Bits of BS from the bench of the Boot Maker Bard

Cowboy Poetry goes back as far as the trail drive and lonesome cowboy pushing heifers with nothing much else going on but an active mind. They would sit around the campfire and entertain each other. I like to think it started from someone reciting something they learned as a kid. I imagine then someone else trying to upstage that by writing their own. Some were actually very well written. I have learned and recited many hours of these old cowboy poems. My hat is off to them. They inspired me to try a few of my own. These old poems can be found and enjoyed with a little research. In spite of the kind requests I have received to avail mine in a book form, the only place they can be found is right here. I suggest you print them off, staple them together an put them in the bathroom on the back of the toilet and delve into them in short tolerable sessions.

I was not only inspired from learning the poems of the old, now dead cowboys. There was one particular old, now dead cowboy that influenced me the most. My dad, He was an honest to goodness, no pretense, actual to the core working cowboy. He was born in 1904 and spent most of his life around rank horses, stubborn cows and stinky sheep. He was pretty good with stringed musical instruments. He played the fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and they all seemed to involve those old cowboy songs you only hear now days if you actually buy a Riders in the Sky CD. Dad and cowboy way of life kind of got me directed in my craft and literature. Even as a kid I wrote a few that I managed to ditch before anyone saw them.

I came 'out of the closet' when writing such became acceptable as a manly practice. For me this became obvious the day two customers came into my shop together to order custom boots: Hal Cannon and Waddie Mitchell. Hal, the key man in starting the now well celebrated annual Elko Cowboy Poetry gathering in Elko Nevada, was working at the time for the Utah Historical Society. This gathering was just getting around to trying a second year at the time of this meeting. Hal's buddy buckaroo, Waddie Mitchell, who has gone from being a working cowboy from Lee Jiggs, Nevada at that time, is now famous for doing cowboy poetry and living quite different than a working cowboy. I was inspired to write 'Alligator Boots' which I took to Elko and give to a smaller crowd that assembles there every January nowadays.