Events: February

Find links to all months here.

• • •

• through February 3, 2018
The 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Elko, Nevada

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Visit our Sponsor supporters: The Western Folklife Center

• • •

•  February 2-4, 2018
26th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering Sierra Vista, Arizona

• Dates not yet received for 2018
14th Annual Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering Ellensburg, Washington

• Dates not yet received for 2018
17th annual Heart City Bull Bash Valentine, Nebraska

• Dates not yet received for 2018
25th Annual Bootheel Cowboy Poetry Fiesta Lordsburg, New Mexico

• Dates not yet received for 2018
International Folk Alliance Conference Kansas City, Missouri

• February 23, 2018 and February 24, 2018
12th Annual Mesquite Western Round-Up Mesquite, Nevada
More

• February 24-26, 2017
20th Annual Fisher Poets Gathering Astoria, Oregon

• February 26, 2017
3rd annual Miles City Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Miles City, Montana

ELKO by Colen Sweeten (1919-2007)

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photo © 2012, Betty K. Rodgers; request permission for use

ELKO
by Colen Sweeten (1919-2007)

They came to the mid-winter gath’ring,
Leaving haystacks and dehorning chutes.
Dressed true to old west tradition,
Levis, Stetsons, and high heeled boots.

A few were in casts or on crutches,
Some looked like I’d seen them before.
Each wore the hat no one touches
And had high polished boots on the floor.

The faces were brown as a saddle.
Some mustaches wide as a door.
And they walked with a half-cocked straddle,
Like the part that they sit on was sore.

Their poetry, sprinkled with sagebrush,
Was not meant for the city galoots.
And there each one sat in his ten gallon hat,
And a cow and a half worth of boots.

© 1987, Colen Sweeten, used with permission of the Sweeten family

The Western Folklife Center’s 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, often referred to simply as “Elko,” is taking place this week (January 30- February 2, 2017) in Elko, Nevada.

During his lifetime, Colen Sweeten was a part of every Elko gathering, except one. He had an enormous repertoire of poems, stories, wisdom, and humor. He always had a kind and cheerful word for all, and as he often said, so many friends that he “wasn’t even using them all.”

Colen Sweeten appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1991, and you can watch a video of the performance, which also includes the late Rod McQueary.

Find more about Colen Sweeten and more of his poetry at CowboyPoetry.com
and also see tributes to him..

Find some other poems about Elko at CowboyPoetry.com.

Idaho photographer and filmmaker Betty K. Rodgers caught this image of Montana rancher and poet Wallace McRae’s boot in 2012 at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Betty K. Rodgers is co-producer (with Ken Rodgers) of I Married the War, a documentary-in-progress about the wives of combat veterans. They also created the award-winning film Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor, about Ken Rodgers’ company of Marines during the siege of Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War. Find more about Betty K. Rodgers in a feature at CowboyPoetry.com. Find more about I Married the War at imarriedthewar.com and on Facebook, and more on Bravo! bravotheproject.com and on Facebook.

MY FATHER’S HORSES by DW Groethe

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photo © 2015, John Michael Reedy;  request permission for any use.

 

MY FATHER’S HORSES
by DW Groethe

It must’ve been a day
for peace an’ reverie
When my father took a pencil in his hand
an’ scribed upon his notebook,
all the horses that he’d had
when growin’ up in West Dakota land.

I can see him sittin’, thoughtful,
soft smile in his eyes,
As the ponies pranced before him, once again.
Then he jotted each one down,
with a slow an’ careful hand.
Sometimes, horses, can count right up with kin.

Tobe, Frank an’ Muggins,
Daisy I an’ Daisy II,
(his mem’ry felt a breeze that stirred their manes.)
Charlie, Chub an’ Pearl
found their way up to the front
an’ back once more upon the dusty plains.

Prince I an’ II an’ Mike
come lopin’ lightly into view,
he penned their mem’ries, gentle on the page…
a-waitin’ an’ a thinkin’,
he was missin’…just a few
when Queen an’ May neared, nickerin’ thru the sage.

An’ finally, down the draw,
come Thunder, Buck an’ Bill
a’flyin’ like the wind an’ they was one.
then he eased back in his chair,
contemplatin’ all that’s there,
his gatherin’ of the old bunch was all done.

Yeah…it must’ve been a day
of peace an’ reverie,
in his office, at a desk of metal gray,
when the ol’ man made a tally
a-gatherin’ up his cavvy,
One last time, a-fore they slipped away.

© 2007, DW Groethe, used with permission
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author’s permission.

