Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 56

our community: NOON LIONS When the Temperatures Get Hot, the Weatherford Noon Lion’s Club Serve “Cheeseburgers Wet”  — with a Smile BY CRYSTAL BROWN F club member, also started his Lions Club experience as a youth alongside his dad, Dr. Charles Swancy. His job was to wrap the hamburgers and then take them into the stands to sell. “The old stand was east to west on the concrete slab in front of our current stand,” Swancy said. “About the middle of it was where the grill was in the back. It wasn’t far from the back window. My brothers, mom and I would pull up and talk to Dad through the back window while he cooked hamburgers. It was an old metal shed type of arrangement. It was hot and not well-ventilated, and if it rained real hard they would get water in the stand. They used to keep pallets all over to walk on.” Then there was the tiny space used to spin cotton candy from sugar. Club members who were delegated this task knew they would be covered in sugar and sticky before the end of the night. “It would be everywhere,” Duncan said. “In their hair, on the clothes, on the wall.” These days the cotton candy comes pre-made and in or the past seven decades, rodeo fans in Parker County have depended on the skilled cooks of the Weatherford Noon Lion’s Club for sustenance during the annual Frontier Days Rodeo. The local civic club, formed in 1922, produced the first-ever Parker County Rodeo in 1947. The event was taken over the following year by the newly-founded Parker County Sheriff’s Posse and quickly became an annual tradition. But it wasn’t long before the Noon Lions stepped back into the arena by running the rodeo concession stand in 1950, and it has been organized and operated by club members ever since. Longtime club member Jim Duncan started helping out at the stand as a child in the ‘50s alongside his dad, CD Duncan. He hauled trays of drinks into the stands to hawk to thirsty spectators while a few club members squeezed into the small, un-air-conditioned stand to cook hamburg- ers. Weatherford Mayor Craig Swancy, another current 54 Photo by Zach Peterson