The 2013 Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo Hostess, Tena Tankersley, has fond memories of growing up and excitedly anticipating the rodeo and 4th of July activities. In fact, the TCR was what she considered to be “going on vacation.” Her dad, the late Albert Pearson, loved to go to the parade and attend the rodeo every night when possible. Starting with parade day, her family would hustle to get the chores completed early, then travel to Stamford from the Ericksdahl community by parade time, visit her grandma and go to the rodeo.
As a child and continuing into adulthood, Tena loved horses and the barrel racing is her favorite rodeo event. The barrel racers, dressed in their western outfits, were so colorful riding in a group and made the parade festive. Tena recalls how excited she would be each year to get the Stamford American newspaper rodeo issue to discover which lucky ladies were selected as rodeo hostess and sponsor, and remembers how special it was for them to have been chosen. As Tena reflects on the recent Texas Cowboy Reunion Hostess Announcement Luncheon, she commented how the former hostesses are indeed a group of special, gifted women, and how honored she is to be in their company. Tena has continued to nurture her love of the TCR through being involved as a volunteer with the Stamford Art Foundation Art Show Preview.
Tena was born in Stamford to the late Albert Pearson and Mary Pearson, and grew up with her two siblings on a farm in the Ericksdahl community. She graduated high school at Avoca, and attended Texas Tech. Tena and her husband of twenty-four years, Sam Tankersley, own and operate Tanskersley Funeral Home in Stamford. Tena enjoys her step-children, Jaclyn Lisle and her husband, Justin, of Aledo, and Eric Tankersley and fiancée Courtney Lancaster of Plano; and also her three grandchildren, Jackson, Jaren and Jadyn.
The community of Stamford is the fortunate recipient of Tena’s volunteer spirit. Her lengthy outreach includes: Bethel Willing Workers, chairing the Smorgasbord for over twenty years; Stamford Hospital Pink Ladies Auxiliary; Meals on Wheels volunteer driver; Pierian Club of Stamford, currently serving as President; Harmon Park renovation project coordinator, Stamford Preservation League, Cowboy Country Museum, Woman’s Forum, Stamford Country Club Board, among many other organizations and activities. Tena has been honored by being selected as Stamford Chamber of Commerce Woman of The Year, 1997, Citizens of the Year Sims Chapel AME Church, 1998, and Community Builder Award, Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, 1999.
Tena and her husband, Sam, are looking forward to the multitude of activities ahead and most of all, making new memories with friends and family as tradition is carried forth each year with the Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo.