Buena Vista trip.

Went out to Buena Vista in February.  Collected rodeo stories and bits of Buena Vista history from longtime residents:  Randy and Carol Sailor, Gary and Betty Merrifield, and Donnie Shake.  The Sailors talked about rodeo in the 60’s and I learned what a “train orphan” was.  Orphans in the east were put on trains to Nebraska where they were met by families needing an extra set of hands who then adopted them.  Sometimes the kids were abused and Randy’s Grandfather escaped his step-parents with a bible and a stolen pony.  Gary Merrifield and his family had a deer living in their house with them for two and half years.  I had to believe it after I saw a few dozen photographs.  Donnie Shake had a picture of his Great Grandfather officiating at the only hanging in Buena Vista history.  I could’ve listened to these people for many more hours.

After speaking to Sammi Snow at the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame, I now have a photography exhibit arranged to open August 25 2011.  It will run for six weeks.



About psullivan66

Patricia Sullivan is a New York City based photographer whose portraits and personal projects have appeared in New York Magazine, on HBO's "Bored to Death," TimeOutNY and other magazines. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Sullivan is drawn to the people "with broad shoulders" whose belief in just working hard and doing the right thing are keeping this whole planet together. Besides rodeo, she has photographed cops on motorcycles (in their off hours) and her mother, "the toughest woman I know."
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