Rhea Hotzler of Long Prairie, MN, sent me the most fabulous gift! A pair of “Hayseed” Hotzler socks. They are marvelously warm and wildly colorful–I’m wearing them as I write this. (And my toes are toasty.)
Rhea’s husband Gary (aka Hayseed) was a rodeo clown until he retired in 1981, and wore the socks as his trademark. They were knitted, as were mine, by a neighbor of the Hotzlers, originally as a way to use up leftover yarn in various colors. It has become a tradition to present the socks to all sorts of people (my pair is number 1160!), and the intention is to bring a smile. Even though Hayseed passed away in 1995, the socks–and the smiles–just keep on coming.
It certainly worked for me.
Rodeo clowns are rightly regarded as the bravest people in the arena. They keep the crowd laughing–even as they draw angry bulls and broncs away from cowboys who’ve been thrown. When my dad, then known as “Chip” Lael, was bullriding back in the forties, he knew Slim Pickens, rodeo-clown-later-turned actor. Dad got hurled off a bull, and was disconcerted when Slim came arm-pumping it past him with an anxious, “Cowboy, you’d better run!”
Rhea, I’ll be thanking you personally, but I wanted to share this delightful gift on the blog, too.
You touched my heart, and I am much obliged, Ma’am.