Cowboy Poetry and Western Life

Events and Festivals

Gathering Reports


We invite folks to send in reports about gatherings.

Following are reports about events that 
are linked from event listings on the Events Calendar. 

(Some links may go out of date.)

2008 Reports


Tombstone (Arizona) October

Christopher Lake (Saskatchewan) October

Sunol (California) October

Durango (Colorado) October

Martin (South Dakota) October

Valentine (Nebraska) October

Emmett (Idaho) October

Alzada (Montana) October

Albuquerque (New Mexico) November  separate page

Monterey (California) December separate page


On page two:

Rupert (Idaho) November
Valentine (Nebraska) October
(report 2)
Regina (Saskatchewan) November
Heber City (Utah) November
Wickenburg (Arizona) December


See January-March reports here
See April-May reports here
See June-July reports here
See August-September reports here


See reports from 2007 here
See reports from 2006 here
See reports from 2005 here
See reports from 2004 here
See reports from 2003 here
See reports for 2002 here
Reports from 2000- 2001 are here


Back to Events page . . .
Back on home . . .


October, 2008
Tombstone Western Music Festival  Tombstone, Arizona

  report by William Merritt 
photo by Lori Faith Merritt 

  photos by Lori Faith Merritt,
photo by April Visell

There is something a bit surreal about rolling into Tombstone at dusk on Halloween. As the story goes, Halloween is the one night when the veil between the world of the living and those that have passed on becomes ever more thin and porous. Walking down the main thoroughfare of Allen Street, the music drifting out of the taverns might shift from the digital to the nearly evaporated sound of some long gone parlor piano -depending on how the wind shifts. October 31, 2008 also marked the first night of the 7th Annual Tombstone Western Music Festival. Indeed, Tombstone really hasn’t changed too much. It is saturated by history but that history was always created by those eager souls looking forward to creating something better and new. So, it is proper that this town have a western music festival. This time each year for the past seven years, the town fills up with the sound of high caliber western music performers proud of their heritage and moving into every new melodic fold the genre has to offer.  

photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
“Big Ed” Douglas, president of the festival for the last seven years, watches the performers on the Allen Street stage.

At 4th and Freemont Streets is Schieffeilin Hall. Once a town hall commissioned to be built by Tombstone’s founder, Edward Schieffeilin, it is the scene of the gala evening concerts. Starting off this Friday night were George Dickey and Roger Maxwell, who shared the stage, sang together and traded songs. They were followed by Tom Hiatt who was backed up on bass by Heartland Public Radio’s Marvin O’Dell. Next to perform was Kip Calahan who took the stage alone, at first, without any instruments except her voice. She started her set by doing a stunning version of "Bury Me Not" a cappella. She was joined by Oregon native and grand-nephew of Stan Jones, Keeter Stuart. To the credit of Keeter’s guitar work, the gentle ease of their harmonies and expert phrasing, their duet redefined the song, "The Lilies Grow High." Following was the award winning voice and driving guitar rhythms of Bill Barwick who commanded the hall. After the outstanding Justus and the Montanas, returning to the Schieffeilin Hall stage was Georgia’s balladeer, Doc Stovall. Tucson’s Rena Randall and the Due West Trio capped the night’s performances by showing why they are one of the best western bands performing.

photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
Keeter Stuart, grand-nephew of Stan Jones, played with Kip Calahan for the Friday night concert.

The 2008 Tombstone Western Music Festival was dedicated to the memory of singer and songwriter Paul Hendel (1941-2008). Last year he performed at this same festival and looked forward to returning. Besides a great collection of music, he left behind the stories and testimonies of those that knew him as friend and humanitarian. Irl Wilson, close friend and former band mate of Paul Hendel, compiled three songs that Paul recorded shortly before he passed and added vocals and other instrumentation. Irl came to this festival with this collection titled, Three More Days On This Trail Drive. It may be the final collection of Paul Hendel’s musical offerings but it is not the last word on the effect Paul’s artistry will have on others.

photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
 Les Buffham and George Dickey sing together at one of the side stages during the day shows.

