Do you remember that guy that could make you laugh no matter what?
Whether it was in the classroom or work site or just hanging out, he was always funny. Actions. Antics. Personality. It all came together in one package.
Welcome to the world of Justin Rumford of Ponca City, Okla., who will serve as the barrelman/funnyman and add his flavor of fun to the overall entertainment package that is the 2012 Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18-Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Stephens County Expo Center in Duncan.
“People want to laugh at each other more than they want to laugh at something,” said Rumford, who worked the Chisholm Trail PRCA Rodeo this past May. “When I’m in the arena, I’m saying the same stuff I’d say if I wasn’t clowning. It’s just me being me.”
Rumford grew up in Abbyville, Kan., and is the third generation of his family in the rodeo business. His grandfather, Floyd, established Rumford Rodeo Co., and his father, Bronc, continues to be an integral part of rodeo; in fact, he’s the chairman of the Prairie Circuit board.
Justin Rumford has done just about everything a person can in rodeo, but he seems to have found a home in the barrel. In fact, in just his second year at it, Rumford has been nominated for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Clown of the Year.
“I t means a lot because I’ve been involved in rodeo my whole life,” Rumford said. “I’ve never done anything else, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I’ve always wanted to be successful. A couple of years ago when I started this venture, I knew if I worked really hard and tried really hard that I could get to the top in the hurry.”
It helps to do something you love.
“This clowning deal is the best thing I’ve ever had,” said Rumford, who competed in college rodeo at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. “It’s something in rodeo that I can have longevity in. There’s not just a ton of risk, and it’s something I enjoy so much.”
In his lifetime, Rumford has been a contestant, a stock contractor, a bullfighter, a flankman, a pickup man, a truck driver; you name it, he’s done it. In fact, this isn’t his first Prairie Circuit Finals. He worked the finale last year when it took place in Weatherford, Okla. More importantly, he was a three-time qualifier in steer wrestling.
“I don’t think I’ve ever missed a Prairie Circuit Finals,” he said. “It’s just something I’ve always done. I’ve flanked bucking horses there, been the chute boss, flanked calves, untied calves. I’ve made the full circle.
So has his family. His sister, Haley Schneeberger, has been named the PRCA’s Secretary of the Year each of the past five seasons; she’s nominated again this year. She has worked with her brother in an orchestrated opening, and she’s served as the finale’s secretary. Schneeberger has been named the PRCA’s Secretary of the Year each of the past five seasons; she’s nominated again this year.
The rodeo lifestyle is that of a gypsy – there’s no staying in one place for long. For contestants, the bulk of the rodeo season is spent traveling from one event to another. That means lots of miles. Contract personnel – announcers, stock contractors, clowns, bullfighters, secretaries, etc. – don’t travel nearly as much, but they’re on the road plenty. Most work in a different locale every week.
“I don’t mind it, and I get to do it with Ashley,” Rumford said of his wife, who is a PRCA timer. “We bought a fifth-wheel, and we rodeo nine moths solid throughout the year. This year we’ve only had two weekends where we haven’t been at a rodeo.
“It never gets old. When one rodeo’s over, one committee is disappointed that the rodeo is over, so you drive to the next place. It starts all over again, and everybody’s excited again.”
There are many things that come with the rodeo lifestyle, and Rumford seems to enjoy them all. From meeting new people daily to hanging out with friends, family and friends who seem like family, there are many reasons he loves what he does.
“My main goal is to work the NFR, whether it’s flanking or bulldogging or being in the barrel,” Rumford said. “I just feel blessed to do something I love this much.”
Do you remember that guy that could make you laugh no matter what?
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Need for foster families exists in Stephens County
In Stephens County 103 children are in out-of-home care. Only 20 foster homes exist in the community.
“Do the math,” Ashley Barker, with TFI Family Connections, said. “That’s a lot of kids and not near enough homes.”
