One warm weekend

Cooked a couple hundred flapjacks at the annual Asphalt Cowboys Pancake Breakfast, a sunrise extravaganza that feeds 10,000 people in the heart of downtown Redding. It was my first time, and I had a great time. Maybe they'll ask me back next year. Loved every minute, starting at 5 a.m. I stood next to a waist-high grill for three-plus hours. It melted my belt.

Went to the Redding Rodeo. Had guest chairs in some friends' box seat, ringside viewing for the bucking broncs and the beauteous barrel-racers, the clowns, the calf-ropers (two wraps and a 'whooeee!') and the rodeo queen. I enjoy the rodeo. Especially the cowboys. Those boots! Those hats! Those Wranglers!


Admired the piano-playing talent of two dozen youngsters age 5 to 16 at a spring recital, my 13-year-old included. You haven't lived until you've enjoyed the earnest efforts of young pianists performing for an audience of their families. Is anything more excruciating? For them, I mean. How can they breathe? Teacher Kelly Ann Shackleford is patient, encouraging and inspiring. 13 finished Mozart's "Arrietta" and the theme from "Lord of the Rings," and made his way back to his seat, where his brother, 15, punched him in the arm and muttered, "Good job."


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