The music was non-stop all day Saturday. On the main thoroughfare of Tombstone, Allen Street, and on the satellite stages at the OK Corral (yes, the OK Corral), Six Gun City, the Silver Nugget, The Dragoon Saloon and the Lamplight Room overflowed with some of the best talent western music has: Jon Messenger, Rollie Stevens, Call of the West, Dean Foster, The Desert Sons, Hank Cramer along with those that performed at the Friday night concert and were to perform for the Saturday night show. At Schieffeilin Hall Saturday, Marvin Odell of Heartland Public radio announced the top 10 songs of 2007. Some of the artists that were in their top 10 came out to play those songs, including Dennis Jay (#9), Hank Cramer (#5) and Rena Randall and the Due West Trio (#4). Sam DeLeeuw even made an appearance for her part in one of the chart topping tunes. After that, Doc Stovall charmed the audience followed by wonderful Patty Clayton, Joe Bethancourt, Bill Barwick, the amazing harmonies of Journey West and then Kip Calahan with Keeter Stuart. During Kip’s set she brought onto stage with her cowgirl poet Audrey Hankins. Together they recreated the track on Audrey’s CD, First Light, by performing the song and poem "Windmill Man."


photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
Sam DeLeeuw received an award for her song, “Born to be a Cowboy,” on Friday night. With her is Teresa O’Dell.


photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
Audrey Hankins performed "Windmill Man" with Kip Calahan at the Saturday night concert.

Practically the best parts of the Tombstone Western Gathering are the jam sessions that follow the Friday and Saturday night’s show. One thing that happens at these jam sessions not often seen at others, is that the local hosts and organizers provide snacks and beverages to all that come over. Players and singers of all skills levels sit around and swap songs and share the music they love. Jon Messenger; Jeanne Cahill of Call of the West; Dawn Pett, Gale Rogers and Audrey McLaughlin of Journey West; Dennis Jay; Rena Randall and the Due West Trio, as well as many others, showed up for fun and inspiration.

Cowboy Church was on Allen Street Sunday morning, led by The Desert Sons' John “Buck” Ryberg and his friend and band mate for nearly 20 years, Benny Young. “Buck” was a full time Mennonite pastor not too long ago and was called on to serve this singular collection of congregates. The depth of his insight and faith brought peace and comfort to those there on Tombstone’s dusty street that morning. With hymns led by Benny Young and Journey West, it was a service like no other. Besides being Sunday, it was All Souls Day - November 2nd. All Souls Day is the day observed by some to commemorate the faithful departed. It is worth noting that “Big Ed” Douglas, President of the Tombstone Western Music Festival for the past seven years, passed the torch onto Esther Dollarhide at Schieffeilin Hall Saturday night with an impromptu nomination and approval by the board members in attendance. Esther (as short as she is gracious and sweet) was awarded a gift—a ukulele—since guitars have proven to be too big for her!

photo by Lori Faith Merritt,
Esther Dollarhide is the new president of the Tombstone Western Music Festival.

Plan now to attend the 8th Annual Tombstone Western Music Festival. Review past years and get a lead on 2009’s gathering at: Images from this and past years festivals are available through


October, 2008
Them Cowboys is Headin' Downtown  Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan

report by Larry Krause,


Well, the dust has settled, chairs are stacked and things are as back to normal as they can be after Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan was exposed for the first time to real Western entertainment in "Them Cowboys is Headin'

The evening started off with a lively meet and greet, with folks coming in and visiting, and looking like they hadn't done that for years. The Lakeland Snowmobile Club then served up a rib-stickin' supper of beef stew and biscuits. No water in that stew, and lots left over. No one went away wantin'.

There was anticipation in the air for what would happen next, and the wait wasn't long. Western singer/songwriter Larry Krause of Paddockwood, Saskatchewan, took to the stage, introducing folks to what
would be an evening of western songs and ballads, along with the finely spun cowboy poetry of Diamond City, Alberta's BJ Smith and the hilarious antics and stories on Nanton, Alberta's Ol' Ugly.

