Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

About KD Younger




The Passin' of the Trail Boss
     (In memory of Laura Ellen Hopper, 1950-2007)

We loped on down the mountain,
It had been a long hard ride...
My pinto wanted resting,
And I was tired inside.

So we rode back to the bunkhouse,
Down that windin’ trail...
Slowly to the old corral
Where friendships never fail.

The night was oddly quiet,
no songs or laughter there.
The cowhands were sittin’ mournful like,
A sadness in the air.

“What gives, my good companions,
I’ve had a ruckus ride”
A wrangler turned to face me
I could see that she had cried.

“It’s been a mournful evening,”
the cowgirl started to say,
“You see you old cow woman,
The trail boss has gone away.”

“She’s gone to better pastures,
Where she can freely ride,
She’s ridin’ range on God’s good herd,
Cut loose and no more tied.”

I stepped out of the bunkhouse
And wept a stalwart tear.
Gone was my dear companion,
That voice I loved to hear.

The trail boss lay a-sleeping,
I hung my head and prayed,
For all us old cowpunchers
Who followed in her way.

She taught me how to ride the wind,
And hear the breeze’s song...
She had taught me more than ropin’ calfs,
She learnt me mighty strong.

I wish I’d known her longer,
And with her I could ride.
But she is gone from our corral
“Too soon,” I gently cried.

She led us in our singing
Her music was choice and dear...
Her bossin’ of us old cowhands
Will be forever near.

She led the way on mountain trails
And showed us how to go.
The bunkhouse is gettin’ empty now
The wind it starts to blow...

And on that breeze I hear her voice,
Risin’ up with pride...
“I am still a cowgirl yet…
Sing my song and ride!”

© 2009, KD Younger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


KD Younger comments: Laura Ellen Hopper was an amazing force in alternative AOR (Album Oriented Radio). She pretty much founded the Americana Genre on her own. Laura was part of the driving force behind KFAT Radio (Gilroy, California—1970s-1980s) and kept that spirit and format alive through her final station of KPIG (Watsonville, California) late 1980s-now). Laura was program director and station manager at KPIG since it's inception and master-minded the most successful independent radio station and format ever known. She also was a cowgirl of the highest degree and was host to a web based radio show, the COWBOY CULTURAL SOCIETY.

I worked on KPIG in 1988 as a Graveyard Air Host...and was privileged to be under the guiding hand of Laura that time I was there I came to love and respect her as an amazing woman and radio
talent. She will never be equaled or her likes known again.

Find articles about Laura Ellen Hopper here and here.



A Cowperson's Hat

A cowperson’s hat has character. That no one can deny.
Yet, as with all hats, they start out, purty much alike.
You see them in the catalogs
Or at the mercantile
Shining on the shelves above
Spiffy how they feel.

We buy our hats
(our Sunday best)
To wear ridin’ into town...
To replace that old torn wanderer
the one with brim rolled down

Well, a hat stays good a month or two
a few weeks at its best
And before you know it, boys,
there’s some crud upon its crest.

We clean it up, steam it off,
push back out the crown...
Still proudly wearin’ our “newer” hat
For ridin’ into town.

But soon sumpthin’ happens,
That hat’s out on the trail
Building up its character
And a new one’s in the mail.

It ain’t the brand new hat
that matters any more.
Oh by golly, jingo, no
It’s the one we wear outdoors!

We roll the brim, we punch the crown,
we make it look just right...
We pitch pine blend the felted fur
to keep it watertight!

The thing blows off in the wind,
gets trampled by stampedes
It falls down stream in the creek
from where a herd just pee’d.

We shake it out and dry it off
Then put it on again...
For that aging piece of well shaped fuzz
Has become a true blue friend.

We can’t go out without wearing it
That beat up chunk of brown
To hell with that new Stetson,
It’s "my hat" goin’ to town!

I’ve got my “Sunday Stetson”
For lookin’ at my best,
And someday it too shall age,
And become my buddy next.

But this old hat, she’s doin’ fine
And good for many more rides
She carries lots of stories
And love in her insides.

A hat is like their wearer
That person ‘neath the crown
And if hats could talk and tell their tales,
Why, none of us would frown!

It’s the wearin’ that gives hats character
It’s life that shapes us down
We’re all like hats in that strange way
We got to get around!

So don’t sit there up on a shelf
For Sunday use and less
Get into life
Howl at that moon
And shape yourself the best!

© 2010, KD Younger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

   About KD Younger:

From KD Younger, 2009:

I'm an Old West enactor, entertainer, magicienne, sidekick, and more.

I've been writing for several years and have a couple of novels about ready to head out for consideration as well as a collection of my poems and prose.



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