By: Fareed Hassen
It is with a special tribute that we honor James H. (Jim) and Nancy West as the official parade marshals for the 86th annual Texas Cowboy Reunion. Jim and Nancy have been actively involved and participated in many phases of the rodeo over the last 60 years.
Jim began his freshman year in Stamford in 1942 and graduated from Stamford High School in 1946. One of his first experiences at rodeoing was in 1943 when he signed up with Wayne Humphrey and Jack Arledge to enter the Bull Riding competition. He recalls that when it was his turn that he did not stay on the bull long. They offered him the second opportunity to try again, but when it came time for him to ride, he was nowhere to be found. His other two buddies disappeared before their first ride. Jim commented later that bull riding was not for him.
After high school graduation, he attended Texas Tech. On September 23, 1950, he married the love of his life Nancy Moore from Albany, and they made their home in Stamford. He worked with his father and is still active in the oil business today at the age of 89. He and Nancy are the proud parents of a son, James Charles West and one daughter, Jeanne West.
Jim was selected as a director of the TCR in the late 60's and has served in many capacities. He was ticket chairman for many, many years. The TCR had a reserved seat section, but it was early in his tenure that he was responsible for building the first box seats so people could view the rodeo next to the arena. Much of the work was done with volunteer labor as were so many of the other responsibilities that were needed to put on a rodeo. In 1978, he was elected to the position of Vice-President and Treasurer. He still holds these positions today.
In 1961, Nancy was honored as the TCR Hostess. She is a very gracious and talented person and represented Stamford well. The official TCR sponsor that represented Stamford was Miss Jamie Len Vasek, and the winning sponsor that year was Miss Pam Crump from Ft. Worth, Texas. Nancy recalls that it was in 1961 that the rules were changed in order to allow anyone 12 years of age or older to be able to compete in the barrel racing event. The hostess was responsible for entertaining the sponsors during their stay in Stamford. Nancy had a swim party by the pool at the Country Club and refreshments were served. It was still a tradition that the sponsors dressed in formals, they were individually introduced and they and their escorts were entertained with a dance on the second floor of the pavilion after the rodeo.
Jeanne was selected as the TCR's official sponsor in 1971. At that time, there were more than 80 sponsors that participated from as far away a Oklahoma and New Mexico. Most of them stayed around unlike today where they try to make as many rodeo events as they possibly can.
In addition to their involvement with TCR, this exemplary Stamford couple, has served their community in many ways over the years, and have worked for the betterment of their community, in many capacities. They are truly deserving of this honor.