Those at the sold-out hall roared with laughter, reflected on an era that is all but gone, and absorbed and absolutely enjoyed their first wander into the wonderful world of Western entertainment. By popular demand, the event will be repeated.


October, 2008
Cowboy Culture Extravaganza  Sunol, California


Cowboy Culture Extravaganza
Sunol Regional Wilderness

Sunol, California
October 18, 2008


It was a fine family affair!  Event coordinator Thayne Beard, along with an enthusiastic group of Park Ranger staff and volunteers from the East Bay Regional Park District, worked tirelessly to ensure that the first Cowboy Culture Extravaganza at the Sunol Regional Wilderness was a romp-stomping success. 

Once the home of Native American Indians, during the past century this land was used almost exclusively as ranch land, most recently under the homestead of the Geary family. Today, under the East Bay Regional Park District’s multi-land use management policy, cattle continue to graze in the 6,859 acre wilderness. Visitors can come to camp, picnic, hike, and ride horseback on the numerous equestrian trails. 

On October 18th, the day was a celebration of the cowboy and the western lifestyle. With the former ranch house and out buildings as a backdrop, more than 900 visitors were encouraged to participate in a multitude of events. Young cowboys and cowgirls could make their own bolo ties and bandanas, as well as stick ponies in their favorite colors to ride out of the park.  There were demonstrations on working ranch skills such as branding, roping, blacksmithing, and general horsemanship. Folks could jump aboard a hay wagon for a short trip back in history, crank the handle to make ice cream, learn how to make horehound candy, sample some delicious treats from Dutch oven cooking, and watch Lariat Larry toss his rope of tricks.

Nick Isaak and the Country Classics

And the entertainment was non-stop!  Hailing from the Stockton area, Nick Isaak and the Country Classics kicked off the show with such golden-oldies of cowboy music such as "Rhythm Range," "Tea for Texas," and "Cool Water." Accompanying vocalist and guitarist Nick Isaak were Gary Aberer on bass chords and hot leads on the piano or B-3 like organ and John O’Neill playing the pedal-steel guitar. Rounding out the group was Rich Colbert on drums.

Livermore’s favorite cowboy poet, Lynn Owens, entertained the audience with recitations of poems written by Pat Richardson and Vess Quinlan, wrapping up his performance with a moving recitation of Jim Mitchum’s "America, Why I Love Her." 

Poet and emcee for the event, Susan Parker, recited some of her own original poetry as well as several poems from her "Vanishing Voices" project, poetry written by the pioneering women of the west.  Providing a magical moment, Mick Vernon softly played the melody of Dave Stamey’s "Rosa May" on his guitar while Susan recited Margaret Clyde Robertson’s "Talk of the Town," followed by Mick singing the lyrics of "Rosa May."  Mick also played the flute as Susan recited her own poem, "She Rode a Wild Horse," the title track of her CD.

Campbell Creek Gang

There was nothing “junior” about the vocal and musical talents of three young fellows from Lodi comprising the Campbell Creek Gang who rocked the stage with renditions of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."  Drew Snodderly and Nathanael and Joseph Christensen joined together in 2005 to share the fun and joy of bluegrass and traditional fiddle music.  While the boys are young, all under the age of 18, their fiddles are not. Drew makes beautiful music with a fiddle made by his great-grandfather, given to his grandmother then handed down to Drew. Joseph’s fiddle sings with the richness of what one would expect of a fiddle that is 100 years old.  The “glue that keeps them all together” is Nathanael on guitar.  Curious about where the name of the group originated, I discovered that the name comes from the Campbell Creek Ranch in Colorado, a spread owned by the Christensen brothers’ uncle.

Morgan Hunter, an eighth grader from Moraga who writes her own poetry, recited Baxter Black’s "ShoeinPigeye." The audience watched intently as Morgan went through the trials and tribulations of trying to shoe an onery cayuse.

