they were part, part of them were part of the rodeo association back in the day and so they're they're coming around its kinda funny cause they're just watching what are you guys gonna do. Well I'm gonna have a rodeo here and you're gonna help me, got it. And when we went and did our first pride I took a rope and dummy and my ropes and I sat there and I taught kids hhow to rope I would sit on chairs all day long or stand behind them and spin the rope for em and then I'd duck asn say throw it and they would catch and they'd get excited and we had boots little ceramic boots for them and they would run off and come back and bring their friends. And do for 4 days for Salt Lake pride I was there roping my dummy George *laughs* and then I was doing teaching the drag queens to rope I was teaching people that would walk by and then we went to Ogden and I had the candidates running for legislature, coming to my booth to learn to rope and so we're getting out there I have to reach out I have to get out there and I have to touch everybody not literally *laughs* okay wait I hold their hands and I spin the rope that's it *laughs* but I have to get out and touch everybody in the community and say look this can happen you need to come and see a rodeo to know what I want to know what I want to bring you here to share with you guys because it's a family. The rodeo competitors everyone that puts on this rodeo is a great big family if you need help they're there for you, if you go down on a rodeo they're there for you they're family doesn't matter who you have at home they're your family, and it's a good feeling.
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RS: You mentioned earlier that you really enjoy the Denver rodeo why is that, what is it about Denver?
[25:40:00]
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RG: It was my first rodeo, it was my first rodeo and that was I can't remember the year but we were in the cow palace and growing up showing the cow palace in Denver really? That was the place that was nationals that was it, and that was my first rodeo, and my career change, I was training retrievers for field trials and hunt tests and I worked with a lot of wealthy people, I moved here to Colorado I lived in Fort Collins, well outside of Fort Collins in Wellington, and trained up there. And I love Colorado its I've been all over I live in Salt Lake I live in Utah I've been to all the best places in Utah, Idaho's right up the road, I love idaho I've hunted there, I love the Snake River, American Falls is my favorite hunting place I've ran dogs all over and Idaho City up in that logging place, is gorgeous the places I've seen with the horses, going on trail rides and running dogs, I've seen the beautiful part of America.
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RS: So what got you interested in training dogs?
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RG: I was unemployed, and my cousin called me and said you train horses can you train a dog? I don't know? Let me see. And so she worked at a kennel and, they trained basic obedience, hunting dogs, and protection dogs, and guard dogs for buildings and that's where I started training dogs. And then I got a rottweiler and a labrador, and my labrador thought she was Rottweiler and my rottweiler that he was a lab, they grew up together he would swim and retrieve, and she would do bite work *laughs* but she was my best friend and my hunting partner and he was my guard dog.
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RS: So was it mainly bird hunting?
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RG: Ya I love bird hunting its teaching that puppy, that little lab that little golden retriever to heel and sit and then taking it past that to fetch to watch that bird fall, hunt test 100 yards or less field trials can be up to 1000 yards away. And you teach them to sit and turn around at a whistle, you give them one tweet they stop they turn around and they look at you, and then you give them hand signals, right or left, and they will turn that directions and you handle them to that bird or they learn to mark them to the fall and I was fortunate to have a guy entrust me with his dog named Sam Miss Viking Sam and I took her to Master nationals it's a 10 series event 10 days, ya back in Wisconsin, she stepped on every bird and stepped on every line I one wistled every blind, and we passed and I got a big plate and pictures and.
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RS: Very cool so about how many dogs did you train and were they always other people's dogs like were you contracted to work with them or?
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RG: I worked for Horsetooth Retriever Kennels when I left Arrow we had a disagreement me and the owner *whispers* and, I got a job over here and I worked for him and I trained his puppies and people were bringing their dogs to us and we would take them 6 months at a time, or a year they would go on the trucks or trailers and most of our time was spent here in Colorado, Wyoming, around running and 3 months out of the year we would go to Texas and run down there on some ranches. And if they tell you Texas is a wonderful state 99% of the time it is, no they have the I've lived in Utah, I've been in the west, I know what snow is, they have the ice storm from hell, it snowed it rained so much and freezing rain, there was an inch of ice on my trucks, and I could not get my dogs out, I had to take a hammer and torch the trucks it was bad it was cold, tornado warnings, no I don't like Texas.
