THE DUDE WRANGLER by Gail I. Gardner (1892-1988)

dudes
THE DUDE WRANGLER
by Gail I. Gardner (1892-1988)

I’ll tell you of a sad, sad story,
Of how a cowboy fell from grace,
Now really this is something awful,
There never was so sad a case.

One time I had myself a pardner,
I never knowed one half so good;
We throwed our outfits in together,
And lived the way that cowboys should.

He savvied all about wild cattle,
And he was handy with a rope,
For a gentle, well-reined pony,
Just give me one that he had broke.

He never owned no clothes but Levis,
He wore them until they was slick,
And he never wore no great big Stetson,
‘Cause where we rode the brush was thick.

He never had no time for women,
So bashful and so shy was he,
Besides he knowed that they was poison,
And so he always let them be.

Well he went to work on distant ranges;
I did not see him for a year.
But then I had no cause to worry,
For I knowed that some day he’d appear.

One day I rode in from the mountains,
A-feelin’ good and steppin’ light,
For I had just sold all my yearlin’s,
And the price was out of sight.

But soon I seen a sight so awful,
It caused my joy to fade away,
It filled my very soul with sorrow,
I never will forgit that day.

For down the street there come a-walkin’
My oldtime pardner as of yore,
Although I know you will not believe me,
Let me tell you what he wore.

He had his boots outside his britches;
They was made of leather green and red.
His shirt was of a dozen colors,
Loud enough to wake the dead.

Around his neck he had a ‘kerchief,
Knotted through a silver ring;
I swear to Gawd he had a wrist-watch,
Who ever heard of such a thing.

Sez I, “Old scout now what’s the trouble?
You must have et some loco weed.
If you will tell me how to help you,
I’ll git you anything you need.”

Well he looked at me for half a minute,
And then he begin to bawl;
He sez, “Bear with me while I tell you
What made me take this awful fall.

“It was a woman from Chicago
Who put the Injun sign on me;
She told me that I was romantic,
And just as handsome as could be.”

Sez he, “I’m ‘fraid that there ain’t nothin’
That you can do to save my hide,
I’m wranglin’ dudes instead of cattle,
I’m what they call a first-class guide.

“Oh I saddles up their pump-tailed ponies,
I fix their stirrups for them too,
I boost them up into their saddles,
They give me tips when I am through.

“It’s just like horses eatin’ loco,
You can not quit it if you try,
I’ll go on wranglin’ dudes forever,
Until the day that I shall die.”

So I drawed my gun and throwed it on him,
I had to turn my face away.
I shot him squarely through the middle,
And where he fell I left him lay.

I shorely hated for to do it,
For things that’s done you cain’t recall,
But when a cowboy turns dude wrangler,
He ain’t no good no more at all.

…Gail I. Gardner, from Orejana Bull; reprinted with permission of the Gardner/Steiger family; this poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Gail I. Gardner, born in Prescott, Arizona, was educated at Philip Exeter Academy and Dartmouth University. But he wanted to work as a cowboy, which he did for much of his life. He later became the postmaster of Prescott. His works are a solid part of cowboy poetry history.

Gardner is probably best known as the author of “The Sierry Petes (or Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail).”He wrote that now-famous piece in 1917. He continually battled the notion that the poem was “anonymous” or claimed by other authors. It became an immediate favorite, recited and put to music by others, quickly entering the realm of “classic.”

Find more poetry, photos, and more about Gail I. Gardner in our feature here.

For another great take on dude wranglers, read top singer and songwriter Dave Stamey’s recent piece, “The Dude Wrangler,” on Facebook.

This 1941 photograph,”Dudes and cowboy from Quarter Circle U Ranch at Crow Indian fair. Crow Agency, Montana” is by noted photographer Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990). A collection of her photographs at The Library of Congress  tells that she produced
more than 9,000 photographs for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) from 1938 to 1942. Find more at a web site created by her daughter. Find more about the above photo here.
>>>>> This is a scheduled post. We’re on a break until May 25.

RIDIN’ Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957)

reedy53116

photo © 2016, John Michael Reedy

RIDIN’
Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957)

There is some that like the city—
Grass that’s curried smooth and green,
Theaytres and stranglin’ collars,
Wagons run by gasoline—
But for me it’s hawse and saddle
Every day without a change,
And a desert sun a-blazin’
On a hundred miles of range.

Just a-ridin’, a-ridin’—
Desert ripplin’ in the sun,
Mountains blue among the skyline—
I don’t envy anyone
When I’m ridin’.

When my feet is in the stirrups
And my hawse is on the bust,
With his hoofs a-flashin’ lightnin’
From a cloud of golden dust,
And the bawlin’ of the cattle
Is a-comin’ down the wind
Then a finer life than ridin’
Would be mighty hard to find.

