It’s time for school to start in Vinita, Oklahoma, and many other towns, but Vinita is probably one of the few towns that lets school out for the rodeo parade. This year will be the 81st annual Will Rogers Memorial Day Rodeo.
Will Rogers came to Vinita in 1935 to visit his buddies from school days at Worchester Academy and he told them, “If you’ll have a rodeo next year, I’ll come back.” However he and Wiley Post died in a plane crash that year, so in 1936 Vinita held the first Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo in his honor.
Vinita is known for the rodeo, the railroad crossings, Clanton’s Café, and Eastern State Hospital which was replaced by Oklahoma Forensic Center. I’ve lived in Vinita almost all my life, except 7 years when I moved away for college. Vinita was always still home. I used to joke that I drove back to Vinita every two weeks, no matter what.
Do you ever go back home? Jesus did. He visited home several times during his ministry, even held a revival there. “Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue.” Mark 6:1-6 New King James Version.
Sometimes we must go home, even if only in our heart. There’s an old saying that you can’t go home again, but it’s not true. No, things are never the same, but home will always be there for you. Home isn’t always where your relatives are, or where you were born.
Some people haven’t had a wonderful home life, or good experiences. Some might not have had good parents, or they had no parents at all. Some might have had bad experiences in school or with prejudice, but God has promised to be with you through it all.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23 NKJV.
Home is where Jesus is.