Popular poet and balladeer Mick Vernon from Monterey, who also is the current artistic director for the Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, recited some of the classics such as S. Omar Barker’s "Purt Near Perkins," as well as some of his own original poetry, including my personal favorite, "Barns."  One local cowboy was over heard saying “I can relate to that!” as Mick sang Dave Stamey’s "Dude String Trail."  Mick’s cowboy charm combined with poetry and song left the audience wanting more.

Reciter of the classics, Wayne Wendle,from Santa Rosa, did an excellent job in his recitation of Badger Clark’s "Boastful Bill," Will Ogilvie’s "The Riding of the Rebel," and Frank Desprez’s "Lasca," along with other poems written by Bruce Kiskaddon and S. Omar Barker.

Winding down the afternoon was the Straight Ahead Bluegrass Band, a Bay Area traditional bluegrass band whose sound has that “dyed-in-the-wool, no-doubt-about-it, high lonesome ring.”  Blending their vocals, band members Jerry Brusch on mandolin, Dave Courchaine on guitar, “Red” Rick Horlick on bass, Dan Norton on 5-string banjo, and Gene Tortora on dobro, brought a fresh and lively spirit to the traditional Bluegrass sound.

By all accounts this event was one that, if you weren’t there, you missed an afternoon the likes of which this area has not seen in recent history.  The community really got behind the event and is looking forward to next year, committed to making it bigger and better.  You can bet your guns on that one!  


October, 2008
20th Annual Durango Cowboy Gathering  Durango, Colorado 

  report by Linda Mannix

The twentieth annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering landed on the peak weekend of the fall Colorado color season, October 2nd - 5th this year. Along with brilliant gold leaves and crisp mountain air, a large group of cowboy poets and musicians ambled into town reminding the small community of Durango about it's western roots.

Lindy Simmons and Mike Querner hosted a special show to start the weekend called "The Cowtown Gathering". Based loosely on the idea that a bunch of cowpokes had just come off the trail and were gathering in a saloon to swap tales, Lindy dressed in a saloon girl costume and led the poets through a performance that was spontaneous and full of humor. Featuring favorites such as Jack Blease, Joe Baer, Brooksie Brooks, Paul Harris, Rebecca Holm and many more, the show was a great way to kick things off.

The other special opener this year was perennial favorite Ian Tyson. Over 700 folks came from near and far to hear him one more time. At 75, Ian has spent a lifetime performing and put on an excellent show despite a gravelly voice brought on by a throat virus. The audience hung on every word and gave him three standing ovations as a salute to his incredible talent.

The Durango Cowboy Gathering added two new special events this year; a Cowboy Poet Train on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad and a Cowboy Poet Trailride with Rapp Corral. Poets performed in each car of the historic 1880 steam train as it chugged it's way through the mountains and the spectacular fall colors. The train made a lunch stop in the wilderness and poets Ken Overcast, Shag Reimer, Laurie Wood and several others entertained the crowd.

At the same time, wrangler Anne Rapp mounted up 28 riders on horseback and headed out on a 2 hour ride on narrow trails through the pines and aspens. At a lunch stop on the trail, poets Mike Dunn and Gail Starr warmed the crowd with stories of horses and punchin' cows. The riders got down the mountain and unsaddled, just as rain began to pour down.

The evening poetry shows on Friday and Saturday night featured many of the performers who were in Durango for that very first Gathering in 1989. Don Edwards was a show stopper, and Gary McMahan brought the laughter. Rod McQueary was coaxed off his ranch in Wyoming to bring his talent, along with Leroy Jones, Sally Harper Bates, Joel Nelson and Ken Overcast. Washtub Jerry backed up all the pickers with his gut-bucket bass and Neil and Mary Abbott hosted the evening performances with sold out shows both nights.