Just a-ridin’, a-ridin’—
Splittin’ long cracks through the air,
Stirrin’ up a baby cyclone,
Rippin’ up the prickly pear
As I’m ridin’.

I don’t need no art exhibits
When the sunset does her best,
Paintin’ everlastin’ glory
On the mountains to the west
And your opery looks foolish
When the night-bird starts his tune
And the desert’s silver mounted
By the touches of the moon.

Just a-ridin’, a-ridin’—
Who kin envy kings and czars
When the coyotes down the valley
Are a singin’ to the stars,
If he’s ridin’?

When my earthly trail is ended
And my final bacon curled
And the last great roundup’s finished
At the Home Ranch of the world
I don’t want no harps nor haloes
Robes nor other dressed up things—
Let me ride the starry ranges
On a pinto hawse with wings!

Just a-ridin’, a-ridin’—
Nothin’ I’d like half so well
As a-roundin’ up the sinners
That have wandered out of Hell,
And a-ridin’

….by Charles Badger Clark

Charles Badger Clark, Jr. got his cowboying experience in Arizona. He became the Poet Laureate of South Dakota, where he was born and lived for most of his life.

“Ridin'” is said to be his first poem. It was was included in his first poetry collection, Sun and Saddle Leather, in 1915.

Don Edwards put the poem to music and it is on his Saddle Songs album. Listen and watch a 2012 video where he sings and Waddie Mitchell recites “Commuting.”

Clark’s own recitation of the poem was included on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two, from CowboyPoetry.com.

Clark wrote many lasting poems, and others also found their way into song (including “Spanish is a Loving Tongue” and “To Her”). Find poetry and more in our features about Badger Clark.

This beautiful May, 2016 photograph is by John Michael Reedy, Montana photographer, songwriter, musician, and poet. Pictured is his daughter Brigid, 16, on Splash. Brigid is a poet, songwriter, musician, artist, and more. She has been an invited performer several times at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

See additional impressive photography at John Reedy’s site. Find more about him at CowboyPoetry.com and visit twistedcowboy.com.

This is a scheduled post. We’re on a break until May 25.

YEARLIN’ HEIFERS—PART I by DW Groethe

dwjbl.png

YEARLIN’ HEIFERS—PART I
by DW Groethe

How they love to go a neighborin’
and seek more scenic bits of range.
I think, perhaps, they’ve joined
some kind of herbivore exchange.
No matter—
Every clip had better be in place
and hangin’ tight and true.
Best tap them staples exter good
so the girls ain’t slippin’ thru.

Their whole reason for existence,
till you get that yearlin’ bull,
is to poke an’ test and stretch your wire
an’ patience to the full.
I beat ’em once to a saggin’ line
before they made their break,
I know, that sounds outrageous
but it’s the truth for heaven’s sake.

I was snuggin’ up the wire
’bout to tie that little loop
when I gets this eerie feelin’
I just joined a bigger group.
So, I kinda ease my eyes around
to get a better glance
and what I see are strainin’necks and heads
all in a bovine trance.
Starin’ like no tomorrow
their mouths a slowly chewin’
and I swear a listenin’ close
I heard a voice say, “Whatcha doin’?”

“Hah,” I cried “Get outa here!
Yer givin’ me the willies!”
And “Poof!” recedin’ heifer butts,
I’m feelin’ pretty silly.
‘Cause here I’m thinkin’ “holy moly”
“Where’ve they got to now?”
There’s nothin’ worse on this whole earth
than tendin’ future cows.

Houdini in his prime could never
disappear as swift
as a herd of yearlin’ heifers
who decide it’s time to drift.
Vacatin’ pens you got ’em in
for places quite unknown
to themselves, or even heaven,
when they get that urge to roam.
I do not know exactly why
they’re made that way, but lord,
I do know this, if you keep heifers,
you are never, ever bored.

© 2004, DW Groethe
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Eastern Montana ranch hand, poet, and picker DW Groethe performs at venues small (his favorite) and large. He’s appeared many times at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and has been invited to the National Traditional Council for the Arts’ National Folk Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Library of Congress, and other places.

Find more about DW Groethe and more of his poetry and lyrics at CowboyPoetry.com.

This 2009 photo of DW Groethe is by photographer, photojournalist and teacher Jessica Brandi Lifland, an official photographer for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It is from her project documenting the lives of cowboy poets. Her photoblog includes a slide show of her photographs of DW Groethe, accompanied by his recitation of “Yearlin’ Heifers” from the first volume of The BAR-D Roundup.

Find more about Jessica Brandi Lifland at her web site.

