News Bits and Links

readingnews“Reading the News,” by Erwin E. Smith, c. 1908 from The Library of Congress

We receive and come across all sorts of interesting information from a wide range of sources. Below, we gather some quick links to news stories, web features, and other items of interest gathered from the web, social media, and from you, the most recent posted first.

Your suggestions for consideration of inclusion are welcome (as well as your comments). Email us.


A Night of Cowboy Poetry — Poems, Songs, and Cowpunchers,” by Megan Willome,, December 15, 2017


Riders in the Sky Plot 40th Anniversary Album, 2018 Tour,” by Stephen L. Betts,, December 15, 2017

The Braun Boys – All Grown Up,” by the Western Folklife Center, blog, December 14, 2017


Black Hills Cowboy Christmas,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck,  Tri-State Livestock News, December 14, 2017

Free and Easy: Dave Stamey’s Occasional Newsletter,” Facebook, December 14, 2017

[Australian] National Folk Festival…,”,  December 13, 2017


The Godless Democrat Who Loves Cowboy Poetry,” by Carson Vaughan, The Paris Review, December 13, 2017

Legion Lake Fire grows to 35,000 acres,” Black Hills FOX, December 13, 2017

The Top 10 North Pole reindeer management issues,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, December 12, 2017


The Dog and the Rabbit,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, December 11, 2017

Massive ranch formerly owned by Mars candy heir sells; asking price was $64.8M,” by
Brett French, Casper Star-Tribune, December 12, 2017

Hitting a wall, halfway to way way-away,” by Don Stuart, Rushville Republican, December 12, 2017

Court Sides with New Mexico Cattle Ranchers in Water Dispute,” by Tiffany Dowell,, December 11, 2017

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 42: Know (and Follow) the Rules,” by  Rod Miller, blog, December 8, 2017

Spirit of the West poster art submissions

Drovers of the Chisholm Trail,” (video) Western Horseman, December 5, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” The Moth,, December 5, 2017

Painting spirits bright,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, November 29, 2017


Hunting Camp Cook,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, December 4, 2017

Nominations sought for Oregon’s next poet laureate,” by Barney Lerten,, December 1, 2017

Training Cattle to Follow – Part 1” by John Marble, On Pasture, November 27, 2017


news12   BAR-D general newsletter, December 1, 2017  Subscribe here.


BeefUSA Cowboy Poetry contest


Colorado’s Renowned and Under the Radar Festivals Not to Be Missed in 2018,”, November 30, 2017

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival trucks on – with verve – at Golden State,” by Adam Joseph, Monterey County Weekly, November 30, 2017

Unplugging in the Texas Hill Country River Region,” by Shannah Compton Game and Jeff Game,, November 30, 2017

Christmas bustle hits Wickenburg,” The Wickenburg Sun, November 29, 2017


Ordinary Skin: Essays from Willow Springs,” (review) by Kim Kankiewicz, Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University, November 28, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” (audio) The Moth, November 28, 2017

These Montana Ranchers are Helping Grizzlies, Wolves and Cattle Coexist,” by Kristina
Johnson,, November 28, 2017


The Right Tool for the Job,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, November 27, 2017

A Cowboy Kind of Party,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, November 27, 2017

The British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society (BCCHS) latest newsletter, November 25, 2017

My Favorite Book, Part 11,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 25, 2017

Ranching, Kauai Style,” by Duane McCartney, Canadian Cattleman, November 24, 2017


Paul Zarzyski on the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, December 2, 2017


Thanksgiving,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, November 20, 2017

Look Him in the Eye,” by Kate Bradley, Western Horseman, November 20, 2017

Reaching Neighbors in need from Mandalay Bay,” by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, Tri-State Livestock News, November 17, 2017

Toe-tapping Western music at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center,” by Allie Haddicam,, November 17, 2017

Duncan’s Chisholm Trail Heritage Center hosting Campfires, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering
benefit…,” by Brandy McDonnell,, November 17, 2017

Back in the saddle at a historic Saskatchewan ranch,” by Tom Johnson,, November 16, 2017

Rare photo of Billy the Kid bought at flea market could sell for millions,” CBS News,, November 16, 2017

Were people in the Old West better than now?,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 15, 2017


Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West December 3-March 11, 2018, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah

Out of respect for the angels,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch blog, November 13, 2017

Cold Feet,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, November 13, 2017

Sights and Sounds From the Spade Ranch,” (video), Western Horseman, November 14, 2017

Can You Read Brands?,” Written by By Jay Mack, February 1951, Western Horseman, November 13, 2017

Vaqueros ride and rope again in Santa Ynez,” Santa Ynez Valley News, November 11, 2017


Western Music Association 2017 Award winners


Most people meet in a cattle market, this couple got married in one,” by Mark Duell, Daily Mail, November 9, 2017

Free concert at Luna Rossa Winery,” The Deming Headlight, November 9, 2017

They Were Salty: A story of old-time cowboys and the names, or no-names, they made for themselves,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, November 9, 2017

Theft of instruments unites Western music community,” by Ollie Reed Jr., Albuquerque Journal, November 7, 2017


Moose Alert,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, November 6, 2017

Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs,” Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

New Day, Old Ways,” by Ross Hexcox (photo blog), Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

