Dear Roper,

These are strange times, aren’t they? By the time this hits your mailbox, it’s my sincere hope that the hardest of them are behind us, and a new dawn is rising.

And in that new light of day, with small businesses across American reopening—including jackpots far and wide and whatever rodeos have weathered this storm—and with the oilfield resurging, I am hoping we can carry one lesson forward: grace.

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We’ve all struggled in our own ways, be it through the COVID-19 crisis or in another season, and there’s no time like the present to show grace to one another—to have faith that we’re doing our best.

My sincerest hope is that, at that first jackpot back, secretaries are met with smiles, even when they’ve made mistakes or left you off the draw when you’ve already paid. That photographers, who could have nearly starved through these hard times, are thanked with a $20 photo purchase that would go a long way in helping dig them out (Please, please don’t screenshot your photos). That we all thank a producer, who fed their unemployed cattle all the hay they’d stockpiled, while raking in no profits to feed their families. That flaggers are spoken to with a smile rather than through gritted teeth. That, if we happen to make it to a rodeo or two this summer, we thank the communities for rolling out the red carpet for the cowboys and cowgirls even with far less added money, and we buy gas at their stations and pick up a t-shirt in their gift shop and grab a bite to eat at the diner in town.

Grace is choosing to believe the best in one another through this, and doing what we can, with what we have, where we are. I know so many of you will still rope, one way or another, and for that I’m thankful. It’s my only hope that you take the lesson of faith in your fellow man with you in your rig, giving everyone some grace as they battle back from an impossible time. We’re all so excited to be back at this game soon, and we’re so thankful you’re joining us.

Chelsea

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