People often ask, “What are you doing?” when I am driving around the Barns and Stalls and through the stock trailer parking area during Mule Days. What I am doing is making sure that folks are welcomed, get checked in, know where their animals are stalled, can find their parking or camping spots, and also make sure that the aisles are kept clear for competitors to get safely to the arenas. But what I really get to do is so much more than that.
It may seem mundane, driving around the area, helping people get shavings or checking them in, or even the occasional errands for show staff, but the best part of my time at the Bishop Mule Days Celebration is the connections I make with people and the friends that I have developed as a result of my volunteer experience.
Whether a conversation lasts for a few minutes or we chat for 20-30 minutes, I am able to interact with some of the best people. We will tell jokes, share a laugh or even provide some words of encouragement before or after an event. For those brief few days, we get to know each other and build a community of mutual respect and understanding. Mule Days becomes a microcosm of a community.
I am able to help tourists or spectators find a certain animal or competitor. I get to share insight on what vendor may have what they are looking for. I might even provide a recommendation on where to eat or what store to go check out. The best part is getting to interact with people who genuinely are glad to be here.
When you see me sitting in the yellow jeep in the shade on a hot Saturday afternoon, chatting with someone, and you ask, “What are you doing?’ my response may be a simple smile or a nonchalant, “Living the dream…” but I really am!