Every year I tell people that I’m not ready for this week. For any of you that have never been to Bishop in May, we have this celebration called Mule Days. For visitors, it’s a great week long event to celebrate mules, but for the locals, most stay home for the majority of the week if they can help it. Most of the vistors can be nice, but there are a few that seem to think that since they are visitors to my town that I have to bend over backward for them and handle their ever whim. I don’t think so. This is my town. The least you can do is not treat me like a slave unless you want me to come visit your home and demand that you be my slave.
You can always tell the difference between the visitors and the locals that actually do manage to leave their home because the visitors seem to come to our town and think all of us locals dress like cowboys 365 days a year. We don’t. Very few of us dress like that and the ones that do, usually live or work on a farm or ranch around here or they compete in the rodeos which are big around here. The visitors that dress like cowboys typically dress all wrong. Don’t get me wrong, because I don’t dress like a cowgirl ever. It’s just not me. The main thing that bugs the hell out of me is when people wear their jeans inside their boots because they want to show them off. Cowboy boots aren’t meant to be shown off. They are meant to be practical. Then people see the actual cowboys or cowgirls and see that they have their jeans outside of their boots and their boots are well worn and scuffed. The reason why you wear your jeans on the outside of their boots is to keep the mud from getting inside your boots and it just looks stupid to push your jeans inside your boots.
One of the coolest things about Mule Days that I still find fun to watch is the parade on Saturday. It is the only non-motorized parade in atleast the States. All of the entries cannot be pulled by a car of any kind, but by either humans or an animal of some kind. The last few years, we’ve had the Budweiser clydesdales visit the area. Budweiser films quite a few of their commercials around the Owens Valley so we see the trailers come through the area all the time. Budweiser also keep the huge horses at the Fair Grounds so you can pet them. We also have few other visitors in the parade just about every year. We’ve had Smokey Bear and Ronald McDonald. Some of the entries shows off the pack teams around the area and some are political while others are humorous. Entries come from all over the country. If you want to come to Bishop for Mule Days and it’s your first time, you don’t want to miss the parade, however, just make sure that you are close to Main Street before 9:30am because the streets close at that time.
As for me this year, I will be spending the majority of the weekend at the Methodist Church at the Calico Quilters Quilt show. The Methodist Church is located on the corner of Church Street and Fowler Street, next to Bishop Union High School. The hours for the Quilt Show are Saturday 10am – 4pm and on Sunday 10am – 1pm. We will be raffling off a quilt and there will also be door prizes given out every half hour or hour (I can’t remember) and there is a mini raffle table with hand-made items that will be awarded toward the end of the show on Sunday. I am a member of the Calico Quilters and am the second-youngest member as well as the historian. It does cost a few dollars to get into the show but it is well worth it to see how talented the women and some men are in the area. My mom organized an antique quilts display this year and has gathered over 40 quilts ranging in age of 30 years to over 100. There are a few Civil War era quilts on display which are neat to look at and see the difference between what quilting meant 100 years ago and how it has evolved into an art form of today. We do ask that if you visit the show, please do not touch the quilts (especially the antique quilts as some of them are very fragile). There will be women that have white gloves roaming around and if you would like to see the back of a quilt, please ask one of these women and they will turn a part of the quilt over. Please come and join us.
Have fun at Mule Days this year and if you’re a visitor, please be nice and treat our city with the same respect you have for your city. Below are a few pictures from the 2005 Mule Days (I can’t locate my pictures from the last two years).