Saturday morning the rain held off long enough for the annual non-motorized Cowboy Parade to walk down Main street. A wide array of horsedrawn wagons, mules, drill teams, and walkers made a large and colorful parade. But the crowd really cheered for a group called "The Longhorn Legends" when they rode their huge, old Texas Longhorn steers in the parade. The "Legends" came all the way from Penrose, Colorado with 8 riding steers and one team of young steers pulling a wagon. Main Street of Durango looked similar to what it must have been in 1882, especially when Ben Breed tied his string of six mules on a high line between parking meters in front of the historic Strater Hotel.

Each evening the popular Texas Swing band, Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys had the crowd whirlin' and twirlin' at the Wild Horse Saloon. The popular western artist, Tim Cox came to sign copies of 2008 poster, and the Will James Society held their annual convention the same weekend as the Gathering. Galleries hosted art openings and cowboy poets performed in schools and nursing homes. Sunday morning they wrapped it all up when Sam Noble hosted the Sunday service called "A Cowboy and His Creator". The auditorium was jammed full and many said it was the best service ever. Folks drove home tired and wet, but very happy from the good times had in Durango.

Poet selections have not been made yet for next year's Gathering, but the dates will be October 1st through the 4th, 2009. The Poet Train will run again on the DSNGRR and the Poet Trail ride will return on horseback. Make plans now to attend one of the finest small Gatherings in the United States and enjoy the fall colors in Durango, Colorado. For more information go to or call 970-749-2995.

The Gathering's 2008 poster by Tim Cox.

  A 2009 calendar includes many of the past poster images

 Find details and order information, along with past years' posters  at:

October, 2008
Sweethearts in Carhartts" Martin Matinee  Martin, South Dakota

  report and photos by Ken Cook

[photo of Ken Cook by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]


A welcome rain greeted Gary Prescott and "Sweethearts in Carhartts" Jean Prescott, Liz Masterson, and Yvonne Hollenbeck as they splashed up to the Inland Theatre for an early church service prior to the PEO Chapter CV "Sweethearts in Carhartts" Martin Matinee, Sunday, October 12, 2008.

Gale Patzlaff, Ken Cook, Liz Masterson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jean Prescott, and Gary Prescott

The little town of Martin and surrounding ranches had been abuzz for weeks about this event and the crowd began arriving as early as 2pm for the 3pm show! The theatre was filled to capacity when Ken Cook and Gary Prescott took center stage to open the show. Gary's deep, rich, Texas born and bred vocals quickly lead folks to the realization that this would be an outstanding afternoon of entertainment.

Ken Cook and Gary Prescott

Yvonne Hollenbeck's award winning poetry and unprecedented writing and reciting skills are a perfect fit with Jean Prescott and Liz Masterson's singing and songwriting talents. "Sweethearts In Carhartts'" two sets lasted over an hour and gauging by the applause time and time again, could not have been better.

Gary Prescott, Jean Prescott, and Ken Cook

Yvonne chose to include Ken Cook and Gale Patzlaff for some over the top poetry and laughs during her "not so solo" performance. Yvonne earned the applause and laughs, Ken stole a few laughs, and Gale brought the house down
with laughter!

"Sweethearts In Carhartts" Martin Matinee was sponsored by the local PEO Chapter which each year awards scholarships to female graduating seniors. Connie Kaltenbach created a wonderful full screen projection of the entertainers that was on when the audience began arriving at the movie house. Teresa Kocourek, Chapter President, emceed the show and throughout
the afternoon several PEO members handed out winning door prizes and gifts to the audience.

"Sweethearts in Carhartts": Liz Masterson, Jean Prescott and Yvonne Hollenbeck

Liz Masterson, Jean Prescott and Yvonne Hollenbeck's professionalism, talent, and unique blend of music and poetry—along with the performances by Gary Prescott and the poets—will be long remembered in Martin, South Dakota.


October, 2008
17th Annual Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Old West Days
  Valentine, Nebraska


report by Willard Hollopeter, photos by Bob Stetter

(See an additional report by Slim McNaught here)

Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Old West Days

The Nebraska gathering was again a huge success, with top-notch entertainers and near capacity audience for the three poetry and music performances. There was also a good audience for the day sessions.

