1,000 Words: Don't Drop the Flag


Growing up showing horses kept me out of a lot of trouble.  I spent all of my free time with my parents, caring and showing horses.  There's not a lot of room for error when you live such a schedule.  It truly was a privilege to share this passion with my father.  Mom loved the horses, but it was from a distance.  She participated by doing the paperwork, chores and cheering from the stands.   Dad and I got to have all of the hands-on fun with these magnificent animals. It didn't happen very often, but occasionally I would be asked to carry the flag during the show opening ceremonies.  If invited, my parents always accepted on my behalf.  They would never let me turn down such a request.  This was always a privilege and very nerve-wracking.  Dad always made sure the horses were ready and I just prayed the whole time that I could ride with one hand while chanting:  Don't drop the flag.  Don't drop the flag.  Don't drop the flag.

I never dropped it.

I love this picture because it's a rare shot of both me and Dad (and his favorite horse Grey Foxx.)  Dad was the behind the scenes guy and didn't get caught in front of the camera very often.  Judging by the smile on my face, I'm going to guess that we'd made a successful go at it and Dad was removing the flag from the holster.