>>>>> This is a scheduled post. We’re on a break until May 25.

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.

_____________________________

gonefishin

We’re on a (rare) break May 4-25.
Find scheduled posts on this blog and on Facebook.

_____________________________

Cowboy music comes to Learning Center,” by Forrest Grimes, Seguin Gazette, May 3, 2017

The Story of a Texas Rancher Girl,” by Peyton Waldrip, gobrangus.com

Texas Rancher Girl blog

bwseparator

COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Dom Flemons,” (podcast), May 2, 2017

Saddle up, partner, cowboy poetry contests are headed your way,” by Beccy Tanner, kansas.com, May 2, 2017

The Drover’s Camp Camooweal (Bush poets)

bwseparator

Nebraska Writers Guild “Fur Trade Days” Poetry Contest (deadline June 8)

Who’s in Charge?,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, May 1, 2017

Yee-Haw! Cowboy Festival a good time,” by Sarah Drinkwine, Record-Courier, April 30, 2017

Western Music Association Music & Poetry Gathering, May 13, Villa Rica, Georgia

Meeker Cowboy Poet Gathering, June 2, Meeker, Colorado

Equestrian Legacy Radio’s RENDEZVOUS 2017,  June 1-3 Hurricane Mills, Tennessee

bwseparator

American Cowboy Magazine
: final print edition
Facebook post, April 28, 2017

Steiger, Auker Headline ‘Working Cowboy’ at Sharlot Hall,” Daily Courier, April 27, 2017

Ancient Horse DNA Shows Scythian Warriors Were Adept Domesticators,” by Kenneth Chang, New York Times, April 27, 2017

bwseparator

Find Cowboy Poetry Week news here.

bwseparator

Training wild mustangs with convict cowboys” (video), CNN via MSN, April 26, 2017

Porter Rockwell pulls the trigger in True West,” by Rod Miller (blog), April 26, 2017

The Cowboy and the City Girl Southern Poetry Tour Comes to Edgefield,” Edgfield Advertiser, April 26, 2017

bwseparator

Landscaping,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, April 25, 2017

Master of the Mustang Tent: Renowned Cowboy Poet Waddie Mitchell Returns to Stagecoach—to Emcee, Not Perform,” by Brian Blueskye, CV Independent, April 25,2017

Concert for a Cause,” by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman, April 25,2017

Horses, cows, snakes, coyotes, ” by Kay Hively, Neosho Daily News, April 25, 2017

The Dude Wrangler,” by Dave Stamey, Facebook, April 19, 2017

bwseparator

Podcast seeks to stoke interest in cowboy poetry,” by Angie Haflich, hppr.org, April 24, 2017

Savvy with a Slow Cooker,” (video) by Shannon and Kent Rollins, Western Horseman, April 24, 2017

Cowboy poetry has pioneers, too,” by Sally Bates, Daily Courier, April 23, 2017

There’s a cowboy in everyone,” by Nikolas Samuels, The Signal, April 22, 2017

Photojournal of the Ranch, Spring 2017,” by Dawn Wink, Dewdrops (blog), April 22, 2017

A Horseman Rides Away,” by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman, April 20, 2017

 bwseparator

Celebration of the American Cowboy” and Cowboy Poetry Week (audio), Equestrian Legacy Radio, April 20, 2017

Would You Wear a Dress Made From Cow Manure?,” by Sara Murphy, Yahoo, April 19, 2017

20 mule team hitched to new Borax wagons,” (video), YouTube, April 17, 2017

bwseparator

The Podcast Spreading the Love of Cowboy Culture,” by Carson Vaughan, The Atlantic, April 19, 2017

There were lots of horsemen in my childhood years,” by Rodney Nelson, Farm & Ranch Guide, April 12, 2017

Pick it Out,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, April 17, 2017

bwseparator

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, a musical documentary with Waylon Jennings” (1983), YouTube

bwseparator

Roy musician captures sounds of beloved Western performers,” by Janae Francis, Standard Examiner, April 16, 2017

Dear Lady at the Bank…,” by Ruby Uhart, blog, March 26, 2017|

bwseparator

Preserving Western heritage in words and music,” by Ken Beck, Wilson Post, April 12, 2017

bwseparator

Spring: From the experts,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch blog, April 11, 2017

The Night Man in the Heifer Lot,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, April 10, 2017

The Toast,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, April 10, 2017

Was Mark Twain right?,” by Rod Miller, blog, April 8, 2017

Cowboy Poetry and Western Music Roundup: community celebrates of National Poetry Month, by Michelle McConnaha, Ravalli Republic, April 7, 2017

