People throughout Houston rode horses down the main road, dressed in ten gallon hats, pulled on distressed leather boots, and basked in Texas spirit in preparation of the 20 day Houston rodeo. It was all part of Go Texan Day, and residents at Parkway Place, a senior living community in Houston, were no exception. Dressed in western chic and as rugged, gritty cowboys, Parkway Place residents indulged in Texas-style barbecue with generous helpings of sliced brisket, smoked sausage, and tender ribs while they enjoyed classic live country music.
Tom Erskine, 89-year-old Parkway Place resident and former longtime rancher, was especially looking forward to the festivities. He celebrated the Houston holiday for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
“Go Texan Day was a good time for camaraderie and visiting with friends and
neighbors,” said Erskine. “I miss all the people I used to work on the ranch with, my neighbors, and my friends. We used to have three day field parties to prepare the cattle for shipment.”
Erskine worked on two ranches for 30 years with his wife and two kids. They leased the first ranch and owned the second ranch, which they acquired in Waco, Texas. In addition to cattle, Erskine also raised Montana domino bulls. Based on his experiences, Erskine published a booklet titled West of the Pecos, in which he described ranch life in Texas.
“My favorite part of ranch life was working with the finest people in the world,” said Erskine. “This is where those people live, in Texas. I am proud to call this state my home. We had a grand ole time celebrating this state’s heritage and people on Go Texan Day. I wish we had a Go Texan Week!”
Erskine dressed in traditional Texas garb, sporting a cowboy hat and a nice pair of ranch boots. Despite the fact that he wears cowboy boots and a cowboy hat on several occasions, he does not consider himself a cowboy, but deems himself a Texas cattle rancher.
“We enjoy taking part in community wide festivities that Houstonians have been celebrating for decades,” said Jimmy Johnson, executive director of Parkway Place. “The residents and staff have steadfast Texas spirit, and this special occasion allowed us all to let out our inner cowboy or cowgirl.”
The party was held at Parkway Place on February 22nd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.