Cultured Cowboy,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 5, 2017


Singer, Arizona activist Katie Lee dies at 98,” by Corina Vanek, Arizona Daily Sun, November 1, 2017

Katie Lee, ‘Goddess of Glen Canyon,’ Dies at Age 98,” by Gillian Ferris,, November 1, 2017

Amber Cross Brings the Full Picture on ‘Savage on the Downhill,” by Trevor Christian, Glide Magazine, October 31, 2017

Tradition and Patriotism Show their Colors at Red Steagall’s 27th Annual Cowboy Gathering,” RFD-TV, October 31, 2017


Remembering Paps, My Grandfather,” by Justin L. Stewart, blog, October 29, 2017


Publisher Gibbs Smith, who reinvented Western stories from his Utah barn, dies at 77,”
By Ellen Fagg Weist, Salt Lake Tribune, October 30, 2017

Photos: Visitors flock to Heber for one of largest cowboy poetry gatherings in US,” by Grant Olsen,, October 30, 2017

Cowboy Christmas concert – a new Pierre area tradition starting this year?, “by Dave Askins, Capital Journal, October 30, 2017

Learn how the historic Empire Ranch survived a raging wildfire,” by Doug Kreutz-Arizona Daily Star, Half Moon Bay Review, October 28, 2017

Outspoken Corb Lund says he’s done talking politics: ‘Put it in your song’,” by Theresa Tayler, Calgary Herald, October 28, 2017

Red Steagall interview,, October 27, 2017

Cowboy Up (Youtube) Episode 1  Episode 2


Cowboy Crossroads of Lubbock, TX: ‘Telling the authentic story’,” by Kelly Moffitt, Flyover Podcast, October 27, 2017

Camera Crew Meets Cowboy Family,” by Jolyn Young, Desolate Ranch Wife blog, October 26, 2017

Re-Ride Stories,” by Rod Miller, blog, October 26, 2017

Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival features Sheep Parade,” by The Independent, October 26, 2017

Lowell Jaeger: A Poetry Conversation,” by Mary Cloud Taylor,, )ctober 24, 2017

Fall is here, time to panic,” by Amy Kirk,, October 20, 2017


Mountain Remuda,” Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, October 25, 2017

2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Spotify playlist

Branded…and That’s a Good Thing,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, October 24, 2017

Festus and the Coon,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, October 23, 2017

Yep…You Might Be A Rancher,” by Sara Brown, Drovers, October 19, 2017


Wanted: Cowboy,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column),, October 16, 2017

Charlie Russell,” by John Mariani, January 1951, Western Horseman, October 16, 2017

Stories that begin on the back of a horse,” by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, October 13, 2017

Artisans team to boost poetry program,” by Eve Marx, Seaside Signal, October 13, 2017

Local Volunteers Gear Up For Annual Heritage Days,” by Anita Campbell, Benton County
Enterprise, October 13, 2017


The 1,000-year-old man: The remarkable story of author Max Evans,” by Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 13, 2017

Alzada show draws large crowd,” by Chris Maupin, Ekalaka Eagle, October 13, 2017


Trade-offs, but never satisfied,” by Laura Nelson,, October 11, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Hal Cannon (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, October 10, 2017

José and the Hoodoo Cow,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column),, October 9, 2017

2nd ‘Campout on the Comanche’ slated next weekend,” Big Spring Herald, October 7, 2017

Florida Ranchers Lose $238 Million to Irma,” by Greg Henderson, Drovers, October 6, 2017


Get your ‘cowboy on’ and celebrate our western heritage,” by Pam Jacobs, The Durango Herald, October 6, 2017

Gathering Tickets Now Available,” Elko Daily Free Press, October 5, 2017

Beef Is Back for Dinner as Marketers Woo Nostalgic Millennials,” by Alexandra Bruell, Progressive Farmer, October 5, 2017

Western merriment meets modern-day fun at Agua Fria Festival,” by Sue Tone, Prescott Valley Tribune, October 4, 2017

Does Media Coverage of Wildfires Probe Deeply Enough?,” by Adrianne Kroepsch, Daily Yonder, October 3, 2017

Cowboy trends: Then and now,” by Tayler Teichert,  Progressive Cattleman, October 2, 2017


Political Correctness,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, October 2, 2017

Plenty of singing Sunday morning (from livestock and people) during NILE,” by Sarah Brown, The Prairie Star, September 29, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to focus on cowboy humor this year,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 28, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to celebrate 29th year,” by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill, Durango Herald, September 27, 2017


Requiem for a Cowboy Poet,” by Peggy Sanders, Wild West Magazine, September 28, 2017

Cowboy poetry draws 80,” by Thomas Garcia, Quay County Sun, September 27, 2017

Love that Cactus Bread,” by Gary Heintz,, September 27, 2017

28th Annual Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art Show,” by Chris Maupin, Butte County Post,  September 27, 2017


They Were Salty,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, September 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ft. Pierre: cowtown celebrates the old-fashioned way,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, September 21, 2017


Stress,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, September 25, 2017


Badger Clark Festival Headlines Busy Day In Hot Springs,” by John Axtell,, September 23, 2017

