At the risk of our reputation and that of a number of poets, musicians, Western movie stars, and (otherwise upstanding) citizens of Kanab, Utah, we bring you a look on the Ranch Wife Fashion Show that was staged at the Western Legends Roundup in August, 2004.
Among the beauties who took part are Kanab's Cowboy Poetry Rodeo Arena Boss Sam Jackson; Western Legends Roundup Head Honcho Robert Houston; Western movie stars Bruce Boxleitner, Marty Kove, and Gregg Palmer; Kanab dentist John Schmutz; Roger Cutler; Kanab poet Doug Keller; "Standra" Herl; and poets Charles Williams and Jay Snider (veterans of the fashion show circuit). R. W. Hampton was an innocent bystander
Yvonne Hollenbeck and Andy Nelson produced this extravaganza, which was first performed in Fort Worth in July, 2004, at the Academy of Western Artists' trade show. A report on that event and its cast of characters are here.
Photos are courtesy of Andy Nelson except where noted. Selected fashions from Goodwill, Winslow, Arizona.
Does it have anything to do with Cowboy Poetry? Please don't ask.
Ably emceed by Andy Nelson, the script goes something like this ...
There's a group of cowboy types,
that are really cowboy’s wives;
And they dress all up and strut their stuff
and show up all us guys.
Well, I’ve done a lot of research
and I feel I should explain
That the clothes they wear in public
and on the ranch are not the same.
Now, I'm not makin' fun,
although their clothes are kinda rogue;
but I'm sure they'd never make it
in a magazine like "Vogue!"
I’ve obtained some of their garments
and I’ve found out where they shop;
…got professional models,
just to show you what is hot.
So folks, get out your cameras,
and sit up in your chair,
'cause you're about to see first-hand
what ranchwives really wear!
Here’s “Protruding Prolapse Paula;”
she models “Calving Wear”
(She’d look a might bit better,
if she’d get a cleaner pair)
And something that she’s added,
and quite handy, I believe;
with one quick yank she can remove
the bulky A-I sleeve!
And when calving time comes around,
she won't be caught off guard
OBsleeves will accent
any outfit in the yard.
Farnam made her silver chain,
its purpose is two-fold;
She slips it off and uses it
when calves are needin’ pulled.
Ahhh…Here’s Biscuits ‘n Gravy Gertie,
she’s wearing “Dinner Wear”
she’s sure to clean her hands off
and to tidy up her hair.
You won’t find lacy aprons
or a big stiff white chef’s hat
when cookin’ for a brandin’ crew
…no need for stuff like that.
She don’t have Martha Stewart
or that Julia Child look,
but I’d match her to ‘em anyday
‘cause she can darn-sure cook.
Her apron isn't fancy,
but has a duo-purpose, hence...
..in springtime she can use it
when she needs to help fix fence!
'Cause one thing that a ranchwife does,
especially in the spring
is help go 'round the fences
and to help repair the thing.
Stretchmark Stella’s wearing
what she calls "Barbed Wire Wear"
these clothes protect the property,
and require little care.
The view is not obstructed
as she ventures out to work
but "things" might be much better
if she wore a bigger shirt.
But heck, she could go nude
when fixin’ fence that’s on the ground
‘cause when she needs some help
she knows that no one comes around.
AND WHEN WE SPEAK OF “MEAL TIME”
there is once or twice a year
when hubby takes her out to eat,
so she has special gear
to wear to town when dining out,
although we must concede,
it’s usually just for pancakes
at the local Feed and Seed.
will not pass a chance
to eat in town, a special treat
when you live on a ranch.
But she must look presentable,
so wears the best she's got
I'm sure you folks will all agree,
she's lookin' darn-right HOT!
She did the chores up early
so they would not be late
and musta tore her dress
when she got out to get the gate.
And while we’re on the subject
of things a-lookin’ HOT
Frolickin’ Frieda likes to show
ol’ hubby what she’s got.
She’s slipped on something sexy
and has combed her ratty hair
and tries to wake up hubby
who is snorin’ in his chair
‘Cause on that rare occasion,
maybe once or twice a year,
her husband gets a notion
for some “action” with his dear.
So she must dress up special
for that five-minute interlude
‘tween watchin “Law and Order”
and the station’s local news.
Ahhh, "Mail order Milkmaid Malinda"
she’s the one you usually find
directly from the want ads
. . . the lonely rancher kind;
and when she first arrives
she often dresses up the part
but soon her city clothes are traded
in for ratty old carharts.
But often gals like this
don’t stick around a ranch too long
‘cause when he wants a cook,
she usually cooks a batch of gone.
They won’t come to
competition is too steep
with all those wild women
and a country full of sheep!
Remember Frolicking Frieda
in her frisky nightly wear?
Well, what man could resist
‘running fingers through this hair?
“Not tonight I have a headache Hilda”
might not snuggle up real tight,
but she’s dressed to slip outside
and check the heifers late at night.
She has a couple pockets
where she stashes late-night snacks
to pacify her hunger pains
‘till she can make it back.
