Will Rogers Memorial Complex has its own fire station.
For the entire run of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Fire Station 80 is staffed by firefighters from various other stations — four per 24-hour shift — under the supervision of Lt. Heath Turner.
“We’re responsible for handling every sick and injured person and every fire inside the WRMC grounds,” Turner said.
The only exceptions are injuries that happen inside the rodeo arena in the Will Rogers Coliseum, because that’s the purview of a special team of medical professionals.
Station 80’s seasonal crews worked the Stock Show since 1944, said Lt. Tim Hardeman, the fire department’s spokesperson, adding that a typical day brings eight to 10 “customers.”
“Most of the injuries are so minor that the person refuses additional medical attention,” he said. “The call volume fluctuates.”
Indeed, Hardeman said the crew was so busy Sunday they had to call in an extra company to help handle the number of “slips, trips, falls and minor cuts.”
Medstar handles ambulance service. But the firefighters have a 1991 Spartan engine if they need it.
To handle fires – mostly limited to trash cans and the occasional car or truck – the engine carries 500 gallons of water and pumps 1,250 gallons a minute.
To handle firefighters, the station has four Murphy beds, a mobile communications center and a cozy kitchen.
– Terry Evans
Warmer weather Sunday brought a steady stream of customers to The Soda Shed for a thirst-quenching home-made soda.
The business began by Cheri Elledge and her husband, Larry, who created and perfected the recipes inside the kitchen of their Cleburne home.
Now in its second year at the Stock Show, sales are sound but family members working at the business said last year’s totals are going to be hard to beat because of Super Bowl crowds.
New this year, the classic flavor of cola. But also on the menu is an orange cream and a cream soda, which is oh-so-sweet but surprisingly light and refreshing.
Vanilla spice is The Soda Shed’s version of Dr. Pepper with a little more vanilla and a hint of bubblegum aftertaste.
By far, the best-seller remains root beer and root beer floats made with classic root beer flavors, said Amanda Elledge, daughter-in-law of the owners.
But two other kinds of root beer await the thirsty—sarsaparilla, a stronger version with more spices such as wintergreen and clove; and birch beer, which has a milder flavor.
When asked about all the hype that homemade soda machines received during the holiday, Brandt Elledge there’s no comparison to his family's specially crafted secret recipes.
“You can’t beat these flavors,” he said. “My dad used to have one of those machines ... he ended up making his own syrups.”
The Soda Shed is located in the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall.
Yes, says Sharon Van Hooser from Poolville, who has raised Llamas for 10 years.
"But you have to make one really mad, or get caught between them when their feeding," Van Hooser said just before competing in another llama show at the Stock Show. "They just don't spit for no reason."
Otherwise, she says, llamas are wonderful animals, both highly agreeable and utilitarian. The animals are cousins of the camel and until recently were found mostly in the Andes of South America. They are curious, gentle, trainable, and great around kids. Llamas are great pack animals, great for guarding cows or sheep against predators. (They will spit at coyotes, if need be.) Llama hair makes nice scarves, hats and gloves.
And as far as natural defense mechanisms, spitting is about as gentle as it gets, unless you get a llama really angry. Then get ready for some heavy duty expectorant.
"If they are really angry, they can pull up a lot, really fast," Van Hooser said.
These photos were so cool we posted them for everyone to see.
Mike Johnson and his horse Bam Bam had a time of 11.8 seconds in the PRCA Tie-down Roping Slack in Will Rogers Coliseum. Shot at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)
Daily Stock Show coverage for Wednesday, Jan. 18
Tuf Cooper has a time of 9.6 seconds in the PRCA Tie-down Roping Slack in Will Rogers Coliseum. Shot at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner) Daily Stock Show coverage for Wednesday, Jan. 18
Robin's own entry, Manette, was named reserve champion.
The Bensons raise a herd of about 70 show-quality llamas at their Sapaveco Ranches, headquartered at Florence, Texas, north of Austin.
"We haven't been showing llamas that long, compared to a lot of these people around here; about seven years," said Robin Benson. This is their fourth year to show at the Stock Show.
The Bensons are just now seeing the flowering of their llama dreams.
"We've traveled the United States to put together our breeding herd," she said. "We're winning with our own and babies now.
"There's a great sense of pride in that."
_ Shirley Jinkins and Joyce Marshall
In a room behind one of seven booths, they run three embroidery machines that sometimes whir simultaneously, sewing on names, ranch brands and logos on garments. Each machine can do 1,200 stitches per minute, allowing folks to pick up the completed job within 20 to 30 minutes officials said.
"We digitize the design. We put it in the computer, the computer sends it to the embroidery machine and it puts it on the garment," said Dee Lee, a warehouse worker. "We get a lot of custom orders. People will order hats and coats for employees. That can take two to three days."
It takes a week to set up the booths and three more days after the show to break them down, Lee said. Her area is in the Planet Agriculture building next to the stage where the Ag Magic show is produced for groups of schoolchildren.
"I've seen it close to 20 times," she said. "I've got it memorized pretty well."
Jessamy Brown and Joyce Marshall
The shoes give you away every time.
My shoes got a mix of dirt and cow dung after trying to catch calf ropers behind the scenes.
At least I'm leaving with a little cowboy cred and I didn't even have to pick up a 265-pound calf.
Calf ropers competed Wednesday during the PRCA Tie-down Roping Slack competition. Calf ropers of all ages checked out calves, warmed up their horses and sported the tools of their trade before working the arena.
Check out some calf roper culture basics.
Every good calf roper has a strong partner for a horse, which typically has a cool name. Calf roper Blake Huckabee of Center, Texas named his horse, "Booger."
Calf ropers have cool western sounding names, such as Cheyenne, Stetson, Rhett, Shane or Houston. One participant on Wednesday was named Tuf (that's the Texas spelling).
Calf ropers need rope and nifty rope cans to store it. Rope cans can be utilitarian, but calf ropers have fancy ones often made of hand tooled leather. These cans also display a calf ropers personality with crosses or past wins depicted.
All calf ropers have a pigging string, or the rope they use to tie calf hooves. They often carry this rope slung over a shoulder. Sometimes you can catch calf ropers twirling the pigging strings. (See photo below of calf roper Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas).
It doesn't sound like the Wild West, but calf ropers also carry baby powder. This is to help handle a rope. That is exactly what calf roper Dane Russell is doing in the following photo.