Writing songs as honest as Wyoming dirt,” by Lance Nixon,, September 22, 2017

Gambling, Rambling, Ranching and Rehab Are six bred heifers a herd?,” by Bill Jones, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Cowboy Hat Etiquette: What You Should Already Know But Probably Don’t,” by Terry Sullivan, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Music Times: Engage in Southern Utah’s creative symposium,”  The Spectrum, September 22, 2017

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society newsletter, September

Western Slope Cowboy Gathering November 3-4, 2017, Grand Junction, Colorado


From Space Cowboy to Montana Rancher,”by Russell Nemetz,, September 21, 2017

Four Sixes Through the Lens of Scott Slusher,” by Bob Welch, September 20, 2017

Dallas County poet says she is just recording the life rhythms,” by Penny Warner,, September 20, 2017

Authentic, Genuine, & the Integrity of Songwriting Debate,” by Thomas Mooney, New Slang, September 20, 2017

Embrace cowboy culture and humor at Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 21, 2017

Hugs: a song that has a real message,” by Gary Heintz, Capital Journal, September 19, 2017

Murphey Western Institute  Michael Martin Murphey’s “Center for the Education, Preservation and Perpetuation of the Arts, Culture, History and Legacy of the American West”


Angus way out there,” by Laura, BlackInk, September 20, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Mike Beck, part 2 (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, September 19, 2017

The Top 10 signs of autumn,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 19, 2017

This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free,” by Kirk Johnson, New York Times, September 16, 2017

Montana residents are desperate for clean air, and they’re calling me,” Washington Post, by Sarah Coefield, September 15, 2017

Perhaps You’d Like to Purchase Art Sculpted by a Cow,” by Cara Giaimo,, September 15, 2017


Dog Days in the Feedlot,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column),, September 18, 2017

Western Music Association 2017 nominees, September 18, 2017

Heritage Festival continues to build community connections,” by McKayla Helm, The Missourian, September 16, 2017

Longmire’s creator explains why we’re so fascinated with the American West,” by Craig Johnson, Washington Post, September 15

Cowboy poetry gathering welcomes attendees,” by Kevin Rushworth, High River Times,
September 15, 2017

Cattle drive brings history alive,” by Ryan Miller, Enid News & Eagle, September 15, 2017

Cowgirls are naturals at pen riding duties,” by Jeff Rice, Journal-Advocate, September 13, 2017


AABP: The Baxter Black Perspective,” by Geni Wren, AABP, September 14, 2017

Ranchers blame exploding shell for grass fire that killed 160 head of cattle,” by Jackie Irwin, Calgary Herald, September 14, 2017

This Seventeen-Year-Old Rescued Cattle by Helicopter During Harvey,” by Charley Locke, Texas Monthly, September 12, 2017

A Visit with Western Folklife’s Kristin Windbigler,” by Maddy Butcher, Nicker News, September 6, 2017


Cowboy poets and musicians will perform in Shoshone,” by Julie Wootton,, September 13, 2017

Family History Expo To Be Held In St. George,” by V. Robison, Moapa Valley Progress,
September 13, 2017

Change of Venue for Campfire,” Dickinson Press, September 13, 2017

The Top 10 things farmers find in the pockets of jackets they haven’t worn since last spring,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 12, 2017


Coyote Cowboy Observations,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, September 11, 2017

Cowboy Country Nevada,” The Hans India, September 9, 2017

‘The Lungs of Our Region Are on Fire:’ Wildfires Exact a Punishing Toll on the West,” by Nancy Wartik, New York Times, September 8, 2017

Real cowboys play for buckaroos-to-be at Napa school,” by Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register, September 8, 2017

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’: Chuck wagon cooking,” Molly Boyle, Santa Fe New Mexican, September 8, 2017


Thousands of Texas cattle may have died in wake of Harvey,” Associated Press, September 8, 2017

Ranchers pay it forward to Montana fire victims,” by Amy Bickel, The Hutch News, September 8, 2017

Harvey roundup: Ranchers tally impact on soggy herds,” by Andrea Rumbaugh September 7, 2017


Montana fires: Here’s what the nation hasn’t seen,” (video) Agdaily, September 6, 2017

Ash falls like snow in Seattle as wildfires rage in Pacific Northwest,” by Evan Bush and Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, September 6, 2017

Behind the Scenes Shipping Cattle in the Flint Hills,” by Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers, September 6, 2017

Vets Fight To Save Horses In Harvey Aftermath,” by David Lohr,, September 4, 2017

The Yellow Ribbon,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, September 4, 2017

Cowgirl Camp helps build skills, network among women ranchers,” by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, September 1, 2017


As Human Rescues Wind Down, Helicopters Drop Hay To Stranded Cattle,” by Brian Mann, Morning Edition, September 5, 2017

Devastation for Montana’s ranchers only just beginning,” by Taylor Chase,,
September 4, 2017

Texas ranchers battle to save cattle from Harvey’s wrath,” by Meridith Edwards, CNN,
September 4, 2017


A Flying Cowboy Rides to Rescue Cattle Stranded in Harvey’s Floods,” by John Schwartz and Livia Albeck-Ripka, New York Times, September 3, 2017

Map: Large Wildfires In Montana,” by David Sherman, MTN News, September 2, 2017

More than half a million acres lost to Montana wildfires so far this summer,” by Steele Stephen,  MTN News, September 2, 2017

