Behind The Chaps: Miss Rodeo Missouri

Being from the eastern side of the Show-Me-State, I call home the Saint Louis area. One of my favorite memories as a kid was driving east on highway 70 to a game and waiting to spot the Saint Louis Arch. When I caught a glimpse of the Arch, I knew we were close to a day full of family memories! On the bottom of my chaps is the Saint Louis cityscape that always reminds me of home. Along the sides of my chaps are three little animals, a bumble bee, a bluebird, and a turtle. Though these are symbols of the great state of Missouri, they also have special meanings to me.

The bumble bee is the State Insect but it also has a very special place in my heart. My Papa passed away when I was nine years old. When we attended his graveside service, we were sitting in the middle of a cotton field. It was a humid spring day and all the insects were buzzing about. Next thing I know, there was a plump fuzzy bumble bee buzzing around my head. At first, I wanted it to go away, but then I realized, it was just my Papa visiting me and telling me everything was going to be alright.

The bluebird, not only is it the State Bird, but it is also a great symbol in folklore and mythology. Widespread folklore associates bluebirds with the sun and symbolizes the little creature with modesty, diligence, enlightenment, knowledge, and confidence.

The turtle represents the State Reptile, the three toed box turtle. Not only are turtles my favorite animal, but their spiritual meaning represents finding the way to move forward and live through heavy times.

While my chaps symbolize many personal meanings, they allow me to represent my home state across the country as well as give you a glimpse as to how my home state molded me.

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