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RS: Ans how many years did you do that?
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RG: I did that for 15 years, and it was a riot it was fun. I met a lot of, influential people, a lot of very wealthy people, and when I told them to go throw dirty stinky ducks they did *laughs* and didn't even complain, because they love their animal that much, so.
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RS: So when did you make the choice to go back to Utah?
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RG: My dad past away, and my mom needed some help so I packed it all up and went back home. Bad idea, bad idea... moma still didn't like my lifestyle, mom didn't like my relationship, mom disowned me, and havn't talked to my family and over 10 years, that's okay I have my rodeo family and I have my family, so.
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RS: So were you still training dogs when you went back to Utah or did you give that up at the same time?
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RG: I went back to try and start a business there and it didn't work out. People wanted me to do it for free and I wasn't gonning do it for free well show me what to do well I'll show you what to do but it'll cost you cause I've been there, so I went and got a job at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital and then I decided wow I've had way to many jobs I really have, I wanted to work construction because I could make more money. That wasn't a good idea either so now I'm back at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital.
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RS: What do you do there?
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RG: I work at facility engineering so I fix things matinence, I love it, I love it I'm gonna be there till I retire.
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RS: When do you expect that to be?
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RG: Oh 90 I guess *laughs* because I still have a bad habit, I like to rodeo.
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RS: Ya so but you're not competing right now?
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RG: I am not.
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RS: But you want to?
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RG: I do, I had a total knee replacement a year ago, so I like the bull riding, I like the steer riding, I like the steer wrestling, I"m not gonna be able to do that anymore, I know that. Okay maybe I don't, maybe I can get my doctor to make me a brace maybe he says no *laughs* so I'm going I'm gonna start looking for a new horse, and rebuild. And compete again, I can do some of the calf roping on foot and stuff like that, but as far as running after things or getting on things that will throw me down and ruin my new stainless knee *laughs* that is really I can walk now *laughs*
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RS: ya
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RG: ya I can't do that anymore and I know it appear I know it down here I don't, I'm gonna try no I have this argument in my head no you can't, but I'm going to get a horse and I'm going to ya.
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RS: So you are a member you said of the royalty team back in the day?
[35:23:00]
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RG: Yes
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RS: What did you enjoy about that, or not enjoy?
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RG: I didn't like performing, back then I didn't I had to but I didn't I, let me go have my horse *laughs* then talking with the people. It brought me out of that shell, because I didn't talk to a lot of people, I would rather get on my animal or get my dog and show you what I can do, and that brought me out, and its helped me now, because now I have to talk to everybody.
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RS: What do you think the role or royalty is at the rodeo?
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RG: To represent their association in the IGRA, to be that spokesperson, to be that... I don't wanna say beacon of light but, to be that representative to... be that role model for everybody gay straight young old. Raise money, for... charitable organizations... and to be there, and also to compete, you know. If you're out there competing and they say this is Miss Arizona this is whatever title you have people in the stand there just here watching going well at the rodeo at the straight rodeos, they don't do that they ride around and wait. Some of them barrel race and some of them are very good at it, but that's tall they do, you know. Or they take photo ops or they but they hands out they're volunteering you need to get out there and you need to be seen, you need to represent both organizations to the best of your ability.
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RS: Did you ever have any interest in going onto IGRA royalty team or did you just stay with Utah?
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RG: I just stayed with Utah cause I, couldn't afford travel that much, so maybe get sponsors, ya. Back in the day we didn't have sponsors we did it all on our own but now they have sponsors and that's great and I'm all for that, because they need to travel they need to, we are second only to the PRCA, we need to get out there we need to beat the MPRCA I think so we let everybody play, we don't care you're a girl you want to ride come on.