CATTLE COUNTRY: Museum honours B.C cowboys,” by Gaeil Farrar, Williams Lake Tribune, April 6, 2017

bwseparator

Road to recovery,” by Sherry Bunting, agmoos.com, April 7, 2017

Yevgeny Alexandrovich Yevtushenko—‘Cowboy Poet,'” by Paul Zarzyski, Western Folklife Center, April 7, 2017

An Empty Saddle for Yevtushenko,” by Carson Vaughan, Paris Review, April 5, 2017

Aaron Pritchett headlining a revamped Cowboy Festival,” by Marcia Love, Spruce Grove Examiner, April 6, 2017

The Heart of Cowboy Camp,” by Jolyn Young, American Cowboy, April 5, 2017

The Cowboy Movie

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival will probably be cancelled,” by Tom Leyde, montereyherald.com, April 5, 2017

Cowboy songs and music return to the library,” Cody Enterprise, April 5, 2017

bwseparator

The College Rodeo Team,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, April 3, 2017

Latest “Back at the Ranch” radio from Jarle Kvale  April 1, 2017

bwseparator

Whether it’s a hat or a cap, don’t wear it backwards,” by Rodney Nelson, Farm and Ranch Guide, March 30, 2017

Out of the Ashes Benefit
, takes place everywhere, April 29, 2017

bwseparator

Grandpa’s Time,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, March 27, 2017

Harold’s Lost Bull,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, March  27, 2017

Nebraskans lend a helping hand to ranchers in Texas,” by Bridget Fargen, 1011now.com, March 27, 2017

bwseparator

 “Library Hosting Poetry Contest,” by Jackie Gold-Irwin, Hanna Herald,  March 23, 2017

Cowboy Poetry Is the American Art Form You’ve Never Heard Of,” by Carson Vaughan, Vice, March 22, 2017

Black Hills Western Arts Council looks to keep cowboy heritage in Hot Springs,” by John D. Taylor, Hot Springs Star, March 21, 2017

Branding the American West,” by Dana Joseph, Cowboys & Indians, April 2017 issue

bwseparator

Latest Andy Hedges’ COWBOY CROSSROADS, with remembrances of Guy Clark, poetry, music, and more, March 21, 2017

StoryCorps interviews at the Western Folklife Center, with Paul Zarzyski and others

bwseparator

Anything That Can Go Wrong,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, March 20, 2017

The Disappearing Family Ranch,” by Bob Martin, krqe.com, March 19, 2017

Ranching in the Sandhills began with a hunt for stray cattle,” by Troy Smith, Cattle Business Weekly, March 15, 2017

bwseparator

Deadline for Western Folklife Center National Cowboy Poetry Gathering applications: March 31

The Haflinger Deal,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, March  20, 2017

Burying Their Cattle, Ranchers Call Wildfires ‘Our Hurricane Katrina’,” by Jack Healy, New York Times, March 20, 2017

Donated saddle keeps blessing as it finds its second new home in fire-ravaged Kansas,” by Kathy Parker, Tri-State Livestock News, March 17, 201

Post-wildfire reality sinks in for High Plains ranchers,” by Sherry Bunting, Progressive Cattleman, March 17, 2017

My Favorite Book, Part 7,” by  Rod Miller (blog),  March 16, 2017

Smart cows: The future of ranching?,” by Courtney Dickson, CBC, March 15, 2017

Brother’s riding ability was really something to behold,” by Rodney Nelson, Farm & Ranch Guide, March 15, 2017

Today’s Wild West (television; video)

bwseparator

The Roots of Cowboy Music,” by Carvell Wallace, MTVNews.com, March 15, 2017

Phone on the Range,” by Ryan T. Bell, Western Horseman, March 15, 2017

Beast Mode,” Ross Hecox’ photo blog, Western Horseman, March 15, 2017

First annual Bryce Canyon Mule Days

Western Horseman Youth Contest

Wish it Was You,” by Angela Meyer (tribute to PBR bull rider Ty Pozzobon), YouTube

Ty Pozzobon Foundation

British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society newsletter, March 2017

bwseparator

The Top 10 ways to use a horse as a weather gauge,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk,  March 14, 2017

Miserable,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, March 13, 2017

Margarine vs. Butter,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, March 13, 2017

Obituary: Vold ran one of North America’s largest stock companies,” by Jon Pompia, The Pueblo Chieftain, March 13, 2017

A Start Date for the Bison Invasion of North America,” by Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, March 13, 2017

Western Writers of America 2017 SPUR AWARD winners

Prisoners Train Wild Animals and Rehabilitate Themselves,” by Shania Alba, Cronkite News, March 8, 2017