Eastern Montana ranch hand, poet, and picker DW Groethe told us about this popular poem’s inspiration, “Among the many things I inherited from my father was a box of items from his office desk. In it there was a handful of pens and pencils and a small pocket notebook (stapled, not spiral-bound). On the first page he’d written the names of sixteen horses…the horses he’d grown up with back in the twenties and thirties. I wish I could remember all the stories he had about them. As it is, all I have is a page in an old worn notebook and a poem to honor their memories.”

DW performs his poetry and music at venues small and large. He’s appeared many times at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and has been invited to the 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.

He returns to the Western Folklife Center’s 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering this week (January 30-February 4, 2017).

The complete lineup includes Amy Hale Auker – Prescott, AZ; Mike Beck – Monterey, CA; Luke Bell – Cody, WY; Jerry Brooks – Sevier, UT; Cowboy Celtic -Turner Valley, Alberta, Canada; Doris Daley – Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada; John Dofflemyer – Lemon Cove, CA; Carolyn Dufurrena – Winnemucca, NV; Maria Lisa Eastman – Hyattville, WY; Don Edwards – Hico, TX; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Marshall, CA; Dom Flemons & Brian Farrow – Hillsborough, NC; Patricia Frolander – Sundance, WY; DW Groethe – Bainville, MT; Kristyn Harris – McKinney, TX; Andy Hedges – Lubbock, TX; Brenn Hill – Hooper, UT; Teresa Jordan – Virgin, UT; Ross Knox – Midpines, CA;Jarle Kvale – Dunseith, ND; Daron Little – Encampment, WY; Corb Lund – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Doug Moreland & the Flying Armadillos – Manchaca, TX; Joel Nelson – Alpine, TX; Rodney Nelson – Almont, ND; Shadd Piehl – Mandan, ND; Vess Quinlan – Florence, CO; Henry Real Bird – Garryowen, MT; Brigid Reedy – Boulder, MT; Randy Rieman – Dillon, MT; Kent Rollins – Hollis, OK; Jack Sammon – Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia; Martha Scanlan & Jon Neufeld – Birney, MT; Trinity Seely – Cascade, MT; Sean Sexton – Vero Beach, FL; Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong – Paradise, CA; R.P. Smith – Broken Bow, NE; Dave Stamey – Orange Cove, CA; Gail Steiger – Prescott, AZ; Rod Taylor – Cimarron, NM; Ian Tyson – Longview, Alberta, Canada; Keith Ward – Vilas, NC; Andy Wilkinson – Lubbock, TX; and Paul Zarzyski – Great Falls, MT.

Find more at www.nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org.

Find more about DW Groethe and his books and recordings here at CowboyPoetry.com.

This beautiful June, 2015 photograph is by John Michael Reedy, Montana photographer, songwriter, musician, and poet. Pictured along with the horses are Brigid and Johnny Reedy, both talented, creative young people. Poet, songwriter, and musician Brigid Reedy, 16, also returns to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering this week, where she will also take part in the special Moth radio broadcast.

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

 

CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY by S. Omar Barker (1894–1985)

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photo © 2015, Mike Moutoux; request permission for any use

 

CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY
by S. Omar Barker (1894–1985)

It don’t take such a lot of laws
To keep the rangeland straight,
Nor books to write ’em in, because
There’s only six or eight.
The first one is the welcome sign—
True brand of western hearts:
“My camp is yours an’ yours is mine,”
In all cow country parts.

Treat with respect all womankind,
Same as you would your sister.
Take care of neighbors’ strays you find,
And don’t call cowboys “mister.”
Shut pasture gates when passin’ through;
An’ takin’ all in all,
Be just as rough as pleases you,
But never mean nor small.

Talk straight, shoot straight, and never break
Your word to man nor boss.
Plumb always kill a rattlesnake.
Don’t ride a sorebacked hoss.
It don’t take law nor pedigree
To live the best you can!
These few is all it takes to be
A cowboy—and a man!

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

S. Omar Barker, as described in Cowboy Miner Productions’ collection of his work, “…was born in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico… a rancher, high school teacher, college professor, forest ranger, soldier, outdoorsman, and legislator… named after his father Squire L. Barker, but went by Omar, he often signed his books with his initials and trademark brand, ‘Lazy SOB.'”

He was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman. Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photograph by New Mexico cowboy, singer-songwriter, poet, and entertainer Mike Moutoux of a fall branding at Randy Huston’s ranch was featured in Picture the West at CowboyPoetry.com.

Have a look at Mike’s video/photo show accompanied by his song, “In the Sangre de Cristos,” here on Facebook.

