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2009

 

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September

Montrose (September) Colorado
 

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September, 2009
National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo  Montrose, Colorado

Report from CowboyPoetry.com with assistance from Smoke Wade.
Photos courtesy of Almeda Terry, Dick Morton, Dawn Dawson, Kent B. Broyhill, Smoke Wade, Byrl Keith Chadwell, and Stella Cathey

 

Beautiful Montrose, Colorado—perched at the doorstep of Black Canyon National Park—welcomed the 12th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (NCPR) in September, 2009. The NCPR took place along with the first San Juan Western Heritage Festival. The major sponsor of the events was San Juan Healthcare Foundation's Caring Friends Fund, which is used for patients of Montrose Memorial Hospital and the San Juan Cancer Center. 

The NCPR is always exciting, with poets competing for prize money, silver buckles, and trophies. But that is just part of the story. The unique event was conceived by and is produced by poet Sam Jackson, who believes in "excellence through competition." He contends that the experience makes '"fair poets good and good poets better," and with each competition, that assertion is proved. Jackson points out, for example, the number of past NCPR participants who are invited performers at the next National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including Pat Richardson, Doris Daley, Jerry Brooks, Jane Morton, Janice Gilbertson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Dennis Gaines, DW Groethe, Linda Kirkpatrick, Andy Nelson, Jay Snider, and Diane Tribitt. Another immeasurable benefit of the NCPR experience is the friendships that are forged among participants.

The participants for the 2009 rodeo were: J.B. Barber (Idaho), Marci Broyhill (Nebraska), Jerry Brooks (Utah), Jim Cardwell (California), Jim Cathey (Texas), Keith Chadwell (Oregon), Jan M. Corey (Arizona), Geff Dawson (Kansas), Betty Wolf Duncan (Iowa), Slim Farnsworth (Colorado), Janice Gilbertson (California), Del Gustafson (Washington), Lee Kimberlain (Colorado), Al "Doc" Mehl (Colorado), Dick Morton (Colorado), Jane Morton (Colorado), Duane Nelson (Oregon), Orvil Sears (Washington), Cade Schalla (Texas), Don Sims (Wyoming), Bryan Smith (Alberta), Kip Sorlie (South Dakota), Almeda Terry (Montana), Keith Ward (North Carolina), and C.R. Wood (Utah).


photo courtesy of Byrl Keith Chadwell
Byrl Keith Chadwell

The event is run like a stock rodeo. There are two divisions: Rising Star and Silver Buckle. Rising Star is for first-time participants. Silver Buckle is for those who have won previously in the Rising Star division, and anyone else with the confidence to enter. Each division has four events: in Poet Serious and Poet Humorous, the poets perform their own work. In Reciter Serious and Reciter Humorous, poets recite the work of others. Poets can enter any event in the divisions for which they qualify. Additionally, there is a final "Shootout" that anyone can enter, with two events: Original Humorous poem and Original Serious poem.

A team of five judges scores each performance. The high and low score are discarded, and the remaining three scores are totaled. After each performance, the poet's score is posted. The top half of highest scorers in each event are advanced to the finals.


photo by Stella Cathey
A view of one of the scoreboards

The 2009 judges were foreman Ed Nesselhuf (South Dakota), Chuck Hazlett (South Dakota), Verlin Pitt (Wyoming), Darrell Arnold (Colorado), and Sam DeLeeuw (Utah). Smoke Wade (Nevada) was the rodeo announcer (and the emcee for the evening shows).


photo by Stella Cathey
Jim Cathey and judge Verlin Pitt

The audience was treated to a wide variety of poetry and styles.


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Jane Morton


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Kip Sorlie


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Duane Nelson


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Janice Gilbertson


photo by Dawn Dawson
Marci Broyhill


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Slim Farnsworth


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Jim Cardwell


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Bette Wolf Duncan

 


photo courtesy of Byrl Keith Chadwell
Byrl Keith Chadwell

The final competition was fierce, and two poets dominated the two divisions: C.R. Wood and Geff Dawson. Here are the individual event results:

Rising Stars, serious original poetry: Al "Doc" Mehl
    Second place:
C.R. Wood
Rising Stars, humorous original poetry:
C.R. Wood
    Second place: Al "Doc" Mehl
Rising Stars, serious reciter:
C.R. Wood
     Second place:
Duane Nelson
Rising Stars, humorous reciter:
C.R. Wood
     Second place:
Keith Ward