A Thing or Three: Preserving history is a collaborative effort,” by Amy Macavinta,  hjnews.com,  March 3, 2017

bwseparator

‘Feels Like’ Forecasting,” (poem) by Rodney Nelson, Farm and Ranch Guide, March 1, 2017

Hats off to the ranchwife,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, March 9, 2017

bwseparator

Working Ranch Cowboys Association WRCA Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund  (Facebook) March 8, 2017

Taken in their prime: Three die trying to save ranch from Texas wildfires,” by Jon Mark Beilue, amarillo.com, March 7, 2017

Multiple Structures Lost in Wildfires; Roberts County Wildfire Burns Hank The Cowdog Author’s Home,” by Karl Wehmhoener, myhighplains.com, March 7, 2017

bwseparator

Gray County officials identify two of three killed in wildfires,” by Ronald Balaskovitz, amarillo.com, March 7, 2017

Wildfires burning 100,000 acres in Texas panhandle, killing 3,” by Claire Ricke,
kxan.com, March 7, 2017

To Be Honest,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, March 6, 2017

Prolapse from the Black Lagoon,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, March 6, 2017

When Tom met Sally,”  by Laura, Black Ink, March 6, 2017

bwseparator

Following the calves: Not in South Dakota anymore,” by Laura, Black Ink, March 3, 2017

The new interior secretary just rode into work on a horse,” by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, March 2, 2017

Bruce Kiskaddon,” by William Reynolds, Western Horseman, March 1, 2017

Was It Theft or a Misunderstanding?,” by Ellen H. Brisendine, tscra.org, March, 2017

Kent Rollins: Cowboy Cook” (video) Heartlandia TV, March 2017

bwseparator

School Is in Session (with Kent Rollins),” by Jennifer Denison and Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, March 1, 2017

Thermal cameras arm drones for cattle scouting,” by Austin Black, Iowa Farmer Today,
February 24, 2017

Images from the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering 2017 by Jessica Lifland

bwseparator

Gimp,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, February 27, 2017

The Factory Farming Tour,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, February 27, 2017

bwseparator

Driving Me Crazy,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, February 24, 2017

TEXT from Moocall: Cow 37 is calving,” by Debbie Furber, Canadian Cattlemen, January 13, 2017

bwseparator

‘And the River Ran Red’ debut performance,” by Rod Miller (blog), February 23, 2017

Cowboy poets coming to town,” by Gail D. Yovanovich, Alpine Avalanche, February 23, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads: Andy Hedges’ interview with Michael Martin Murphey, Part 1, February 22, 2017

700,000-Year-Old Horse Found in Yukon Permafrost Yields Oldest DNA Ever Decoded,” by Blake de Pastino,  Western Digs, February 22, 2017

Miles City Cowboy Poetry Gathering 2017, by Sharon Moore, Fallon County Extra, February 17, 2017

bwseparator

Cowboy poet, singer to perform at GPT,” (Geff Dawson) Abilene-RC.com, February 22, 2017

Cowboys (documentary film trailer)

Things Aren’t What They Seem,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, February 20, 2017

A County Agent’s Life,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, February 20, 2017

Hemp for Cows? Colorado Approves Hemp-animal Feed Study,” Associated Press, agweb.com, February 14, 2017

bwseparator

Western Horseman Youth Art Contest Guidelines

Lack of Direction,” by Dave Stamey (from his newsletter/Facebook), February 14, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering pictures by Jessica Lifland, Charlie Ekburg, and Claire Steninger,” from The Western Folklife Center Flickr.com, February 14, 2017

Temple Grandin named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame,” by Jennifer Dimas, colostate.edu, February 10, 2017

Swing Shift,” by Peter Campbell/Jennifer Denison, (video) Western Horseman

bwseparator

My Kinda Truck,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, February 13, 2017

Feedlot Heroes,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, February 13, 2017

Cowboy Poetry Returns to Mesquite,” Mesquite Local News, February 13, 2017

Annual Elko event corrals cowboy poetry, music, stories,” by F. Andrew Taylor,
reviewjournal.com, February 11, 2017

bwseparator

The Grande Dame of Cowboy Poetry,” by Carson Vaughan, American Cowboy, February 2017

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the Essential Western Culture Experience,”
by Bobbie Jean Sawyer, Wide Open Country, February 10, 2017

Western Weather: A Livelihood, An Inconvenience And A Muse,” by Noah Glick, KNUR, February 9, 2017

An Oak Tree and a Sea Change,” by Amy Hale Auker, Western Folklife Center, February 9, 2017

10 Things to Do at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Lydia Schrandt, 10best.com,  February 9, 2017

bwseparator

Cowboy Poetry,” (forthcoming film) by Hannah Logan Peterson

Coyote Cage Fighting,” by Jolyn Young, blog, February 6, 2017

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum illuminates Hollywood’s love affair with the ‘Old West’,” by by Michaela Marx Wheatley, newsok.com, January 26, 2017

bwseparator

Small Animal Repair,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, February 6, 2017