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RS: And, one thing I've talked with with other people it seems like membership has been declining since like that mid 2000's
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RG: Ya
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RS: Why do you think that is?
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RG: Country's not as cool, I grew up in wranglers and boots you don't do that no more you have a computer you have a laptop, I had chorus, I had to go out and feed horses, I had to go out and water horses in the middle of winter chop ice I had a sled I pulled buckets around on. They don't do that no more, they don't like to wash dishes or do their own laundry they have their phones they can't see past here I can't see to there *laughs* you know hey tell me what it says *laughs* so I think, showing them, that it's still, that it's okay that you like an animal, what? That its okay that you can get dirty that its okay to set down your cell phone or your laptop or your ipad, for a couple hours, and enjoy yourself. It's satisfying, the world need that now needs more of it little less fighting little more riding a horse, going out in the country go for a ride go far a walk in the mountains.
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RS: I know in the past that groups like PETA have targeted gay rodeos particularly cruel to animals, obviously you've worked with lots of different kinds of animals in lots of different situations. What is your opinion on the idea that rodeo is inherently cruel?
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RG: I think PETA needs to do their research I think they need to pull up their big girl panties, did I really just say that on your sorry. They need to do their research they need to come to my house and know how much I love my animals they need to know I have slept in stalls because people like them have broke into my horse stall have hurt my horse has cost me money out of my own pocket because they think I'm hurting my horse really you just drove a nail into its cornet band really I cannot work my horse now for how long? I'm driving a carriage uptown, they want to unhook my horse from that carriage what is gonna happen when 2000 lbs takes off? If that horse did not wanna do it like I said Red, he's not going to they have to work to keep their blood going, they're cold blood, no they're a warm blood sorry, they're a warm blood they need to work or they will die. If you put them out in the pasture and let them go they're not gonna live to be 30 40 years old which they can if they keep working the animals that I rope my calfs I spend a lot of money on hay I feed a lot of grain, I have vet bills, I care for them animals as much as I care for my dogs. They need to go to school they need to learn exactly what I do before they call me animal cruel, and until they do, I will keep working at showing them what I do. This is what I do, this is how much I love this horse, this is how much I love them bulls, this is much I love that calf that I throw a rope on and it doesn't hurt them when they jerk around like that it doesn't we don't do tie down we do break away so they hit the end of my rope it's gonna snap off my saddle. And it runs away. Ropping the steers where they've done that since time has begun, that's how you doctor an animal and in order for me to doctor an animal a steer a cow anything I need to rope it I need to get it down, because it wants to hurt me and I don't want to hurt it, till it hurts me *laughs* then I call it names *laughs*
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RS: So with all this you know work you've done with stock over the years do you consider yourself a cowgirl?
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RG: Every inch of me, I am redneck to the core, I even say y'all sometimes *laughs* yes I do.
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RS: What does being redneck mean to you?
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RG: I spend all my time outside. I know what that mountain smells like, I know that sound of that elk, I know how much that bag of grain weighs, and I've sweated that bail of hay, time and time and time again. I can swing, I can two step, I can't line dance *laughs*
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RS: You can.
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RG: I've seen colts born, I've helped pull cows. I've pulled puppies, and until you've had that little baby, human babies are cool *pish* told you about my little lab, her name was Dez. When she was born I helped the vet it was a C-section, she had a stip on her forehead I looked at her and said you better live, because you're going to be mine. I lost her, when she was 9 10 years old, to kidney failure. We hunted, she would sit in the blind with me I could look at the ground, and I would knew when the ducks were coming in and where they were because she would tell me. I could crawl up to a river, American Falls Snake River, we would crawl and I would tell her to stay, and I would go do my thing yell her name and she would retrieve every duck I shot without seeing them fall. Held her in my hands when she was born... I held her in my arms, when I had to put her down. I've never told that story. I love my animals, whats it mean to be redneck, I love my animals.
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RS: Thank you for sharing that.
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RG: Yes sorry
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RS: No
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RG: Fuck
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RS: Do you have dogs now?
