Jul 17, 2012 7:44 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

Cattle Drive kicks off tomorrow's Mid-State Fair

There are fairs all over the world. but only in Paso Robles do they get started like this Mid-State Fair does...with a tradition that celebrates the roots of the community and the wild west that still exists here. Everytime I tag along on this adventure, I am reminded how There's No Place Like Home.

There aren't many places where the big GMC dealership in town has more cattle than cars on the lot. But not many are owned by cowboys like Mark Borjon who believes in tradition. "It was a one time deal that is still continuing today." says Barjon who's been hosting the send-off for almost 20 years. "The streets will be crowded, everyone has a good time. I'm lucky, I'm riding Alex Madonna's last horse. which is kind of special to me." he said of his steed last year.

Rowley and Cathie Twisselman provide the livestock for fair rodeo events, and they also supply a lot of city slickers with the opportunity to play cowboy for a day. They coordinate horses. "We brought 17 in total today" says Rowley. And they have coordianted one heck of a fun way to deliver livestock. "Why put such effort into this?" I ask him. "Because they asked me to." he answers. A man of few words...most of the time. (Ya' know what I'm saying?)

Cathie Twisselman hooked Paso Roble's Mayor up with a good steed in hopes it would calm his nerves. "In fact I suggested she give it a sedative before I get on the horse." Duane Picanco explains to me. "Does the horse need a sedative, or do you need a sedative." I ask. "I think I'd rather have all my senses about me and let the horse be the one that's relaxed." he chuckles. Smart man.

The people who mount up for this adventure are as diverse as the terrain of the central coast. From city leaders to Cayucos surfers. "You know some people feel ike they were connected to a previous time period? This is it. Standing in horse stuff, and boots and dirt and horses and spitting, this is heaven on earth." David Talmage explained as he got ready for mount up for the first time in the drive.

It is pretty much a hoot to get on board for this adventure. We head down Golden Hills Road right towards town. "So we got about a hundred head of cattle and about 200 horses" Cathie Twisselman surmises as she rides with me toward the front of the pack. "And the cattle are still going to win some battles."

It did seem as if they were just looking for openings the whole time. "You know'weve chased cattle all the way to the golf course at times" chuckles Borjon. But quick work by good cowhands keeps the parade moving smoothly, even at the tricky points where a loose steer could end up on the freeway or in a neighborhood far too easily.

You couldn't do this without Real-McCoy cowboys, and thankfully the we have some of the best in the world, right in our own backyard. Which is why traditions like this one can continue, and why there's no place like home. Dang it's good to be home.

The Twisselmen family provides about a thousand head of cattle for the fair's 10 day run but they keep the drive to about 100 to avoid any major problems.



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