Instant Tenderness,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, February 6, 2017

A National Gathering In Rural Nevada: How Does Elko Do It?,” by Noah Glick, KUNR, February 6, 2017

Elko’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering Emphasizes Storytelling In Divisive Times,”
by Noah Glick, KUNR, February 3, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Ranch Family Show, Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 5, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: The Roots of Cowboy Music, Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 5, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Pouring ‘Em Kinda Strong, Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 5, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Hardcore Cowboy, Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 5, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: A Day in the Life, Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 4, 2017

bwseparator

20th annual National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (August 3-5, 2017)

Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering celebrates 25 years,” by Steve Stockmar, willcoxrangenews.com, February 2, 2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Keynote Address with Andy Wilkinson,” Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 2, 2017

Paul Zarzyski connects with poets at workshop,” by Hasani Grayson, Elko Daily Free Press, February 1, 2017

bwseparator

Ed Stabler, 1942-2017

33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Luke Bell and Doug Moreland and the Flying Armadillos,” Western Folklife Center YouTube, February 2, 2017

2017 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering YouTube Channel

Elko Cowboy Arts & Gear Museum,” KENVtv, January 31, 2017

bwseparator

Mechanical Problems,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, January 31, 2017

‘The Moth’ to wrangle authentic Old West stories at cowboy poetry event in Nevada,” by Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2017

Cowboy poets are well versed in Old West lore,” by Alison Stanton, The Republic,  January 31, 2017

Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering celebrates 25 years,” by Steve Stockmar, svherald.com, January 26, 2017

bwseparator

Cat Laws,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, January 30, 2017

The Cowboy Poets Gather,” Russell Bowers, audioboom.com, January 30, 2017

Black Diamond bard saddling up for National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Dave Dormer, CBC News, January 29, 2017

Dave Stamey returns to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Hasani Grayson, Elko Daily Free Press, January 28, 2017

Telling Tales: Keynote speaker Andy Wilkinson explains why stories are important,” by
Marianne Kobak McKown,  Elko Daily Free Press, January 28, 2017

Deep West Video presents the Tribal Film Translation Project,” by Toni R. Milano,  Elko Daily Free Press, January 28, 2017

Andy Hedges brings classic material” by Hasani Grayson, Elko Daily Free Press, January 28, 2017

Not all Miracles work out,” by Bill Spiegel, High Plains Journal, January 23, 2017

bwseparator

How Cowboy Culture, Music, and Poetry Are Being Celebrated,” by Shelby Oldham, good4utah.com, January 27, 2017

The herd that calmed my nerves,” by Laura, Black Ink, January 27, 2017

Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering celebrates 25 years,” by Steve Stockmar, Sierra Vista Herald,  January 26, 2017

Legendary Western combo, in its 83rd year, plays Cochise Gathering,” by Steve Stockmar, Sierra Vista Herald, January 25, 2017

bwseparator

Getting cattle from the trains,” by Chris Beutler, Today’s Producer, January 25, 2017

Old West feeling at the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Christy Steadman, Golden Transcript, January 25, 2017

Cowboy poets tickle Stock Show crowds with wit, wisdom,” by Shirley Jinkins, Star-Telegram, January 24, 2017

bwseparator

Colorado Ranching Is Still Feeling The Sting Of The Rural Recession,” by Ben Markus, cpr.org, January 25, 2017

The Top 10 things the kid you hired does his first week on the job,” by Mark Parker, Farm Talk, January 24, 2017

Mars investigating cattle Skittles,” by Candice Choi, agriview.com, January 23, 2017

bwseparator

Storytelling is theme of National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Marianne Koback McKown, Elko Daily Free Press, January 24, 2017

High Wire Act,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, January 23, 2017

Ranchers show how cattle grazing and wildlife can co-exist,” by John Holland, Modesto Bee, January 18, 2017

bwseparator

The All Ranch Rodeo,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, January 23, 2017

Black Cowboys, Busting one of America’s Defining Myths,” by Emily Raboteau, New York Times, January 22, 2017

Pennsylvania mayor due in court over hoard of wild west memorabilia,” Associated Press, January 22, 2017

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” by David Rooney, hollywoodreporter.com, January 20, 2017

Famous local cowboy yodels way into Montana hearts,” by Sarah Brown, The Prairie Star, January 19, 2017

Sad Song” by Rod Miller, blog, January 17, 2017

bwseparator

Grass-Fed Beef, Sold One Cow at a Time,” by Nick Wingfield, NewYork Times, January 17, 2017

