State Rings With Cowboy Poetry and Music
Postcard from the Past by Dick Perue
Summer brings a rash of cowboy gatherings, rodeos, ranch events, cowboy music and poetry outings. And best of all, it brings a flood of memories of years past when cowboys were cowboys and family gatherings were something special.
One of Wyoming’s top attractions of the summer is the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering July 14-16 in Encampment. In addition to cowboy poetry starring Andy Nelson from Pinedale and cowboy music, the event features three shows, a campfire jam session, Dutch oven cooking, a songwriting workshop, grub, ranch breakfast and cowboy church.
One can see this advertisement in this week’s Wyoming Livestock Roundup.
This public service announcement was snuck into this week’s Postcard by the writer of this column, who just happens to be a 20-year committee member and one of the founders of the gathering in Encampment.
Today, it seems many folks call themselves cowboys, but have never rode the range or punched a cow. Others recall the past with a tall tale, a “windy,” old photographs or a poem.
A lot of Wyoming folks will relate with this poem by Roy Welton of Saratoga entitled “Let’s Pretend We’re Cowboys.”
Let’s pretend we’re cowboys
and ride the range once more,
and wear our hat – big at that –
just like we did before.
Hoop and holler driving cows
and swinging our ropes at heels,
spurring our horse through the creek,
and remember how it feels!
Eat some dust till sundown
and get so tired we stall,
slappin’ leather and fightin’ weather
the memories tell it all!
Stop for grub on a hillside
and gaze at the flats below,
red cows on green grass
and then, you’ll begin to know.
Why you still remember
the days when you were young,
driving a team, while you dream,
over a wagon tongue.
As time slipped by somewhere
we still miss the coyote call.
Let’s pretend we’re cowboys,
for a day – let’s just recall!
If you make it to the gathering, stop by and say hi. I’ll be at the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon shows telling off-color stories and handing out goods, including raffle tickets for the framed print shown in this week’s column.