The gates to the Quay County Fairgrounds were officially opened at 9 a.m yesterday morning to visitors coming to the Mother Road Rally.
The vendors were putting the finishing touches on their booths in preparation for what they hoped will be a huge weekend-long event. Ron Humphrey and his wife, Patsi, sold a couple of lemonades from their smoothie stand soon after the gates opened. Humphrey, who drove 200 miles from Lovington, said it was too soon to tell how big the crowds would be. “We’ve heard that it’s going to be a pretty good rally,” said Humphrey. “We’ll just have to see.”
Humphrey and all other vendors shelled out $350 for the booth space. Most of the vendors said they earn their living from attending biker events and other large gatherings.
“Grizzly” Taylor opened up his booth which sells biker patches and jewelry. Taylor sewed a New Mexico state flag patch on one biker’s leather vest. He said he travels all over the country to biker events.
“I’ve been to Sturgis and Seattle,” said Taylor. “I think this one will be a good rally. I usually attend a rally in Williams, Ariz. this week, but I decided to come here instead.
Many of Taylor’s biker patches displayed racy language. Taylor said it’s not just men who buy those patches.
“Many of the women buy those kinds of patches,” he said. “You can always count on the women buying those patches.” Taylor earns his living from traveling to rallies to sell his patches and jewelry. “I don’t want to say exactly how much I make,” he said, “ but I’ve got a million dollar ranch back in Arizona, if that tells you anything.”
Two Quay County Deputy Sheriffs were on hand early yesterday morning surveying the scene. Deputy Kenny Crowe said he’s worked big events before. “I’ve worked Fourth of July in Logan,” he said. “They had a lot more people than will come here.” Deputy Ron Bishop said all police officers will be communicating amongst themselves at the rally to make sure nothing gets out of hand. “There might be gangs coming to the rally,” he said, “but at least 90 percent of the people will be well-behaved. Deputy Crowe said that even if gangs do show up they will be free to enjoy themselves provided they do not start trouble.. “As long as they don’t cause any trouble, we’ll leave them alone,” he said. “We’ll make sure we have the manpower to handle any possible situation. Our job is to keep a peaceful law-abiding crowd.”