Catch Mike Moutoux at the Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering (February 3-5, 2017) in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The event celebrates its 25th anniversary and featured artists are Arvel Bird, Mikki Daniel, Desert Suns, Rena Randall & Due West Trio, Juni Fisher, Sue Harris, Carol Heuchan, Susie Knight, Jon Messenger, Dale Page, Saddle Strings, and Jay Snider. Participating artists include Broken Chair Band, Call of the West, Van Criddle, Sam DeLeeuw, Mike Dunn, Nancy Elliot, Kerry Grombacher, Purly Gates, Harpy Trails, Larry Harmer, Randy Huston, Ken & Jerye, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Peggy Malone, Carol Markstrom, Mike Moutoux, Terry Nash, Tony Norris, Notable Exceptions, and Outriders. Find more at the gathering web site and on Facebook.

Find more about Mike Moutoux on Facebook and at mikemoutoux.com, which includes his performance schedule and occasional “Ranch Notes.”

THE BRONCO TWISTER’S PRAYER by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

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THE BRONCO TWISTER’S PRAYER
by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

It was a little grave yard
on the rolling foot hill plains:
That was bleached by the sun in summer,
swept by winter’s snows and rains;
There a little bunch of settlers
gathered on an autumn day
‘Round a home made lumber coffin,
with their last respects to pay.

Weary men that wrung their living
from that hard and arid land,
And beside them stood their women;
faded wives with toil worn hands.
But among us stood one figure
that was wiry, straight and trim.
Every one among us know him.
‘Twas the broncho twister, Jim.

Just a bunch of hardened muscle
tempered with a savage grit,
And he had the reputation
of a man that never quit.
He had helped to build the coffin,
he had helped to dig the grave;
And his instinct seemed to teach him
how he really should behave.

Well, we didn’t have a preacher,
and the crowd was mighty slim.
Just two women with weak voices
sang an old time funeral hymn.
That was all we had for service.
The old wife was sobbing there.
For her husband of a life time,
laid away without prayer.

She looked at the broncho twister,
then she walked right up to him.
Put one trembling arm around him and said,
“Pray. Please won’t you Jim?”
You could see his figure straighten,
and a look of quick surprise
Flashed across his swarthy features,
and his hard dare devil eyes.

He could handle any broncho,
and he never dodged a fight.
‘Twas the first time any body ever saw
his face turn white.
But he took his big sombrero
off his rough and shaggy head,
How I wish I could remember what
that broncho peeler said.

No, he wasn’t educated.
On the range his youth was spent.
But the maker of creation
know exactly what he meant.
He looked over toward the mountains
where the driftin’ shadows played.
Silence must have reined in heaven
when they heard the way Jim prayed.

Years have passed since that small funeral
in that lonely grave yard lot.
But it gave us all a memory, and a lot
of food for thought.
As we stood beside the coffin,
and the freshly broken sod,
With that reckless broncho breaker
talkin’ heart to heart with God.

When the prayer at last was over,
and the grave had all been filled,
On his rough, half broken pony,
he rode off toward the hills.
Yes, we stood there in amazement
as we watched him ride away,
For no words could ever thank him.
There was nothing we could say.
Since we gathered in that grave yard,
it’s been nearly fifty years.
With their joys and with their sorrows,
with their hopes and with their fears.
But I hope when I have finished,
and they lay me with the dead,
Some one says a prayer above me,
like that broncho twister said.

…from Bruce Kiskaddon’s Rhymes of the Ranges, 1924

Bruce Kiskaddon’s (1878-1950) poems are among the most recited works at gatherings. Kiskaddon worked as a cowboy from the time he was 19 until a serious accident about ten years later put an end to his riding. When he turned to writing he became known for his realistic works about cowboy and ranching life. Frank M. King, editor of The Western Livestock Journal, where many of his poems were printed, asserted that Kiskaddon was “the best cowboy poet who ever wrote a cowboy poem.”

Watch top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell and outstanding balladeer Don Edwards perform the poem along with “Amazing Grace”in a 2013 performance at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering here.

“The Bronco Twister’s Prayer” was recited at Kiskaddon’s own funeral. Find the entire poem and features about Bruce Kiskaddon at CowboyPoetry.com.

This 1942 photo by noted photographer John Vachon (1914-1975) is titled “Bannack, Montana. Graveyard.” It’s from the U.S. Farm Security Administration (FSA)/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs at the Library of Congress. See some interesting biographical information and photographs here. Find more about the photo here.

COWBOY BRAG TALK (anonymous)

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COWBOY BRAG TALK
anonymous

I was born full growed
with nine rows of jaw teeth
and holes bored for more.
There was spurs on my feet
and a rawhide quirt in my hand,
and when they opens the chute
I come out a-riding a panther
and a-roping the long-horned whales.
I’ve rode everything with hair on it…
and I’ve rode a few things
that was too rough to grow any hair.