Keeper of the Keys,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, January 17, 2017

Growing Up a Farmkid,” by Whitney Turek, theodysseronline.com, January 9, 2018

bwseparator

Andy Hedges’ “Cowboy Crossroads” podcast with Waddie Mitchell, Part 2,  January 17, 2017

Cowboy identity theft,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, January 9, 2017

Home on the Range,” (video), PBS, first aired 2010

bwseparator

The Chain Gang,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, January 9, 2017

Life lessons learned on the backs of old horses,” by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, January 15, 2017

Aloha from the Parker Ranch,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, January 2017

The Cowboy Way: Alabama

bwseparator

Ride like a man, Act like a lady. A cowboy poet’s story.,” Rosebud’s, January 13, 2017

In Arizona, A Place Where Westerns Are Still King,” by Stina Sieg, wbur.org, January 11, 2017

BHSS Pioneer Awards Breakfast: Slim McNaught,” Tri-State Livestock News,  January 5, 2017

Western Folklife Center shares traditions,” by Cortney Erndt, grouptour.com, December 27, 2016

bwseparator

A Journey to the FDA,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, January 10, 2017

The Producer Meeeting,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, January 9, 2017

Starting the Year with a Surge of Rainfall Has Local Cattle Ranchers Hopeful for Greener Pastures,” by Jason Oliveira, abc30.com, January 6, 2017

bwseparator

The Way I Remember Him,” (poem) by Trey Allen, Western Horseman, January 6, 2017

My Favorite Book, Part 5,” by Rod Miller,  blog,  January 4, 2017

The First American Cowboys,” by Tom Correa,  American Cowboy Chronicles blog, January 2, 2017

bwseparator

Andy Hedges’ “Cowboy Crossroads” podcast with Waddie Mitchell, January 2, 2017

John’s Scrapbook,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, January 2, 2017

Hints for the Hired Man,” by Baxter Black (audio), Western Horseman, January 2, 2017

City played a role in Old West cattle drives,” by Linda Riggs Mayfield, whig.com, January 1, 2017

Diary of a Christmas blizzard: A comparison,” by Jessie Veeder, inforum.com, January 1, 2017

The Moth podcast to visit Elko’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Jenny Kane, Reno Gazette-Journal, December 30, 2016

COWBOY LAUNDRY by Rodney Nelson

rrn2g

COWBOY LAUNDRY
by Rodney Nelson

Brides-to-be have much to learn,
there’s more to marriage than joy—
especially if the mate she’s found
is a sure-nuff country boy.

She’s no doubt optimistic—
oblivious to her fate…
The dangers that will come to pass
she can’t anticipate.

She dreams of newborn colts and calves,
anticipation makes her grin—
But ranch life quickly dims these myths
and reality sets in.

There’s calves to work, cows to feed,
meals are often late.
Unpaid bills, and drought and dirt
are things she learns to hate.

It starts when “hubby” saunters in,
a guy she’s never seen unclean—
He’s reeking and he’s filthy,
and she thinks it’s kinda mean…

When he piles his duds upon the floor
and gives her a big squeeze,
says “I need clean clothes in the morning,
so wash these up, if you please.”

She’s gotta pick them off the floor,
though the thought makes her kinda sick,
She thinks she sees them crawling,
so she jabs ’em with a stick!

She’s gotta get them to the washer,
though it fills her heart with dread—
She shuts her eyes and throws ’em in…
lightness fills her head!

But like a dose of smelling salts,
the odor jolts this lass,
It’s made up of sweat, of grease, or crud—
and stuff that once was grass!

There’s pine-tar too, and branding smoke,
horse sweat and a drained abscess,
Diesel fuel and scouring calves,
and a shot of KRS.

But the task is still unfinished,
as she is well aware,
there’s one more chore, for on the floor,
lies her hubby’s underwear!

She’s seen some Hitchcock movies,
storms have caused her awful fright,
But nothing she has seen before
has prepared her for this sight!

An older, wiser ranchwife
would read them like a book—
she’d know he’d oiled the windmill,
and with another look…

She could see old Brownie had thrown him
by the telltale gumbo mud—
And he’d repaired another prolapse
’cause the front was stained with blood.

There are countless other stories
that a cowboy’s briefs could share
Like if he had been eating chili
or had a real bad scare!

But the new bride lacks the knowledge,
and in her frenzied state,
She grabs them with a plier
and shows them to her mate.

“Don’t jump to conclusions, Hon,
you know what that stain means…
I wasn’t careful where I sat
and it soaked on through my jeans.”

She just can’t quite believe it,
and she’s plum filled up with doubt—
She says “If what you say is true, my dear,
you wore this pair inside out!”

