by Georgie Sicking, 1921-2016
When I was young and foolish,
The women said to me,
“Take off those spurs and comb your hair
If a lady you will be.
“Forget about those cowboy ways
come and sit a while,
We will try to clue you in
On women’s ways and wiles.
“Take off that Levi jumper
Put up those bat wing chaps.
Put on a little makeup and
We can get a date for you, ‘perhaps.’
“Forget about that roping.
That will make calluses on your hands.
And you know it takes soft fingers
If you want to catch a man!
“Do away with that Stetson hat
For it will crush your curls.
And even a homely cowboy wouldn’t
Date a straight-haired girl.”
Now being young and foolish,
I went my merry way.
I guess I never wore a dress
Until my wedding day.
Now I tell my children,
No matter what you do,
stand up straight and tall,
Be you, and only you.
For if the Lord had meant us, all to be alike,
And the same rules to keep,
He would have bonded us all together,
Just like a band of sheep.
© Georgie Sicking, used with permission
It is with great sadness that we learned (from Diane Scott) of the passing of much-loved cowboy and Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking, 95, on November 6, 2016. This autobiographical poem is just one her many popular verses.
Find a short video with the poem and additional footage here.
In the impressive book, Tough by Nature, by Lynda Lanker, Georgie Sicking tells that she was the only woman who ever drew pay on Arizona’s Oro Ranch, where she worked during World War Two. She prefers to be called a “cowboy,” not “cowgirl.”
She is quoted in Tough by Nature, “Some people had the idea that all you had to do to be a cowgirl was put on a pretty dress and a pair of boots and a big hat and get a faraway look in your eyes…and you’re a cowgirl. They’ve been kind of hard to educate.”
Georgie Sicking has been a great inspiration to many.
Of Ridin’ & Rhymin’, the award-winning documentary about Georgie Sicking by Greg Snider and Dawn Smallman of Far Away Films, Hal Cannon, Founding Director (retired) of the Western Folklife Center, comments, “Georgie Sicking is why ‘to cowboy’ is best used as a verb to explain a work, a life, and a big open land. This film captures her level gazed life in such a powerful way that it defines the American West.” See a clip here.
Georgie Sicking’s photo graces the cover of The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five from CowboyPoetry.com. The circa 1940 photo was taken at a carnival on her first date with the man who became her husband (photo courtesy of Georgie Sicking and Dawn Smallman).
Georgie was at the first Western Folklife Center National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1985, and appeared there and at other gatherings many times, until the last couple of years.
Services will be held on Saturday, November 19 at 1:00 pm at The Gardens Funeral Home in Fallon, Nevada.
Find an obituary here.
Cards can be sent to Georgie Sicking’s daughter, Sue Jarrard, PO Box 341 Kaycee, WY 82639
Find some of her poetry and more about Georgie Sicking at CowboyPoetry.com.
As Linda Marie Kirkpatrick commented, “I wanted her to live forever.” She will be greatly missed.
(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but please request permission for any other uses.)