I’ve rode bull moose on the prod,
she grizzlies and long bolts of lightning.
Mountain lions are my playmates,
and when I feels cold and lonesome,
I sleeps in a den of rattlesnakes ‘
cause they always makes me nice and warm.

To keep alive
I eat stick dynamite and cactus.
The Grand Canyon
ain’t nothin’ but my bean hole.
When I get thirsty
I drink cyanide cut with alkali.
When I go to sleep
I pillow my head on the Big Horn,
I lay my boots
in Colorada and my hat in Montana.
I can stretch out my arms clean out
from the Crazy Woman Folk plumb over
to the Upper Grey Bull River.
My bed tarp covers half of Texas
and all of old Mexico.

But there’s one thing
for sure and certain,
and if you boys wants to know,
I’ll tell you that
I’m still a long way short
of being the daddy of ’em all…
’cause he’s full growed,
and as any man that really knows can see
—well, boys, I ain’t nothing but a young ‘un.

…traditional

You may have heard this traditional “cowboy brag” before, but you have never heard a delivery as convincing as that by Andy Hedges, an extraordinary interpreter of cowboy poetry and music. His talents are generously displayed in his brand new album, Cowboy Recitations.

We asked Andy Hedges about his inspiration for the collection, his first poetry album in 15 years, and he told us, “Cowboy Recitations is a project that has been brewing for a long time. Although I’ve been playing music a lot for the last several years, my first love is for the spoken word. The poems on this album are ones that have stuck with me over the years – some classic, some obscure, some old, some new. All are written by people that I admire. It’s a joy to share them.”

In introducing the project, respected reciter Randy Rieman calls Andy Hedges one of the “finest practitioners” of the traditions of cowboy culture, with “an intuitive intelligence for the art form that few possess,” and “authentic voice,” and claims that “none take the stage with more humility and integrity.” Agreed.

The impeccable track list offers particular standouts such as the lesser-heard “The Rodeo Hand” by Peter La Farge; a masterful handling of Larry McWhorter’s “The Red Cow”; and a reverential recitation of Joel Nelson’s “On Finding Someone.” Two selections, Curley Fletcher’s “The Pot Wrassler” and D.J. O’Malley’s “The D-2 Horse Wrangler” are presented in a fine old traditional acapella style. Other familiar classic poets’ works include poems by S. Omar Barker, Bruce Kiskaddon, and Charles Badger Clark. Outstanding poems by modern masters Buck Ramsey and Andy Wilkinson are included. And, there’s more.

Every reciter of cowboy poetry can learn much from this new release, and it belongs in the collection of every fan of the genre.

Find more about Andy Hedges at www.andyhedges.com. Another gift he gives to those who care about cowboy poetry and music traditions is his new “Cowboy Crossroads” podcast, with informative and enlightening interviews with the likes of Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphey, and Ross Knox, just for starters.

Andy Hedges is headed to the Western Folklife Center’s 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (January 30-February 4, 2017), where he is involved in some of the top events.

The complete lineup includes Amy Hale Auker – Prescott, AZ; Mike Beck – Monterey, CA; Luke Bell – Cody, WY; Jerry Brooks – Sevier, UT; Cowboy Celtic -Turner Valley, Alberta, Canada; Doris Daley – Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada; John Dofflemyer – Lemon Cove, CA; Carolyn Dufurrena – Winnemucca, NV; Maria Lisa Eastman – Hyattville, WY; Don Edwards – Hico, TX; Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Marshall, CA; Dom Flemons & Brian Farrow – Hillsborough, NC; Patricia Frolander – Sundance, WY; DW Groethe – Bainville, MT; Kristyn Harris – McKinney, TX; Andy Hedges – Lubbock, TX; Brenn Hill – Hooper, UT
Teresa Jordan – Virgin, UT; Ross Knox – Midpines, CA;Jarle Kvale – Dunseith, ND; Daron Little – Encampment, WY; Corb Lund – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Doug Moreland & the Flying Armadillos – Manchaca, TX; Joel Nelson – Alpine, TX; Rodney Nelson – Almont, ND; Shadd Piehl – Mandan, ND; Vess Quinlan – Florence, CO; Henry Real Bird – Garryowen, MT; Brigid Reedy – Boulder, MT; Randy Rieman – Dillon, MT; Kent Rollins – Hollis, OK; Jack Sammon – Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia; Martha Scanlan & Jon Neufeld – Birney, MT; Trinity Seely – Cascade, MT; Sean Sexton – Vero Beach, FL; Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong – Paradise, CA; R.P. Smith – Broken Bow, NE; Dave Stamey – Orange Cove, CA; Gail Steiger – Prescott, AZ; Rod Taylor – Cimarron, NM; Ian Tyson – Longview, Alberta, Canada; Keith Ward – Vilas, NC; Andy Wilkinson – Lubbock, TX; and Paul Zarzyski – Great Falls, MT.