Cowboy way honored in museum in Gordon,” by Steve Frederick,, September 1, 2017

Roots Run Deep TV special to premiere Sept. 4,” Douglas Dispatch, September 1, 2017

Good Things Happen at Peach Days,” by Jenny Chamberlain,, September 1, 2017


Cowboy Poetry Event” (S. Omar Barker show), Las Vegas Optic, September 1, 2017

Who is cowboy legend Myrtis Dightman?,” by Matthew Thibodeaux,, September 1, 2017


The Lives & Works of S. Omar & Elsa Barker show, September 2, 2017, Las Vegas, New Mexico

Cloud Rider,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, August 31, 2017

Great Plains Fire Information,, August 30, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Chuck Hawthorne (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 29, 2017

Texas Ranchers Scramble To Get Cattle Out Of Flooded Areas,” by Ailsa Chang, NPR, August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: How you can help ranchers affected,” Tri-State Livestock News, August 29, 2017

Cattle on feed, drought and floods,” by Derrell S. Peel, FarmTalk, August 2, 2017

Is Poetry the New Adult Coloring Book?,” by Jason Boog, Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2017


Jumper,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, August 28, 2017

Texas police escort a herd of cattle to higher ground outside of Houston,” (video) NBC Facebook, August 28, 2017

Texas Ranchers Battle Hurricane Harvey to Protect Cattle,” by Sara Brown, Drovers, August 27, 2017

How to find the right manager for your ranch,” (Part 2) Beef Magazine, August 24, 2017

The Top 10 things your bomb-proof cow horse spooks at,” by Mark Parker, Farm Talk, August 22, 2017

Cowboy gathering seeks parade entries,” Durango Herald, August 21, 2017

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame announces 2017 inductees, award winner,” Fort Worth Business, August 21, 2017

Woman becomes Glacier National Park’s first female packer,” by Tristan Scott, Flathead
Beacon/Fresno Bee, August 19, 2017


The Wilderness Wall,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, August 21, 2017

Greenhorn from Lorena wins big in cowboy poet rodeo,” by J.B. Smith,, August 19, 2017

Ranchers in parched U.S. Northern Plains welcome hay lottery,” by Theopolis Waters, Reuters, August 18, 2017

Paisley Community Center provides a night of poetry,” by Michael Acosta, Lake County Examiner, August 16, 2017

‘Cow whisperer’ boy in wheelchair leads steer, melts hearts at Iowa State Fair,” by
Kyle Munson, Des Moines Register, August 16, 2017

A city slicker figures out what you already know,” by Burt Rutherford, Beef Magazine, August 15, 2017

Women Of The Land,” by Susan L. Ebert, Cowgirl, August 14, 2017

Governor Cuomo Announces New Events And Activities For The 2017 Great New York State Fair,”, August 14, 2017

A Cowboy’s Artist” (on Bill Owen), Western Horseman, undated

Badger Clark Event, September 2, 2017, Custer State Park


The Historic Star Valley Beanfield War,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, August 14, 2017

Massive wildfires turned prairies to ash, leading Montana’s cowboys to weigh federal help,” by Tim Craig, Washington Post, August 13, 2017

The Hope That Lives in a Rain Shower,”by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, August 13, 2017

Catch some cowboy poetry in Lewistown Aug. 17-20,” by Traci Rosenbaum, Great Falls Tribune, August 8, 2017


Teal Blake – On Being Authentic & Original,” by Ed Roberson, Mountain & Prairie podcast, August 11, 2017

Sudden Drought Conditions Spur Montana’s Wildfires,” by Nate Hegyi, Morning Edition, August 11, 2017

‘Cowgirl camp’ for beginning women ranchers,” by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press
August 9, 2017

From culls to early weaning, cattle ranchers need strategies to deal with drought,” CBC News, August 9, 2017

Documenting  the Lives Of Colorado Mountain Ranchers,” Michael Crouser and Peter O’Dowd, Here & Now, August 7, 2017

How, And Why, Some Farmers Are Bringing Livestock Back To The Prairie,” by Amy Mayer, Harvest Public Media, August 1, 2017


National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Ticketed shows announced: Western Folklife Center, August 10, 2017

Classic Cowpunchers,” by Lauren Feldman, American Cowboy, August 10, 2017

Filming a ‘Little’ documentary,” Saratoga Sun, August 9, 2017

Windbigler takes helm of Western Folklife Center,” by Hasano Grayson, Elko Daily Free Press, August 9, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Tom Russell (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 8, 2017

Cow Poop Analyzer App Estimates Forage Quality,” by Kathy Voth, On Pasture, August 7, 2017


Hike offers Cowboy Prayer, intrigue,” by Nigel Reynolds, Daily Courier, August 7, 2017

Parakeets and Dogs,” by Baxter Black (latest column),, August 7, 2017

Clinton-area ranchers demand compensation for control fire devastation,” by Karin Larsen, CBC News, August 07, 2017

New Mexico cow shootings spark fears of serial cattle killer,” by Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, August 4, 2017

World reacts to Zuckerberg’s post on cattle,” by Terry Anderson,, August 2, 2017


Prairie Fire!,” by Heidi M. Thomas, blog, August 4, 2017

‘A Long Way Home’ theme of this year’s Cowboy Poets event,” by Sue Tone, Daily Courier, August 3, 2017