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RG: I do I do I lost my last lab a year ago to cancer. And my neighbor, her daughter thought I needed another dog I was not gonna get another dog yet she handed me this cute little puppy over the fence I said cute here she ran back in the house wouldn't come out. Then she told me the story the parents got him for their autistic son and it was too much for him. It was cute white dog with yellow spots, red spots. I said what kind is it she said it's a border collie and australian shepherd mix, border collie collie, border collie collie it started out. I've been around way too many dogs, she says no what kind of dog is this so then it was border collie australian shepherd. No this feet on this puppy were a little too big I"m like no neither, at 13 weeks old her feet were huge huge, but she was cute and I would walk she would walk right beside me and she would just sit when I'd stop, cute little puppy. Okay. I named her Wiley, Wiley Coyote because when we finally got out of her what the dog was, she's Australian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees. Ya she's huge, she's hot but she's a sweetheart she has the same hearing problem that all great pyrenees do. I can call shell turn around and go ya I heard you and just keep going. I am not used to that, and so I have her, and I have just rescued another dog, what is wrong with my head. She's an australian shepherd, I kinda like that breed I grew up with it, and boxer, so she's brindle. Her body is a boxer and her head is an Australian Shepherd and her hair is Australian Shepherd so she's pretty she brendal shave her, she looks like like a boxer with an Australian Shepherd head but she's cool, I can't have not have an animal.
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RS: And where are you living now?
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RG: I love in West Valley City, in the city bad very bad.Working on trying to find somewhere outside the city.
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RS: Do you have to walk them alot?
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RG: No I have a half acre.
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RS: Okay well that's still pretty good
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RG: Ya ya but I can't have my horses there or have a horse there or, so I have dogs. And it's the people that live there before, because I rent, had rabbits and when they moved they turned them lose. Yup guess that was 2, that was 3 3 and a half years ago, guess how many I have now? There's probably over 35 there in the yard, okay they're in the yard when my dogs are in the house, and they're out of the yard when my dogs are out of the house.
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RS: Well as president of Utah, what do you really hope with both you're association and with IGRA in the next couple years?
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RG: In the next couple years I hope to have the rodeo at Utah, I hope with all my heart, that I can put on a rodeo in 2 years. And IGRA goes on forever, because, not only do we raise money and put on rodeos, we raise money to give to people to organizations to people that need it. The AIDS foundation, we in Utah look, donate raise and donate for the because I work at the cancer hospital, we have patients that are there during christmas, and they can't afford to go shopping. They can't they're in the hospital they are stuck and their families will have nothing if, we have a giving tree. Last year we pulled 5 names off that tree, one family had 5 kids, they had everything that they wanted, and so did every other family that we pulled off that tree we made their christmas. We put on shows we donated ourselves went out and bought for them, it's to give back to the community, that's what we do.
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RS: In your own life what do you think rodeo, I mean what has kept you coming back again and again, you know you said you started going in like the early 90's, so we're some years on from that.
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RG: Couple
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RS: Couple. Obviously you've done a lot of different things you've had other interests you've moved other places what keeps you coming back?
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RG: That damn horse. The camaraderie, until you've done it... that rush that you get, and it's not just the rodeo, I can get that same rush going up to Idaho going down here into the rockies jump on a horse and go on a trip. That silence, that... that oneness with whoever you call it, whatever you call it. The universe. In the rodeo arena the camaraderie with my friends, making new friends, helping somebody out. The smells, the... I don't know, I the touch the sounds of the gate the... this is gonna sound bad but, sitting on that animal the feel between your legs, the muscles, the power that's there... and I trained that. And it's my best friend, I can cry on that shoulder, and they don't care who I am, they don't care who I date, who I, who is my partner, they don't care if I don't have one, they don't judge me, and I don't judge them. It's the way the world should be, all over.
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RS: Well thank you so much is there anything else you want to say?
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RG: Thank you. Sorry I cried *laughs*
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RS: I'm sorry I cried.
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RG: I better get back to work.
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RS: Ya me too.