Hey there Campers;
This is day 4 at the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We started off with a beautiful sunny winter day. The weather was just right. Not too cold.
Our first session was Rhymers. The poets were Cal Lewis, Annie Mackenzie, Terry Nash and Rodney Nelson. Cal Lewis was the old timer for this session. He talked about the Chisholm Trail. Well, this was a history lesson that I loved to hear about. Did you know the reason for the cattle drives? Well, the cattle was being sold in Texas for $4.00 a head. That was not enough to feed them during the winter. However, if you could get the herd to Abilene, Kansas where the railroad was the cattle would sell for $40.00 a head. Now folks, this is not rocket science. Those Texans put the cattle on the trail that was made by Jessie Chisholm. The trail started at Chisholm’s trade store in Red River, TX. The cattle drive was not as romanticized as Hollywood portraits it. Many cowboys died on the way. There were a lot of stampedes.d Job.
Rodney Nelson recited - A Greedy Cowboys Prayer. Annie Mackenzie did poems she wrote. This was Annie first time reciting in front of a large group. She was really shaking as we all would. She did well. Afterward, Lo let her know she did well and to keep doing what she loved.
On our way to lunch those 4 H kids were back at it with their shoe shine boxes. They were raking in the dough. Ideas pathfinders???
Since we knew we were not going to have time for dinner she decided to have a big lunch. What better place to go than Chef Cheng’s to filler up. We had great food and were stuffed when we were done.
On our way back we found another boot - Red Coca Cola. Of course we had to stop. Great job Nita finding this one.
While waiting to go to the next session we decided to take an Elko picture. Well wouldn’t you know it a guy asked to help. He was one of the performers from yesterday Jake Riley.
Our next session was the Ranch Family Show. This was really good. It showed us non farmers what farmers do for entertainment. The first group was Brigid, Johnny & John Reedy. This family hit gold with their talent. They sang a beautiful song about - When I get to Elko. This song incorporated names of the big performers, etc. The next performers, Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms from Shasta, CA. They sang about what would your grab if you had a fire. Rita Hosking & Sean Feder did a dueling guitar and mandolin. Jake Riley (yep the same guy who took our pics) did a poem about a shirt with a pocket. Here is a great quote, “A shirt with no pocket is just a undershirt.” Now that gave one something to ponder over. Annie talked about the winter of 16’. Jake & Annie got scholarships to further their poetry.
Do you know what ranch shoes are? People who grow up on a farm.
We went to the Western Folklife Center for our next session. This center houses the museum for the theme of the year of the. Again, this year’s theme was Basque Cowboys. We got to stand in line with the friends we made this week. Karen (remember the lady with the amazing beaded pants) and her husband and her friends Janet & Tim. I was feeling a little thirsty. I saddled up to the bar (that’s cowgirl talk) and asked for a 7up. I almost fell to the ground when the bartender told me a $1.00 for the drink. Like for real?? I was expecting to pay at least $5.00. You are not in Cally, Dorothy. The Wizard of Oz knows what he is doing.
The session was the - Songster Line Up. This included Andy Hedges, Jack Elliott and my favorite Dom Flemons. These were great performers. Andy sang about his dad. Jack sang - Don’t Think Twice, It Is Alright. Dom sang and told us more about Nate Love. He was a great cowboy who later became a Pullman porter to earn money for his family when cowboy jobs were dying in the early 1900’s. Dom also did a song about Bass Reeves. It was called U.S. Marshall and the Lone Ranger.
Our last session was - Pardners of the Wind. This group consisted of Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphy and Pipp Gillette. This was a very interesting group. Waddie quoted poems about - The Dance Card. Pipp sang - Could Have Been Worst. We all got to sing with him. The best song of the night was Wildfire by Michael. Yep, Michael was the one who wrote it and first perform it. Google if you don’t remember the song. It will stick in your mind for the rest of the day. It is just a great song.
I just have to thank Bob & Nita Scurria for bringing us to tag along with them. The seats Bob got for us for the major performances were unbelievable. We got front row seats all the time but one and that one was on the second row center. Yahoooooo! Bob.
Well Campers until next time.
Lo & Bren