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Cowboy Capital Celebrates American Cowboy Heritage
Cowboy 5
Gary Thompson shows the cowboy camp card game of shut box as residents gathered to mark the National Day of the American Cowboy with a full slate of events on Saturday, July 23. - photo by RICHARD PALOMA/ The Leader

The outside of the Oakdale Cowboy Museum looked like an authentic ranching camp on Saturday, July 23 with tents, a chuck wagon, branding design, and little buckaroos learning steer roping.
The fourth Saturday of July annually is slated as the National Day of the American Cowboy and the local Cowboy Museum joined the party with a community event hosted in Oakdale to honor the spirit of the West.
Pat Taylor, Oakdale Cowboy Museum board of directors’ chairman, along with Executive Director Christie Camarillo, were on hand to oversee the gathering as families and cowboy legends alike walked through the grounds.
“This is awesome,” Taylor said. “We have a pretty good turnout. I’ve got a great crew helping me.”
“This is a great way to learn about the true cowboy,” added Camarillo. “It’s not about just dressing up, but what they do.”
Over at the chuck wagon, Jim Raw of Oakdale cooked up donated Harris Ranch Beef on an old-fashioned wagon-wheeled cow camp trailer as Chris Lewis served the attendees free tri-tip sandwiches.
“We set up and started cooking at five this morning,” said Raw as the tender beef sizzled on the grill.
The chuck wagon set up was courtesy of Ben Cassinetto of The Rivers Edge Restaurant of Knights Ferry. Chuck Mount also brought out the camp display for the event.
“That’s what this community is all about,” said Taylor. “Oakdale is a touch of the Old West and remembers its heritage.”
Rodeo legend Bill Martinelli brought out his grandchildren to the event. Martinelli, an eight-time national finalist, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Cowboy Museum and has his own display at the East F Street location.
Meryl Britton of Escalon brought her granddaughters Sydney and Abigail Britton out from Washington to the event because of their great-grandfather John “Doc” Britton, long-time Oakdale veterinarian and one of the founders of the California Team Roping Association.
“Doc” Britton is also acknowledged in the museum at the team roping display.
“I wanted them to see who their great-grandfather was and what he did here in Oakdale,” said Britton. “The girls are having a great time.”
Children at one section designed their own unique brands and learned the purpose of branding cattle. At another section, cowboys showed how to lasso and rope using sawhorse cows.
Camarillo said she was pleased with the turnout and enjoyed teaching the children about the American cowboy.
“In the Cowboy Capital of the World,” claimed Camarillo, “everyday is the day of the American Cowboy.”