I know by now you’ve figured out
that ranchwives really care
about the latest styles
‘and the clothes they choose to wear.
But sometimes when you live out
in the boondocks, I suppose
you soon don’t give a rat’s patoot
about the latest clothes.
So “Do it yerself Diana”
dawns the casual look, you see;
and now you folks will know
just how the layered look should be.
She gets ideas at Walmart
as she sets there in a chair
and watches casual styles
on the ladies shopping there.
Photo by Linda Kirkpatrick
And just as spring approaches
and bird songs fill the air,
thoughts turn to draggin’ meadows
in her fancy tractor wear.
The one thing that the ranchwife hates
and what will cause a fight,
is driving that darned tractor
and she must dress just right.
She starts out early morning
when a chill is in the air;
she bundles up in coveralls
and adds an extra pair.
And usually as the day goes on,
the temperature has changed
so has Johnny-Popper Jeanie
as she chugs along the range.
She has to run a grease gun,
and she has to check the oil,
the water and the Prestone
when she discs and tills the soil.
By afternoon, the sun gets hot
and Jeanie gets hot too,
she has to shed her overcoat
and bulky overshoes.
Now, just when you was thinking
that a ranchwife don’t dress up;
well, you just wait ‘till Sunday
and she’ll go to church and strut.
You’ll find her in the choir loft,
‘tho she can’t sing a lick;
she sits there so to look down
on the rest a little bit.
She catches up on gossip,
on the gospel, and the news,
then slips out of her Sunday best
back in to faded blues.
We know that Sunday’s set aside
for folks a day of rest,
but not if you’re a ranchwife
on the range out in the West!
But folks, there's one last model, and it would be a sin
to not include Roberta, she is Robert Houston's twin!
In fact, they are identical...don't know which one was born first;
comparing nuts to bolts I think that Robert is the worst.
You might not like her slippers, but folks here is the scoop:
"She has to wear 'em branding to keep her feet out of the poop!"
Besides her duties cuttin' calves, she does a whole lot more,
'cause feeding all her children is another needy chore.
She's sure a darned good milker...the neatest thing you ever saw
is this handy nipple-converter in her custom farm/ranch bra!
They claim she's cut ten thousand calves...at least that many sheep
and fixed a cheatin' husband once when he was sound asleep.
They say that men are 'fraid of her, they fear her like no other;
but you would scare men too if you had Robert for a brother!
And if you'd like some oysters, she has lots of them to share,
as Raunchy Roberta models this year's "Brandin' Wear."
Now our Fashion Show is over and we've run a little late,
but in case you stick around . . . Roberta's looking for a date!
© 2004, Andy Nelson and Yvonne Hollenbeck, All Rights Reserved
Presented at Western Legends Roundup – 2004
Andy Nelson/Yvonne Hollenbeck
Productions – a division of
“Clear Out West Radio”
…where men are men and the sheep
The quiet, innocent, back-woodsie (and
somewhat creative) production crew.
Calving Wear (Complete with AI and OB sleeve)
MODEL: "Protruding Prolapse Paula" (Roger Cutler)
Dinner Wear (What a Ranchwife wears to "make" dinner)
MODEL: "Biscuits 'n Gravy Gertie" (Gregg Palmer)
Barbed Wire Wear (Clothes that still protect the property, but don't
obstruct the view!)
MODEL: "Stretchmark Stella" (John Schmutz)
Evening Wear (The "wear" that is donned when hubby takes you out)
MODEL: "Get-in-the-Truck Trudy" (Bruce Boxleitner)
Frisky Wear (For that five minute time span between "Law and Order" and the
10 o'clock news, when papa is ready for a little action!)
MODEL: "Frolickin' Frieda" (Jay Snider)
Milkmaid Malinda (Complete with home breast reduction kit)
MODEL: ""Mail order Milkmaid Malinda" (Sam Jackson)
Flannel Wear (Can replace Evening Wear, Barbed Wire Wear, and Frisky Wear at
any time for no apparent reason!)
MODEL: "Not tonight I have a headache Hilda" (Charles Williams)
Who Cares? Wear (For those moments when you just don't give a Tinker's Damn WHO sees you wearin' WHAT!)
MODEL: "Do it Yourself Diana" (Marty Kove)
Tractor Wear (The 57 layers of clothes you put on and take off during the course of a day on the tractor, to compensate for the 80 degree temperature boomerang between 5 am and 9pm)
MODEL: "Johnny-Popper Jeanie" ("Standra" Herl)
Sunday Wear (What the ranchwife wears to church on Sunday...when she's not busy calving, fencing, moving cattle, checkin' pastures, haying, or cooking)
MODEL: "Sister Bertha Betterhtnayou" (Doug Keller)
Brandin' Wear (The "cutting edge" of ranchwife clothing complete with appropriate accessories)
MODEL: "Nasty Roberta Houston" (Robert Houston)
Even Pat Richardson couldn't stomach it.
Photo by Jeri Dobrowski
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