I am so glad I got up early to catch the opening ceremony at the 2014 International Lineman’s Rodeo. Volunteers guided to me to a parking spot in the open field next to the rodeo grounds in Wyandotte Kansas. As I pulled up, I could see the field of wooden poles that would soon be the center of activity.
I made my way to the center of the grounds where hundreds of linemen had already gathered. The sun was rising on this crisp, fall day.
Mike Wilman was again, master of ceremony for the rodeo. The morning event started off with an invocation where we were asked for a moment of silence for those comrades fallen in the line of duty, then a solemn prayer that the rodeo would be safe.
Kansas City Power & Light Vice President of Power Delivery Duane Anstaett welcomed all to the event, stating with “I’ve been coming to this event for 25 years and it keeps getting better, I just love it.”
We were then treated with a flyover of WWII aircraft. We then heard Dorothy May play the bagpipes. The microphone was then handed over to Mary Nord whose voice floated over the rodeo grounds with a moving rendition of our national anthem. And when I say moving, there were tears in my eyes and of those around me. The United States, Canadian and British flags were raised and the games commenced. What a fine start to what proved to be a fine day for competing with a true spirit of cooperation.