Silver Buckle, serious original poetry: Geff Dawson
     Second place: Slim Farnsworth
Silver Buckle, humorous original poetry: Slim Farnsworth
     Second place:
Geff Dawson
Silver Buckle, serious reciter: Jerry Brooks
     Second place: Geff Dawson
Silver Buckle, humorous reciter: Slim Farnsworth
     Second place:
Geff Dawson

The winner of a final "shootout" match was Geff Dawson.


photo by Stella Cathey
Rodeo producer Sam Jackson and the trophies and buckles

Those who took home money, in order of the greatest amount first, were C.R Wood, Geff Dawson, Slim Farnsworth, Al Mehl, Jerry Brooks, Bryan Smith, Keith Ward, Jim Cathey, Bette Duncan, Duane Nelson, Orvil Sears, Jane Morton, Cade Schalla, Almeda Terry, Jim Cardwell, and Keith Chadwell.

Winners were recognized during a Saturday evening show.


photo by Dawn Dawson
NCPR head Sam Jackson (left) and emcee Smoke Wade with the Montrose County Rodeo Queen, Britney Clausen
preparing to give out awards

C.R. Wood and Al Mehl, winners of the Rising Star events, received silver buckles and prize money. C.R. Wood also received the "Best of the Best" trophy for being the "All Round Cowboy" for winning the most money.


photo by Almeda Terry
The award winners


photo by Dawn Dawson
C.R. Wood accepts trophy from Ed Nesselhuf as Francie Smiles looks on
 


photo by Dawn Dawson
Geff Dawson

Geff Dawson received prize money and the Shootout trophy. 


photo by Dawn Dawson
Ed Nesselhuf (left) congratulates Orvil Sears

Orvil Sears received the "Most Improved" trophy.


There were two evening shows presented during the San Juan Western Heritage Festival and the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo. Each included local talent and also drew on the talent from the NCPR, including several versatile poets who are also singers and songwriters, including Al Mehl, Geff Dawson, and Almeda Terry.


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Almeda Terry


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Al Mehl

Montrose Mayor Jose Abeyta shared his enthusiasm for the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo on both nights.


photo by Dawn Dawson
Montrose Mayor Jose Abeyta
 

Each evening, C.R. Wood offered a patriotic opening.


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
C.R. Wood

Poets performed on each of the evening shows. Friday night poets included Marci Broyhill, Orvil Sears, Cade Schalla, and Bryan Smith. Local poet, 9-year-old Nathan Stumph also performed poetry.


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
 Marci Broyhill


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
 Orvil Sears


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Bryan Smith

 


photo by Dawn Dawson
Cade Schalla


photo by Dawn Dawson
Nathan Stumph

Colorado musicians Evelyn Roper and James Michael also entertained.

On Saturday night, poets C.R. Wood, Geff Dawson, Al Mehl, Sam DeLeeuw, and Slim Farnsworth entertained along with music by Almeda Terry and Al Mehl. There was also music by Kevin Reeves, Jessie Stout, and the headliner, Gary Lear and his Nashville Band.
 


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Geff Dawson


photo courtesy Almeda Terry
Almeda Terry

 

Arguably the most indispensible person throughout all of the events was emcee Smoke Wade. He announced the rodeo and emceed the evening shows, and kept things moving with humor and finesse that earned him a warm standing ovation from all involved. Smoke Wade also was an invaluable organizer for the event.


photo by Kent B. Broyhill
Rodeo announcer, evening shows' emcee, and popular all-around go-to guy Smoke Wade

Other contributors and volunteers who helped make the San Juan Western Heritage Festival and the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo a success included Altrusa International of Montrose, Colorado; Bosom Buddies; Montrose County 4H, Montrose Memorial Hospital; Montrose Memorial Hospital Round Up Cafe, Ralph's Back Porch, Rope Burns magazine, and the San Juan Cancer Center.

The festival committee, headed by Francie Smiles, included Elaine DeJulio, Paul Gotleib, Jim Kerschner, Mike Krull, Lee Kimberlin, Elaine Moore, Mary Snyder, Scott Staley, and Leann Tobin.


photo by Smoke Wade
Francie Smiles


Jerry Hubbard and his pink tractor, "Pulling for a Cure for Cancer"
photo by Kent B. Broyhill
 

But wait! There's more. See page two for photos and more from some of the social events, Cowboy Church, for the coverage provided by Ralph's Back Porch radio, and miscellaneous photos.

PAGE TWO


Professional DVDs of the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo finals and the Shootout—all proceeds go toward the rodeoare available for $34 postpaid from:

Sam Jackson, Producer, National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo
4675 E. Vermillion Ave.
Kanab Utah, 84741
last2camp@kanab.net
 


 

Your additional photos are welcome. Email us.

See our feature about the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo
here.

 



 

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