Cow Efficiency Congress to be held in North Dakota,” by American Aberdeen Association,, August 3, 2017

‘Flash drought’ could devastate half the High Plains wheat harvest,” by Eric Holthaus,, August 1, 2017


Go West, young man (& woman),” by Stew Mosberg, Durango Telegraph, August 3, 2017

Kansas Radio Theatre Debuts on KSAL,” by Jeff Garretson,, August 2, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  Ramblin’ Jack stories (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 1, 2017

Fractious Freight,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, undated

I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling at the cow: How to escape the crosshairs of cattle
vocabulary,” by Marci Whitehurst, Progressive Cattleman, July 25, 2017



SHOVELING ICE OUT OF THE TROUGH by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)


“Cows,” © 2017, Jo Lynne Kirkwood

by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

It’s frosty in the mornin’
when you wake up in the shack.
When you roll out of yore blankets,
makes the chill go up yore back.
By the time you’ve got yore breakfast
it is nice and warm inside,
But it’s time to git a goin’.
You must saddle up and ride.

There is thick ice every mornin’
and you’ve got to chop it off.
Ice is all right in a highball,
but it’s no good in a trough.
If the cattle don’t git water
it soon begins to show,
They don’t keep in good condition
jest a lickin’ up some snow.

I read once in a paper
what some wise perfessors think.
They claim it’s only water
that us humans ort to drink.
I’m jest speakin’ fer the cowboys,
and I reckon as a class,
They’ll drink nothin’ else but water,
when perfessors lives on grass.

The cows and calves look sorry,
a walkin’ through the snow,
With their backs humped up an shivverin’
and bawlin’ sorter low.
A cowboy’s life’s a tough one
but I reckon anyhow,
I’d sooner be a cowboy
than I would to be a cow.

…by Bruce Kiskaddon

This poem appeared in Bruce Kiskaddon’s 1935 book, Western Poems. He has a number of great poems about Winter and Christmas.

Kiskaddon worked for ten years as a cowboy, starting in 1898 in southeastern Colorado’s Picketwire area. He published short stories and nearly 500 poems. His poems are among the most admired and the most recited in the “classic” cowboy poetry canon.

Much of what is known about Kiskaddon and his work comes from “Open Range,” Bill Siems’ monumental collection of Kiskaddon’s poetry. Bill Siems also collected Bruce Kiskaddon’s short stories in a book called “Shorty’s Yarns.” Find more in the Kiskaddon features at

Utah storyteller, poet, writer, and rural teacher Jo Lynne Kirkwood’s drawing, “Cows,” appears on her 2017 Christmas card. Find her accompanying poem here next week  when the celebration of the 18th annual Christmas at the BAR-D begins.

Jo Lynne Kirkwood has a fine book that collects her poetry, Old Stories, and recordings.

Find more about her at; at her site,; and on Facebook.


BUYER BEWARE, by Jarle Kvale



by Jarle Kvale

When folks are sellin’ horses,
they’ve been known to lie and cheat
And the unsuspecting buyer’s
easily duped by their deceit—

But I’ve set some rules for buyin’
to prevent you actin’ rash,
And I’ll share ’em with you freely,
though I’m usually wantin’ cash.

Don’t ever buy for color—
9 of 10 times you’ll get stuck—
Avoid a horse that’s coughing—
never buy a horse named “Buck”—

I wouldn’t take a crazy one
whose eyes resemble bugs—
Be wary of those deadheads—
it might only be the drugs.

Just say “no” to former racers—
turning left is all they know—
You’ll forever ride in circles
while you try to teach them ‘whoa’.

If a horse is billed as gentle
and the type to suit a kid—
Best bring along a seatbelt—
wear a helmet on your lid—

And if they claim the horse is green
and merely needs some work,
You’ve the right to be a skeptic
while the owner hides his smirk.

Course always buy from strangers—
don’t react in disbelief—
If a closer look upon your friends
reveals a common thief.

And stay away from ring sales,
though the deal may seem compellin’—
The situation’s risky—
might be me who’s down there sellin’.

© 2015, Jarle Kvale, used with permission

North Dakota horseman Jarle Kvale is the host of the popular Back at the Ranch radio show. The weekly show spins good cowboy poetry and Western music. Present and past shows are available on demand.

Jarle Kvale includes “Buyer Beware” on his recent CD, Custom Made. The CD includes 14 original poems, mostly humorous, delivered in his engaging, understated style.

This photo, courtesy of Jarle Kvale, is of “Beau.”

Find more of Jarle Kvale’s poetry and more about him at and also check out “Back at the Ranch” on Facebook.



11-17-Baxter Black- Scrambled Wisdom [Almost Isn't Is, Is It]

Top poet, writer, and cowboy philosopher Baxter Black dedicates his latest book, Scrambled Wisdom: Almost isn’t is … is it, to the late, much-missed funnyman and cowboy poet Pat Richardson. Baxter describes Pat, “…He was droll, with a monotone delivery and every time you’d take a breath he’d drop a knee-slappin’, dog barkin’, rarin’ back, stomp on the floor till the possum is dead ‘one liner’…that brought the house down!”

