Handley's kicks into high gear during Folsom Pro Rodeo season

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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FOLSOM CA - The Folsom Pro Rodeo is not only a family tradition it?s one of the busiest times of the year for the Handley family. Handley?s Western Wear on 314 E. Bidwell St. in Folsom has been a sponsor and provider for the rodeo since it began in 1960. Chet Handley opened Handley?s Western Wear in 1961. Chet died in 1989 and since then his wife Donella, now 88, still works seven days a week at the family business. ?She works every day,? said granddaughter Grace Handley. ?We don?t have a computer so she does everything by hand.? Grace was born and raised in Folsom and is a 2002 graduate of Folsom High. She now works at the family business. She said rodeo time is a busy one for the store that sells boot, buckles, western wear and ranch gear. ?It?s a very busy time for us,? she said. ?It?s a time when we see a lot of people we haven?t seen in a while.? She said some folks come into the store to shop and they are reminded of times when their grandparents would shop at Handley?s. ?We hear stories from people whose grandpa shopped here. They feel part of the family in a way,? Grace said. ?It?s a good positive feeling? Tyler Skiff?s family has stopped by the western store frequently for several years. ?I like the store and that they always have what I?m looking for,? he said. ?It?s kind of a part of Folsom.? For Grace, the rodeo and the store are a part of Americana. ?We do our best to provide as many American made products as possible,? she said. ?We aren?t pushing fashion, but clothes that last.? The rodeo is as much a part of her life as is the family business. ?Mutton Bustin? has always been one of my favorite events,? she said. ?I also remember going to get the silver coins in the arena and falling straight into the mud on my face. And listening to ?Proud to be an American,? well that?s a feeling that is hard to explain.?