Dixie Stansberry

Dixie Stansberry

By Johnny McMahan

Managing Editor

FREEDOM - The 83rd Freedom Rodeo and Old Cowhand Reunion is this week.

Rodeo action is set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the Old Cowhand Reunion is Saturday along with a free chuckwagon feed.

This year's honored cowhand is Dixie Stansberry.

Stansberry was born in 1935 and lived through the Great Depression, moving with her family to find work across Oklahoma and Kansas, before eventually returning to their homestead in the Freedom area.

She graduated from Freedom High School in 1953 and finished her degree in education at Oklahoma State University in 1957.

She met her husband Bruce while teaching in Satanta, Kan. and they were married in the Freedom Methodist Church. They also started a small cow herd in Kansas.

In 1967, the moved back to Oklahoma and Dixie Stansberry taught home economics at Freedom Public Schools for 22 years, retiring in 1990.

They continued to expand their farm and while her husband often traveled for his job with Panhandle Eastern, she raised the children and ran the farm.

After her retirement from teaching, Stansberry worked filing medical records at Share's Medical Center for 16 years.

These days Stansberry continues to enjoy running the farm and remains active in the community and church.

The Freedom Rodeo features all of the main rood events along with 40-40 team roping, junior barrels and junior calf roping. Action starts at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. At the gate, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Medicine River Rodeo is the stock contractor.

Special events include a boot scramble on Thursday and calf scrambles on Friday and Saturday. The queen and princess horsemanship competition is also on Thursday.

In addition to the Old Cowhand Reunion on Saturday, there is the annual Red Bluff Classic 5K and fun run starting at 7:30 a.m.

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