This year the Elks rodeo has two Honorary Grand Marshals. The first is Past Exalted Ruler and local restauranteur Bob Torres. A member of Santa Maria Elks Lodge 1538 for over 55 years, Bob served as Exalted Ruler in 1964 and is now a Lifetime Member. Coming from very humble origins, Bob was born in Los Angeles and later his family moved to Guadalupe where his father went to work in the packing sheds. At eight-years-old his father died so he began to help support his family, when his father passed away, Bob began shining shoes, selling newspapers, and selling empanadas his mother Carmen made. His leadership abilities were evident early at Santa Maria High School where he served as class president.
Bob worked at a number of jobs; however, in 1959 he and four partners opened the original Pappy’s on Stowell and Broadway, which I’m certain many of you remember. Pappy’s eventually grew to a chain of nine restaurants stretching from Yuma, Arizona, to Portland, Oregon. The partners deeded to Bob the business and he became the sole owner of the two locations in Santa Maria. He sold both, including the current operation at Hwy. 101 and Betteravia in 2011.
The second Honorary Grand Marshall this year is legendary rodeo announcer Bob Tallman. Often called the greatest announcer who ever lived, Bob is typically on the road 270 days a year. He announces everything from small town rodeos to the National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas every December. And of course Bob is announcing our Rodeo again this year. Bob started announcing Rodeos in 1970 and announced his first NFR in 1975. Bob went on to be inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame in 2004 and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2007.
It has been said, “Most announcers inform, but Bob paints a picture with words.” He reshaped the profession by bringing a play by play aspect to rodeo.
Bob and his wire Kristen raise rodeo stock on their ranch in Weatherford, Texas. He sells his own line of Texas style meat seasonings ad is a spokesman for Wrangler, Ariat Boat and Winn-Dixie stores.
The Parade Committee is pleased to have Bob Tallman as an Honorary Grand Marshal of this year’s 2016 Parade.
About Santa Maria Elks Rodeo and Parade
The Elks Recreation Foundation was established in 1943 when it held its first fundraising event, a dance at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. They used the funds raised from that event to stage the first Elks Rodeo in 1944. The initial two day event was preceded each day by a mounted parade from the Vet’s Memorial Building to the Santa Maria Fairgrounds. The first Rodeo netted Elks Recreation nearly $3000.00 that first year and a long history of fundraising to support local youth sports and recreation was born. Since that time, Elks Recreation, Inc. has distributed over $10,931,837.97 to local youth programs through our Annual Elks Queen Contest.