There are “Pat stories” sprinkled throughout. Baxter famously once said of Pat’s poetry, “If you boiled cowboy poetry down to what’s worth savin’, this is what the stew would smell like.” These two larger-than-life comic geniuses have inspired so many.

Scrambled Wisdom… lives up to its title. There are pithy observations on life, some with “afterthoughts” (“A cowboy without a horse is like a bird without wings. A cowboy without wings is like a bow-legged ostrich!”); aphorisms; quotations; jokes; asides; life lessons, advice (“If you can’t be kind, at least be vague”); and more. Always known for loyalty to his friends, there are mentions of and derived wisdom from many familiar names, such as Dave Stamey, Les Buffham and Mike Fleming, Elmer Kelton, “Vikki’s Grandpa Bill,” and many others. Shakespeare, the Bible, and Theodore Roosevelt are represented.

The wacky wisdom is served up in one-page commentaries and sprinkle of poems, loosely collected in chapters: “Cowboy Up,” “Cowboy Logic,” “Horses,” “Rodeo,” “Farmers,” “Vets and Dogs,” “Workin’ Cattle,” “Cow Bidness,” “Mumbles,” “Out There,” “Flag and Family,” “Riding Drag,” and even “Seriously, Sort Of” (fear not).

With pieces as varied as “On Cowboy Advice to the Lovelorn,” “On Carpooling the Cowboy Way” and “On Lizard Abuse,” there are definitely more topics than a sane person could imagine. The illustrations (inside by Charlie Marsh and Etienne “A-10” Etcheverry, cover by Bob Black) are also wild and numerous and even the credits are laced with hilarity (“Bob lives in Arizona with his beautiful life and sneezes for a living.”).

Don’t look for political correctness and there is plenty that would make a librarian clutch her pearls. Most would say that is what they value in Baxter Black’s humor.

The small-format hardcover is chock full of fun, and a perfect gift. Visit for order info and special holiday deals.


THE CARLSBAD by Floyd Beard


by Floyd Beard

A short introduction:

The prospectors headed westward,
In search of the mother lode.
They endured the broiling sun and soaking rains.
JB Stetson saw their plight,
So he invented for them a lid.
The first style was known as the Boss of the Plains.
Though the miners took right to it,
The cowboy also saw its worth.
But they rolled the brim and creased the dome a tad.
Then they proudly wore their Stetsons,
The former Boss of the Plains.
For the new crease was know as the Carlsbad.
Many, many decades later
Hollywood made a film,
Lonesome Dove, and it created quite a fuss.
In it a cowboy proudly wore his Stetson.
So now the crease called Carlsbad
Is known by everybody as “The Gus.”


It had hung there in the corner
T’was its place for 50 year,
On the old tarnished coat rack by the door.
Inch wide ribbon made of satin
Once did proudly wrap the sphere,
Though sweat stains bleached its glory long before.

But each stain holds a story
Memories the felt holds tight,
Of a life with a cowboy it could tell.
There were times it filled with laughter,
There were times as dark as night.
Each memory, every stain, it knew them well.

It could recall in days of young
When it proudly rode the range.
T’was a crown upon a young cowboy free.
On the wind they rode together.
And to some it might sound strange,
But a cowboy’s hat is all it wished to be.

Now the grease and stains hold stories
Of the rim rocks that they rode,
Of rains as thunderstorms discharged their lights.
Grand horses beneath the leather;
Freezing rides on nights it snowed;
Every trial, all their rituals and rites.

Of the time it turned a cow,
Slapped her fully in the face.
Broke her challenge and sent’er on her way.
The times it caught rainwater.
Times it urged a faster pace.
Times it twirled when he was sociable ‘n gay.

It was with him as a young man,
Bold and strong their wanderlust.
The grasslands and the mountains wore their track.
It rode with him every outing
Through each whelm and sun baked gust,
As their circles took them out then brought ’em back.

Yes, and how he loved the horses;
Beauty, strength, astounding power.
With fervor he looked forward to their ride.
Rocky trail or through a tempest
Nor did matter time nor hour,
His accomplice that hat he wore with pride.

Now his hands are scarred and buggered
And arthritis call them home.
His bones recall each bad wreck with a sigh.
And the hat is bent and dusty
With salt stains that ring the dome,
A tribute to the miles that have gone by.

Yes, it is a JB Stetson
With a crease of Carlsbad,
The old satin band now frayed with fuzz.
It still hangs there in the corner.
It belonged to my granddad.
I pray I might be half the man he was.

© 2017, F. E. Beard
This poem should not be re-posted or reprinted without permission

Colorado rancher and poet Floyd Beard tells this poem was inspired by his grandfather, Earl Case, “who loved horses, riding, working and ‘messing’ with them all his life. His old black Stetson hung on the coat rack by the door all of my early life. The hat was lost when the old homestead house burned down in the 1980s.”

Floyd told us that he won the 2017 Western Music Association (WMA) Cowboy Poetry contest with this poem. He was also named 2017 Top Male Poet by the WMA.

You can catch Floyd at the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Golden (January 19-21); the Cowboy Poetry and Western Music Event in Lawler/New Hampton, Iowa (January 26-27); the Cochise Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Sierra Vista, Arizona (February 3-4); and the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine (March 2-3).

Find more about Floyd Beard at; at his web site,; and on Facebook.


