This sculpture was inspired by my dad’s participation in the 1966 Bicentennial for the Circuit Rider event entitled “Saddlebags East” that was sponsored by the Methodist Church. My father was one of 12 riders who rode from various places along the eastern part of the country and converged at Baltimore, MD. Somewhere around the year 2003, I was asked to sculpt a circuit rider for an Episcopal priest. When I mentioned this story, he said that I should make the sculpture look like my dad. This piece is very meaningful to me in many ways. First, it was a huge event in the life of our family as my dad was on the radio each morning of the ride with Deacon Doubleday of Syracuse, NY to catch up on the ride’s progress. Unknown to my dad, Deacon Doubleday got folks to chip in their dollars so that the leased horse, Baldy, that my dad was riding on this adventure could be purchased and be presented to him once the ride was over. My dad had become very fond of this horse and knew the time was drawing near to return him to the stable from where he has leased him. When they told my dad that Baldy was now his, and that he even had a paid ride home from Baltimore, MD to Conquest, NY, my dad was thrilled. I was, too, as the age of eight years old, this got us back into owning horses and that changed my life. I started riding daily and showing in costume classes and barrel racing. From this point forward, I was ‘into’ horses full time from then until now, as I still have horses. Horses gave me a sense of freedom and the ability to travel, see my friends, and even take week long trips to other towns and to camp in the woods.
“SPREADING THE WORD” is also a very meaningful piece in that it shows the dedication of the circuit riding preachers of that day. Travel was hard, and to be away from home and family was a tough part of the journey. Yet the need to bring the good news of the Bible and the love of Jesus Christ to others who might not know this love and joy was the driving force keeping my dad and all circuit riders going and SPREADING THE WORD.