Color Binds

Mark Andresen

The notion of revisionist history isn't a pleasant one.
What we don't know because of chicanery or misinformation is capable of lingering longer than cold facts from a hard textbook. Examples are innumerable. Want one anyway? OK. Why is it that the most exposure we've had to people of color making an impact on the Western frontier comes from Cleavon Little "whipping this out" in Blazing Saddles? No reasonable answers here, but professional cowboy Cleo Hearn aims to inform while entertaining when his Cowboys of Color Rodeo kicks up some Mesquite dust on Saturday at Resistol Arena. Hearn, called "Mr. Black Cowboy" (talk about cornering the market), and his compatriots of African-American, Hispanic and American Indian descent present a traditional rodeo atmosphere full of competition, including bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping and barrel racing. The skill of the participants isn't in question, but the judging can be viewed as something of a cruel figure-skating competition. For instance, some points are based on the performance of the animal. Is this potluck? We're no experts, but here's a rule for the riders: Avoid any animal dubbed "Ferdinand." A rodeo may seem like a moral spur in the gut to some in our modern age, so there's no shame in bucking the tradition altogether. But ultimately we do hope for wider acknowledgment of ethnic cowpokes, though we do not endorse a popularity surge that allows Mario Van Peebles to commence with a sequel to Posse. See y'all at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at 1818 Rodeo Drive. Tickets are $12 to $18. Call 1-800-833-9339. --Matt Hursh

Riders Up

Here's the perfect event for city slickers who never got over their love of horses and want to help an extremely good cause: Equest's 19th Annual Ridefest and Family Fun Day. Equest is an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults who have physical, mental, emotional or learning disabilities. Ridefest is kind of like a walk-a-thon, with sponsors encouraged--except you're riding on trails with your own horse. A minimum entry fee of $50 is required for outside riders, and you must call first and provide a negative Coggins test for your horse. If you don't have a horse, there will be many other activities, such as a bouncing house and arcade games. Ridefest takes place on Saturday along the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. Call 214-827-7100 or visit --Julie Lyons

Walk It Off

You were planning a weekend walk anyway, right? So why not make it benefit something besides your waistline? The Hope for Children Foundation's Liberty & Justice 5K is scheduled for October 25 and is designed to help bring awareness to the disturbing epidemic of sexual and physical abuse of children and adults. This is a non-competitive event, and the sponsors are hoping participants will cough up a $25 donation when they register at 8 a.m. But it isn't a requirement. The walk begins at 9 a.m. at the Dallas City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla St. Then, after the walk, attend the Art and Music Festival. Call 214-382-4673. --Carlton Stowers

Kayak Attack

Look at you, sitting at Starbucks with the latest issue of the Dallas Observer, thinking a quick look at Jim Schutze's column will magically turn you into a conscientious citizen of Dallas. We're here to tell you that you're dead wrong, bub. If you really want to make a difference in this town, throw off that jacket, pull up a pair of overalls and help some people kayak. You heard us. Kayak. Take a shovel to the Elm Fork of the Trinity River on Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to help construct the Dimension Track canoe and kayak launch, and enjoy free food and T-shirts for your efforts. Call 972-490-5989 to register. --Sam Machkovech

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