 

THE HELL-BOUND TRAIN (anonymous)

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Please request permission for photo reproduction

 

THE HELL-BOUND TRAIN
(anonymous)

A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor,
Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
So he fell asleep with a troubled brain,
To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp,
And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
An imp for fuel was shoveling bones,
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer,
And the Devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were a most motley crew
Church member, atheist, Gentile and Jew.

Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags,
Handsome young ladies, withered old hags.
Yellow and black men, red, brown and white,
All chained together — O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace,
The sulfurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
Wider and wider the country grew,
As faster and faster the engine flew

Louder and louder the thunder crashed,
And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became,
Till the clothes were burnt from each quivering frame.

And out of the distance there arose a yell,
“Ha, ha,” said the Devil, “we’re nearing hell!”
Then, oh, how the passengers shrieked with pain,
And begged the Devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced with glee,
And laughed and joked at their misery.
“My faithful friends, you have done the work,
And the Devil never can a payday shirk.

“You’ve bullied the weak, you’ve robbed the poor,
The starving brother you’ve turned from the door;
You’ve laid up gold where the canker rust,
And you have given free vent to your beastly lust.

“You’ve justice scorned and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down;
You have drink, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

“You have paid full fare, so I’ll carry you through;
For its only right you should have your due.
Why, the laborer always expects his hire,
So I’ll land you safe in the lake of fire —

“Where your flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
And my imps torment you forever more.”
Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes wet with sweat and and his hair standing high.

Then he prayed as he’d never had prayed till that hour
To be saved from his sin and the demon’s power.
And his prayers and pleadings were not in vain;
For he never rode the hell-bound train

anonymous

The Western music world lost legendary cowboy singer and historian Glenn Ohrlin (1926-2015) two years ago. A revised edition of his important book, The Hell-Bound Train; A Cowboy Songbook, a treasury of information about cowboy songs, has just been released by Texas Tech University Press.

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Editor Charlie Seemann (past Executive Director of the Western Folklike Center) tells us, “The original 1973 book was a landmark classic, a collection by a working cowboy and singer in the tradition of Jack Thorp. It’s been out of print for a number of years, and it’s great to have it available again, revised and updated with information about Glenn’s life since 1973. It is too bad that Glenn passed before we could get this done for him.”

In the book, Glenn Ohrlin tells he learned the title song (sometimes recited as a poem), from an aunt, and that its origin is “a minor mystery.”

A National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, Glenn Ohrlin’s career is described in a biography there. It tells, “As a boy, he heard and liked cowboy songs, and by the age of five, he was singing himself. ‘In Minnesota, where I was born,’ Ohrlin said, ‘everyone sang cowboy songs, even my aunts and uncles. My father was musical; my mother wasn’t, particularly. I used to listen to the radio a lot. When I was growing up in the 1930s, every reasonably big radio station had its own singing cowboy. In those days, it wasn’t too hard to find one. If a station wanted a cowboy singer, they’d go out and find a working cowboy who knew a few songs.'” Find the complete biography here.

The version of “The Hell-Bound Train” above comes from Jack Thorp’s Songs of the Cowboys, and he prefaces it with “Heard this sung at a cow-camp near Pontoon Crossing, on the Pecos River, by a puncher named Jack Moore.” See our feature about the 1921 book here.

A standout show at last year’s Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, hosted by Charlie Seemann, celebrated the life of Glenn Ohrlin. It included Brigid and John Reedy, Andy Hedges, Don Edwards, Randy Rieman, Sourdough Slim, Mike Hurwitz, and a short film. You can watch the entire show, in which Andy Hedges recites “The Hell-Bound Train.”

This 1946 photo of Glenn Ohrlin comes from a series of articles at CowboyPoetry.com by Wyoming rodeo historian, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honoree, and poet Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns. He is shown at a rodeo in Japan on an ox named “Double Trouble.” He commented, “It was hard to keep your rope from slipping over their withers . . . flat back. We had lots of saddle horses, borrowed broncs from local trucking companies. They had very few motor vehicles in private use. Right after the war the civilians had very little. They rode trains, street cars in larger cities and bicycles.” Find the entire article here at CowboyPoetry.com.