RAY LASHLEY 1923-2017


Peggy Malone let us know about the death of poet Ray Lashley, 93, on May 29, 2017.

For his bio at CowboyPoetry.com, he wrote:

I was born and raised on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks at a time and place where horses or mules were about the only source of power and transportation. We raised cattle and hogs and feed for them. There was an “Open Range Law” in effect so our cattle had a lot of room to roam and a lot of places to hide. Tending them took a lot of our time.

At about age 14 I was on a short (60 mile) trail drive when the only way to move stock was by train or trail drive. There were no trucks or stock trailers.

I always did like working with horses better than with other types of stock. That’s probably why I’ve been raising horses since 1970.

My first job for pay was driving a four-horse team to a log wagon.

I joined the Navy at 18 and found out that a man could make a living without working as hard as the stockmen back home, so I learned to spell “injuneer” and they let me be one. But, as they say, you can’t take the country out of the boy so I managed to stay in touch with some part of the stock world (mostly horses) while I pursued a career as a weapon testing engineer.

From 1969 to 1994 we owned and lived on a twenty three acre place near the east shore of the Great Salt Lake raising Appaloosa horses. (One of them ran no worse than second in eight out of nine races and won five of them.) After we sold out in ’94 we traveled some, then, in early ’95, moved lock, stock and horses onto the five acre place in Grand Junction, Colorado, where we live now.

I’ve been invited to perform in the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering every year since it started in 1985 until 1995.

Without repeating a poem I can recite from memory something over 3 hours of poetry — mostly cowboy poems by old poets.

Find an obituary here, which says, “A graveside service will be held for family and friends in Des Arc, Missouri in the near future as he is laid to rest near his boyhood home in the family plot surrounded by his parents and siblings.”