Film, Video 96 Ranch Rodeo and Barbecue (1951)
Stewart, Leslie J.
Ninety Six Ranch
- 96 Ranch Rodeo and Barbecue (1951)
- Contributor Names
- Stewart, Leslie J. (Narrator)
- Stewart, Leslie J. (Interviewer)
- Created / Published
- Subject Headings
- - Ninety-Six Ranch
- - Activities
- - Rodeos
- - Ribbon roping
- - Barbecues
- - Ethnography
- - Motion Pictures
- Motion Pictures
- - Les Stewart's narration [NV82-CF-R2,R3] recorded on 82/07/07 by Margaret Purser and Carl Fleischhauer, describes the 96 Ranch barbecue and Rodeo in 1951 with footage from the time shot by Les Stewart.
- - The Ninety-Six Ranch rodeo is a harvest festival, filmed here in 1951. It follows the fall roundup and the sale of cattle, and marks the end of the ranch's agricultural cycle. It was an event that permitted the family to play host to the Paradise Valley neighborhood and the wider region. The Stewarts are the principal landowners in the valley, and, to some degree, the rodeo and barbecue are acts of noblesse oblige. As Les explains in the soundtrack, eventually over two hundred guests attended. This was more than could be comfortably accommodated and, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the scale of the event was greatly reduced. The rodeo or roping as it is sometimes called, did not cease altogether, however, and members of the folklife project team attended one in 1978. Many of the rodeo events have a distinctly comic quality; some were invented by Les for this affair. Although difficult, cow riding is also silly. Ribbon roping is less silly, but is still likely to be funny. Our excerpt does not depict three other events -- wild cow milking, the flag race, and bell-calf roping. In the first, two cowboys, a roper and a "mugger" who holds the cow's head, chase an unwilling cow and try to collect her milk in a pop bottle. As Les puts it, the cows "don't cooperate worth a dam." The flag race was a relay on horseback guaranteed to be full of confused shouting and screaming. In bell-calf roping, two calves with bells would be turned out with fifteen others, and as many as twenty contestants would try to rope the bell calves.
- - The affair also included a few normal rodeo events, like calf roping, but its purposes were best served by comedy. A harvest festival is an occasion to let off steam and poke a little fun at the boss. When Pete Pedroli grabs the tail of the cow Les is riding, he signals the audience that the ride is to be taken as a joke.
- - Les said his job was to run the rodeo, while his father concerned himself with the barbecue. Fred Stewart learned this method for barbecuing beef from Mexicans in California. The meat is cooked in a pit without sauce, but Stewart's secret barbecue sauce was on the table as a condiment. Les says that Gus Ramasco learned the cooking method when he worked on the ranch, and subsequently introduced it to the volunteer fire company. Their annual Father's Day barbecue picnic has become a very successful fund-raiser.
- - Les's original version of this film ran about nine minutes. We have retained his order of events but have deleted some and shortened others. Les recalled that Don Questa, a friend from Reno, took the pictures in which Les appears. Questa and his wife, Virginia, are seen at the table signing up contestants; Virginia and Les are the contestants in the ribbon-roping event. The first cow rider is Jimmy Angus; the competitors in the calf roping are Les and Tex Bouscal, the cowboy who receives the trophy belt buckle at the end of the film.
- 16mm film
- Call Number
- AFC 1991/021: NV-VDP-VT9
- Source Collection
- Paradise Valley Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1991/021)
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
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Paradise Valley Folklife Project collection, 1978-1982 (AFC 1991/021), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
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