The wet weather, during most of the event, which canceled the parade and trail ride, didn’t dampen folks' enthusiasm for western entertainment, some of them coming a great distance to hear
Gary Prescott, "Sweethearts in Carhartts" (Jean Prescott, Liz Masterson, and Yvonne Hollenbeck), Bonnie Krogman, Al Mehl, Pop Wagner, O'Brien Family Band, and Tim Nolting.

Willard Hollopeter, Jean Prescott, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Liz Masterson, Bonnie Krogman, and Gary Prescott


O'Brien Family Band

Pop Wagner

The gathering was dedicated to Valentine musician Wally Bazyn. Wally has been fighting cancer and, before the Saturday night performance, Wally was wheeled on stage to say a few words to the audience. I imagine there were a lot of wet eyes at that time.

October, 2008
Spirit of the West  Emmett, Idaho

report and photos by Bobbie Hunter


Hold on to your hat—cowboy poetry rides again!

Nestled at the foot of Freeze Out Hill, Emmett, Idaho, played host to the annual fall gathering, "Spirit of the West." Organized by Fay Briscoe, Allan and Corean Romriell (all of Idaho), and the American Legion Post #49, the gathering showcased a corral full of poets and musicians lined up for a turn at the mic.

October 10th and 11th found a stout-hearted gang of talented performers implementing the adage "the show must go on." They were unflappable in the face of snow storm, howling winds, and electrical outages. Collectively, they shared their skills with the zest and enthusiasm one would expect from a "Cowboy Poets of Idaho" sanctioned event. They created an aura reminiscent of the old days around a camp fire when stories, tall tales, and music were the order of the day.

Thanks is due the American Legion for use of their hall which accommodated not only the Friday and Saturday day sessions, but also provided a perfect setting for a sociable exchange between performers on Friday night. After enjoying a great meal, everyone pushed back from the table long enough to participate in a round robin session of verse and music. The relaxed atmosphere allowed an excellent opportunity for poets to try out new material as well as to have a top-notch gab session.

Dallas and PJ McCord

Many long-time favorites and award-winning performers were in attendance and participated in the Saturday night show. Fay Briscoe presented patriotic poems and also led the audience in The Pledge of Allegiance. Dallas McCord (Oregon) acted as emcee, and was later accompanied in song by his wife, PJ McCord. Others who performed in the night show were Vern Woodbury (Idaho), Sam Deleeuw, Don Kennington, and Stampede! (Steve Taylor, Terri Taylor, and Dave Anderson) all of Utah.

Fay Briscoe

Fay Briscoe has been instrumental in the production of the Emmett gathering for the past eleven years, but will now be turning the reins over to another rider. Many thanks, Fay, for bringing a taste of Western entertainment to Emmett.

Arlene and Don Kennington

An especially touching moment occurred when "Stampede" dedicated a waltz to Don and Arlene Kennington, who will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary October 29th. A hush fell on the hall as Don and Arlene danced, accompanied by the sweet and harmonious melody.

Colleen Kohler (Idaho), daughter of the late Ken Romriell, awed the crowd with a variety of poems delivered in a most unique manner. No routine cadence or common themes for her; Colleen's work spans the gamut from fall-down funny to touchingly poignant, and her delivery is without equal.

Ken Wellard (Utah) once again thrilled the audience with antics skillfully applied to selections of his own poetry, and also acted as mouth-piece for hauntingly beautiful verse created by his mother, Eunice Wellard (Idaho).

Lonnie Shurtleff (Oregon) shared his talent in true cowboy fashion combining poetry, song, and brilliant guitar accompaniment as part of the Saturday night pre-show.

Allan Romriell and Colleen Kohler

Also sharing the pre-show limelight were Allan Romreill and Corean Romriell who carry on the family tradition (son and daughter-in-law of Ken Romriell). Their unique blend added to the high quality of the "Spirit of the West."

Tom Patton

Tom Patton (Idaho) a truck driver by trade and new to the cowboy poetry movement, delivered verse with the ease and heart of a true lyricist. His poetry is infused with slices of life gleaned from years of showing cattle and living the cowboy life.