This 1940 photograph by Russell Lee (1903-1986) is titled, “Cattleman with his grandson at auction of beef steers and breeding stock at the San Angelo Fat Stock Show. San Angelo, Texas. The Stetson hat, leather coat and boots are standard everyday wear of  ranchmen. There is an old saying in Texas that a man never buys but two Stetsons, one when he gets married and the other when his oldest son gets married.”

It’s from The Library of Congress Farm Service Administration collection. Find more about it here.

Find a feature about noted photographer Russell Lee and a gallery of photographs at the University of Texas at Austin.

THE LOST FLANNINS by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)


by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

Old greasy John Blair had a shootin’ affair
Way back in the year ninety three
I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ll tell it to you
Just the same as John told it to me.

Said Greasy, as he tipped back his chair,
“That story shore puts me in mind
Of a suit of red flannins I got down to Shannon’s,
And some trouble I had with O’Brien.

You see I rode line with this Jimmy O’Brien,
That winter I shore do recall
We got, as you knows, our tobacker and clothes,
When we went out of town in the fall.

We was both plenty tough, but the weather was rough,
And it made us go prowl our war sacks.
All the clothes we could find, either his’n or mine,
We put ’em right onto our backs.

The red flannins of mine was most sartinly fine,
I didn’t begrudge what they cost.
But a turrible thing happened long toward spring,
My suit of red flannins got lost.

There was jest I and Jim so I blamed it on him,
And Jim, right away he got tough.
He was never right mild, and when once he riled,
I am present to state he talked rough.

Well a’most every day we’d get started some way,
About where them red flannins had gone.
And the more that I thought, the plum shorer I got,
That my old pardner Jim had ’em on.

We had et a big bait and was startin’ out late;
The weather was perishin’ cold.
I walked up to him and sez, look a here Jim,
I want them red flannins you stoled.

Jim’s eyes they got mean, and he sez, we’ll come clean.
I been hearin’ this talk quite a spell.
And I caint onderstand how a reasonable man,
Would be wantin’ red flannins in Hell.

It wasn’t no fun, fer he took to his gun,
And we shot till the cabin was fogged.
The chinckin’ shore flew where the bullets cut through,
While some others plowed into the logs.

When the smoke cleared away, there my old pardner lay,
And I sez to him, Mister O’Brien,
Since at last you have got to a place where it’s hot,
I’ll be takin’ them flannins of mine.

I onbuttoned his clothes and what do you suppose?
He didn’t have any onderwear.
I searched all around and they couldn’t be found.
Them red flannins wasn’t no where.

‘Bout the time the grass rose I began sheddin’ clothes.
My onderwear started to stick.
It clogged up my sweat when I got overhet,
So I took me a swim in the crick.

When I dove in at fust I washed off some loose dust,
And then quite a coating of muck.
I finally come to a layer of tough gum,
But I still was as dry as a duck.

Well I suwm around some till I soaked through the gum,
And the water got into my pores.
It shore made me shiver, chilled plum to the liver.
I waded out onto the shore.

I stood in the sun; I’m a son of a gun;
I thought in my soul I’d a died.
I had them clothes on that I figgered was gone,
They’d been plastered down next to my hide.

I know Jim O’Brien that old pardner of mine;
He’s a settin’ down there on the coals.
And I reckon he’ll wait right up close to the gate
And be ready to bull dog my soul.

It drives me to drink every time that I think
Of Jim fixin’ it up with Old Satan.
I know all these years he’s been backin’ his ears,
And jest itchin’ and watchin’ and waitin’.

I might make a try for a home in the sky,
But that wouldn’t be treatin’ Jim fair.
I made the mistake so I’ll give him a break,
And we’ll settle the matter down there.

…by Bruce Kiskaddon

One of Kiskaddon’s few “windies,” this poem appeared in his 1947 book, Rhymes of the Ranges and Other Poems, in a section called “Yarns and Legends.”

Terry Nash recites “The Lost Flannins” on his new CD, A Good Ride. The late, much-missed Trey Allen was also known for his rendition, which is recorded on his Cowpoke album.

Kiskaddon worked for ten years as a cowboy, starting in 1898, working in southeastern Colorado’s Picketwire area. He wrote many poems still read and recited today.

Find much more about Kiskaddon: many of his poems; a feature about Bill Siems’ monumental “Open Range” that collects nearly 500 of Kiskaddon’s poems; Siems’ collection of Kiskaddon’s short stories, “Shorty’s Yarns”; and more at

This 1938 photo by John Vachon (1914-1975) is titled, “Farmer and old cowboy in North Platte, Nebraska, saloon.” See more about it here.

Minnesotan Vachon became interested in photography while working for the Farm Security Administration as a young man. He worked with some of the top photographers of the times. As described in the FSA collection description, “The hallmark of this style of photography is the portrayal of people and places encountered on the street, unembellished by the beautifying contrivances used by calendar and public relations photographers.” )

Find an interesting video and more about the FSA collection at The Library of Congress “Documenting America, 1935-1943: The Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photo Collection.”


Rick Huff’s “Best of the West Reviews,” Winter, 2017


Rick Huff reviews Western music and cowboy poetry releases in his “Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews” column in The Western Way from the Western Music Association and in other publications.