TFI is an organization, based in Lawton, that focuses on recruitment and training of foster families. The organization is working to establish more foster homes in Stephens County because the need exists, but the response isn’t quite what is needed.
Mark Twain renovates office space
All Duncan elementary offices have been renovated to enhance safety and to improve the flow of people into each school.
The last elementary school to get its office renovated was Mark Twain Elementary. Because of the elementary’s office set up, Mark Twain is the only office without a door people have to enter first before being permitted to continue on through the rest of the school. People have to go through the office at Woodrow Wilson and Emerson, and have to check in with the office at Horace Mann and Plato before being buzzed in through another door.
Jones to bring one-man show back to Duncan
Close to 60 members of the community attended the performance of “A Christmas Carol” by John Kevin Jones last year.
Area residents will again have the opportunity to see this one-man show, which presents the classic holiday tale much in the way Charles Dickens performed it himself. Jones will portray each character, a total of 15, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Duncan Regional Hospital Pavilion.
“Last year, it was such a success,” said Cyndi Crook, DRH Health Foundation director. “This summer, (Jones) reached out to see if we were still interested (in a second year of the performance) and we said yes.”
RRTC Board moves ahead with plans for new building
Steps toward the plan for a new precision machine and welding workshop building were continued during the Red River Technology Center Board of Education meeting Monday.
The building, which has been in planning stages since last year, will be behind the Delbert Morriston Health Careers Building. Bill Kaighn of Kaighn Associates Architects was authorized to make the building plans in December 2012.
Kiwanis nearing goal with annual Christmas Tree Sale
Though there are still plenty of trees left in the lot, the Duncan Kiwanis Club has almost met their goal for the annual Christmas Tree Sale.
More than 300 trees have been sold and about $6,200 raised through the sale at Kiddieland inside Fuqua Park. Kiwanis volunteers have moved the trees to the outside of Kiddieland’s fence and place a donation box on the gate.
City Council approves budget for 2014
The Duncan City Council approved its 2014 Budget of $60,308,012 during a special meeting and budget hearing Monday. The budget includes $29,487,965 allocated to the Duncan Public Utilities Authority and $1,725,183 allocated to the Duncan Economic Development Authority.
The budget process began in August, when city department heads were tapped to provide needs and expenditures for the coming year. But it wasn’t until Nov. 26 the first version of the budget was presented to the City Council. A week later, the first public hearing on the budget was conducted.
Youth Shelter opens to public
Youth Services of Stephens County opened the new youth shelter to the public Sunday, and the first children to stay there are expected Dec. 23.
Plans to build a new shelter have been discussed for several years, but the idea didn’t grow legs until land was donated for the purpose in 2008. In the following years, Youth Services Board, with help from the community, worked to raise more than $1 million to build the home without having to accrue debt. Leading into fundraising, the board members all vowed to remain on the board until the project was completed.
Toy Shop makes deliveries to more than 1,000 children
It was all hustle and bustle at the Duncan Toy Shop during one of the most exciting days for the organization — delivery day.
By the time Toy Shop volunteers get to delivery day, which was Monday, toys have been packed in boxes and the boxes organized into zones. There were a total of 491 families and 1,143 children being delivered to this year.
Historic train lights winter nights
About 60 train enthusiasts were able to enjoy holiday fun in their own style with the annual Lighting of the 905 this weekend.
Though the weather turned noses red and bare hands numb, inside the depot building there was hot cocoa and cookies to help all warm up. However, everyone braved the cold to see the lights on the 905 engine be turned on at 7 p.m. sharp.
Comanche hosts Christmas parade
Santa Claus made his rounds Saturday. And his last stop was in Comanche, taking part in the Comanche Christmas parade.
This year’s parade began with fireworks and a performance of the Comanche Honor Guard. And as tradition, the parade ended with Santa riding on a Comanche fire truck.
“The parade went good,” Bruce Akins, Comanche Chamber of Commerce president, said. “We had a lot of entries and a big crowd.”
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