Also performing were: Necia Hunter, Kira Hunter, Elden Thompson, Toni McGuire, Lois Mecham, Sherry Jones, and Bobbie Hunter (all of Idaho).

The gathering brought welcomed boot-stompin' excitement to the Gem Valley—enough to last all year. Dates for future Emmett gatherings have not yet been decided, but will be posted well in advance in order to give ample opportunity for all to attend.

October, 2008
20th Annual Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Art & Music Show   Alzada, Montana

report by Slim McNaught with photos by Dena Whitney

[photo of Slim McNaught by Jen Dobrowski]


What a trip! On Sunday, October 5, 2008, we traveled through three states and five counties and ended up just a hundred miles from home. From New Underwood up the Black Hills route to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, then through twenty some miles of Wyoming and about one mile into Montana lies Alzada, Montana, where we spent a fun filled day at the Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music, and Art Show. This was the 20th Annual for this event and the theme was “Looking Back and Reminiscin’.”

This gathering is put together by Gay Arpan and Chris Maupin and as usual it was a huge success. With over thirty poets and musicians and (if I counted right) twenty eight artists with pictures hanging on all the walls in the hall, this place was hoppin’.) There was standing room only with over 200 in the audience. And what a great audience. It’s really fun to get up on stage and do material for folks like this. They appreciate everyone’s input. The building opened at 10 o’clock in the morning for the artists to get their displays in place, and Bob Petermann again furnished the sound system. A delicious noon meal was served after which the program started at 1 o’clock.

There were two Featured Poets, two Featured Musicians, and two Featured Artists. I apologize for being lax in not getting pictures of the Featured Artists, Linda Velder of South Dakota and Zack Jay of Wyoming. The Featured Poets were Robert “Jinglebob” Dennis of Red Owl, South Dakota, and Jody Strand of Baker, Montana. The Featured Musicians were Patsy Fitch of Jordon, Montana, and Jack Owen of Alzada, Montana. These Featured poets and musicians were allotted around fifteen minutes each to perform.

What a range of talent we were treated to. Every type of cowboy poetry and music that you could imagine was provided from that stage. Poets and musicians performing two pieces each were: Mary Smith, Miles City, Montana; Chris Penning, Hulett, Wyoming; Jim Carrol, Ekalaka, Montana; Barb Peabody, Ekalaka, Montana; Onalee Hoffman, Belle Fourche, South Dakota; George Watts & Opal Oudin, Hulett, Wyoming; JoAn Marshall, Ekalaka, Montana; Peggy Howard, Sundance, Wyoming; Slim McNaught, New Underwood, South Dakota; Darla West, Jordon, Montana; Bob Petermann, Wibaux, Montana; Jim Hamilton, Decker, Montana; Milo Dailey, Belle Fourche, South Dakota; Shirley Snook, Hulett, Wyoming; Kenneth Kasla, Sidney, Montana; Ann Hanson, Bowman, North Dakota; Thousand Hills Gospel Band (Dave & Jared Wagner, Joanie, Chip, Haley, & Preston Neiman) Hulett, Wyoming; Celia Yates, Hammond, Montana; Dipper Brunson; Ronda Hendrickson, Alzada, Montana; Doug Ren, Hulett, Wyoming; and Jeremy Dietz, Ekalaka, Montana. This group entertained for nearly five hours, much to the delight of the audience, and everyone wondered where the time went.



Gay Arpan, Chris Maupin and Randy Arpan drew names and awarded door prizes to several lucky folks in attendance. As in years past, Randy Arpan was the emcee and done a bang up job. With Marge Waterland, Chairperson of the kitchen, and all her helpers plus a number of other volunteers, this year’s event was a booming success. A bunch of us were already talking about “next year,” so get ready to come and have a great time.

Anyone wanting more information about this event can contact Gay Arpan 406-828-4517 or Chris Maupin 307-467-5260.



We invite you to send in reports about gatherings and other events.



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