GEORGE RAY RUSSELL
About George Ray Russell
The Extra Bonus
In the land where the rocks rise up
As the sun begins to sink
Then the clouds begin to scatter
And the horizon turns to pink
Then the blue bleeds into crimson
As the clouds soak up the red
And the shadows lengthen as the earth
Slowly turns the sun to bed
Well there is no place much more beautiful
No matter where you roam
When you watch the evening sunset
Your heart knows that it's home
And a cowboy with his pony
Having finished his long day
Can watch this tinted tapestry
The extra bonus to his pay
© 1991, George Ray Russell
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
George comments, "In 1991, while riding one evening, I dismounted to watch as the sun was setting. As I sat there watching the colors melding with the clouds, the mountains seemed to point up toward the beauty being produced by the changing hues. Trying to recreate that scene, I began a bas relief wood carving of a cowboy sitting on a hill with his horse standing in back. As I carved I realized that I needed to put it in words too, so the poem was written. With many of my poems I use photographs, this is a picture of my cousin and a Colorado sunset."
About George Ray Russell:
Born in McKinney, Texas in 1940, where his grandfather Charles Hon Russell raised and sold horses and mules with his brother George Morgan Russell in the early 1900's. George's father, Clarence Randolph Russell, ranched and farmed in the area until the family moved to Sherman, Texas where he raised his family of one girl and three boys. Long before Willie Nelson ever warned mothers to not let their babies grow up to be cowboys, George's mother steered him away from steers and into The University Of Texas Medical Branch where he graduated with an M.D. degree in 1967.
When people ask him how he can be a doctor and a cowboy poet too, He points out that "Home on the Range" started from the poem "A Western Home," written by a medical doctor, Brewster Higley, in Kansas.
While he does not work as a working cowboy, George maintains that his genes are as cowboy as anyone's and certainly his dedication to the cowboy heritage and the western life is ingrained in his soul.
George served as a Major in the U.S. Army and has been practicing Medicine in Boulder, Colorado since 1973. He has written poetry and songs all his life and performed primarily for non-profit fundraisers such as The Colorado Special Olympics, Historic Boulder, Center of the American West, Medicine Horse Program, and the Albanian Health Fund.
George is not only the first American dermatologist to visit Albania to teach at their medical school, but he is also the first to perform cowboy poetry in that Balkan country. He is a member of the Badger Clark Memorial Society and a student of the origin and history of early cowboy poetry and songs of the American West.
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