Rick Huff considers Western music books and recordings; cowboy poetry books, chapbooks, and recordings;  and relevant videos for review. For other materials, please query first:

Please be sure to include complete contact information, price (plus postage) and order address information.

From Rick Huff, February, 2012:

Policy of the Column: It should be understood by artists sending material that it is being done for review consideration. Submitting such material does not ensure that it will be reviewed. Also, predominantly religious material is not accepted for review in the column. If further clarification is needed, contact Rick Huff, PO Box 8442, Albuquerque, NM 87198-8442.

Find other recent reviews here and hundreds of previous reviews on


Selections from “Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews,” Winter, 2017, below:

Terry Nash A GOOD RIDE
Bob Marshall SCREEN DOOR 



11-17-Baxter Black- Scrambled Wisdom [Almost Isn't Is, Is It]

by Baxter Black

If the various computer auto-corrects through which it will run actually allow Baxter Black’s title for his latest book to remain unmolested without major reprogramming, it’ll be a miracle!  Or as Black puts at one point in the book: “Anlkadhtlid;s;apoliet eto tpnongljeryrypp (and this applies to typing, too)!”

Here we have a collection of mini-essays and some poems, each with an afterthought (or Baxterthought?)…such as “if life gives you llamas, make llamanade” and “if three out of four people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean one out of five enjoys it” and “(when) Horace Greeley said ‘go west, young man’…three hundred people in San Francisco drowned.”  You get the picture, and boy what a picture.  The book is dedicated to the late Pat Richardson, and some of his pearls are strung in as well.

There’s a good measure of education here on the perils, strangeness, wonder, wackiness and indispensability of the agricultural life.  Therefore, might we say Black’s lives matter?  Occasionally some of it will be best appreciated by his target audience and some of his traditional targets are again in his cross-hairs, but when he pitches haymakers, he’s just feeding the herd.  Recommended, but then when would something from BB not be?

Book (162 pages) –

©2017, Rick Huff


11-17-Terry Nash-A Good Ride

by Terry Nash

First, Terry Nash is, beyond a doubt, one of the best Cowboy Poets writing or delivering today.  I have always found his releases to be worth both your time and investment.

Badger Clark’s “Ridin’” was put to music as a song some years back. For this album, guitarist Ken Dravis helps to create a different but equally suitable mounting for Nash’s enthusiastic take on it.  Beyond the Clark cover, others include works of Kiskaddon (“The Lost Flannins”), Donnie Wynkoop (the hilarious “Fords [Snake Attack]”) and Buck Ramsey (“Bad Job”).  Original picks are “Homesteader,” a fresh version of his wonderful work “A Cowman’s Lot,” an ‘object’ lesson (the object being cow poop) called “Blurred Vision,” “December Stragglers” and what could be called a modern-day “moral of the story” story “Skype (#don’tgetthispoundsignstuff).”

I’ve said this in other reviews, but it holds true.  This particular CD is one of those you might consider using when defining or illustrating what cowboy poetry is or should be. Fourteen tracks.  Highly recommended.

CD:  $18 ppd from Terry Nash, 1278 N Road, Loma, CO 81524 or visit

©2017, Rick Huff


Rawhide Robinson Rides a Dromedary

by Rod Miller

Billed as “the true tale of a wild west camel caballero,” it may be best described as a true “tail” of one!  To be sure, many facts of the historic, ill-fated Army camel gambit in the Arizona desert are faithfully relayed through this story…along with plenty about 19th Century sailing on the high seas!  But remember, Rod Miller’s Rawhide Robinson is also part Pecos Bill!

I will say with this dromedary lope, Rawhide may have found his stride.  His tall tales are integrated more sparingly than in his first outing and he’s hooked more to historical doings than he was in his second.  Filmmaker Joe Camp (of Benji fame) took a dip into the camel trough in his 1976 comedy Hawmps, coming about as close as Hollywood ever does to relating the real story of something.  In Miller’s version, Rawhide Robinson is officially hornswoggled into sailing over the salty seas to roundup and transport the contrary animals back to Arizona.  Adventure ensues.  Back in America, mule packers claim camels are no match for their charges, resulting in an epic desert test.  What happens in the end?  Hint:  Maybe because Rawhide Robinson wasn’t really there is why the #!*^#ing plan never worked!  Enjoy!

Trade Paperback:  (290 pages) $25.95

©2017, Rick Huff


11-17-Bob Marshall-Screen Door

by Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall’s newest release is an enjoyable, solid mix of Contemporary Western and Country tracks  Ten top Austin-area session people participated, including former WMA artist/now Reckless Kelly leader Cody Braun.  When you’re aiming to secure Texas radio airplay, this is all to the good.  But anyone doing it should know there is an Austin formula sound…and some of it has crept in here.

Picks from among the Marshall creations include the bluesy swinger “Hole In My Rope,” “He Talks To God,” “Rodeo Queen Deluxe” and “It’s Gonna Get Western.”  Add to them Marshall’s fine cover of the Donnie Blanz/Ed Bruce song “You Just Can’t See Him From The Road.”

Bob Marshall is a strong enough performer to garner airplay and fans wherever he can, and he certainly can’t be blamed for looking for both wherever they can be had.  He’s another example of the need to build a commercial base from which serious Western artists can work.  Thirteen tracks.  Recommended.

CD: $20 postpaid,