Oh, it won’t be long ’til scenes like this
will be common to the bride—
and countless other problems
she’ll learn to take in stride.

Yes, she’ll see her share of troubles
that the coming years will bring—
But if she can handle COWBOY LAUNDRY,
she can handle anything!

© 1995, Rodney Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Of all the poems that have appeared on the ten volumes of The BAR-D Roundup CDs from CowboyPoetry.com, this one by Rodney Nelson, North Dakota rancher, poet, columnist, and Senior Pro Rodeo champion, receives the most radio play. Rodney’s long-suffering wife has been the subject of some of his other poems and perhaps inspired this one.

He comments on his photo, “This is my favorite rodeo photo. I was trying to smile for the photographer but I missed it a bit. That is my wedding shirt, so it was taken after 1980, but I’m not sure what year.” See this photo along with others in a Picture the West feature at CowboyPoetry.com: http://www.cowboypoetry.com/photowk64.htm#rn.

Rodney Nelson writes the popular “Up Sims Creek” column in Farm and Ranch Guide and he’s just released a second volume of columns, Up Sims Creek – 100 More Trips. Find more about the new collection here.

Find more about Rodney Nelson, some of his poetry, and information about more of his books and CDs at CowboyPoetry.com.

Events: June

Find links to all months here.

•  June 1-3, 2017
 Equestrian Legacy Radio’s RENDEZVOUS Hurricane Mills , Tennessee

•  June 2, 2017
Meeker Cowboy Poet Gathering Meeker, Colorado

•  June 3, 2017
 2nd annual Cowboyin’, Horses, and Friends  Choctaw, Oklahoma

• June 3, 2017
6th Annual Glade Park Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival Glade Park, Colorado

• June 3-4, 2017
Murphy Outpost Days Murphy, Idaho

• June 9 – 10, 2017
Prix de West Invitational Exhibition Opening Weekend Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

• June 9, 2017
Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Manhattan, Kansas

• June 10 – June 15, 2017
Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive Reno, Nevada

• June 15-24, 2017
Reno Rodeo Week Reno, Nevada

• June 15-25, 2017
36th Annual End of Trail Founders Ranch, New Mexico

• June 16-18, 2017
Willow Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering Stavely, Alberta

• June 16-17, 2017
Wild Bill Hickock Days Deadwood, South Dakota

• June 21-24, 2017
63rd annual Western Writers of America (WWA) Convention Kansas City, Missouri

• June 23-25, 2017
Crooked River Roundup Prineville, Oregon

• June 24, 2017
WMA Colorado Chapter-“Branded Western” event  Steamboat Springs, Colorado

• June 28-July 4, 2017
World’s Oldest Rodeo—130th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Prescott, Arizona

• June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 1017
50th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival Washington, D.C.

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Settlers’ Picnic at Devils Tower National Monument near Hulett, Wyoming

 

 

Events: May

Find links to all months here.

• May 4-6, 2017
First annual Bryce Canyon Mule Days Tropic, Utah

• May 4-7, 2017
21st Annual Black Cowboy Festival Rembert, South Carolina

• May 5, 2017
19th Annual Cowtown Society Of Western Music Swingfest Mineral Wells, Texas

• May 5, 2017
Cowboy Way Festival Gene Autry, Oklahoma

•  May 5-6, 2017
South Texas Cowboy Gathering Seguin, Texas

• May 11-14, 2017
The Western Heritage Classic Abilene, Texas

• May 12-13, 2017
Cattle Barons Weekend Pendleton, Oregon

• May 13, 2017
Western and Cowboy Music and Poetry  Rock Springs, Wyoming

• May 13, 2017
Western Music Association Music & Poetry Gathering Villa Rica, Georgia

• May 19, 2017
Kansas Cowboy Poetry Qualifying Contest (1)  Benton, Kansas

• May 19, 2017
Kansas Cowboy Poetry Qualifying Contest (2) Fredonia, Kansas

• May 20, 2017
Cross Timbers Cowboy Poetry and Stories Mineral Wells, Texas

• May 21, 2017
56th Annual Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival Agoura Hills, California

• May 23-28, 2017
47th Bishop Mule Days Bishop, California

• May 26-29, 2017
37th Annual Old West Days Jackson Hole, Wyoming

• May 26-28, 2017
Art in the Park Ritzville, Washington

• May 26-28, 2017
12th Annual Canadian Rockies Cowboy Festival Nordegg, Alberta

• May 26-29, 2017
12th Annual Cowboy Legends Memorial Day Celebration Antelope Island, Utah

• May 27-28, 2017
27th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

• Dates not received for 2017
31st Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering Medora, North Dakota