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Roy, Utah
Keith L. Adams


Keith and his wife Cheryl (the "Ol Buckaroo's daughter) on her horse Snapper. 


Ol Buckaroo, Father-in-law & Friend 

Got me a story bout an ol buckaroo, seen him do some things I didn't think no man could do.
When he was a boy his father would say, To do it right you have to do it my way.
When he broke a horse he was never done, His father would say not good enough son.
He tried to prove to him he could be the best, But in his father's eyes he could never pass the test.
His father passed on while he was still a lad, His brothers were all the example he had.
They worked on a ranch in Nevada they called Rebel Creek, He figured if he went there that would do the trick.
When he got there they called him tag along, No matter what he did they said it was wrong.
But he was tough & he worked real hard, And after a year he had earned the name of pard.
Pard means partner out on the range, And if you've been there that don't seem strange.
He came back home every six months or so, To see this gal who he loved so.
They got hitched on one of his trips back home, And he took her with him to this ranch he called home.
They had them a young'in within the next year, It was shortly after that his wife said we have to get out of here.
So they packed up & back to Utah they came, And from that time on nothing was quite the same.
To bring a young buckaroo back to the city, Is nothing but a gall danged pity.
I married their first born 38 years ago, And I don't mind saying I still love her so.
We've lived a good life with a trial or two, But I know we survived because of that ol buckaroo.
The first time I realized he was a special man, Was when it was time to dehorn doc & brand.
They had a small spread just west of town, And a few drugstore cowboys used to hang around.
They strutted around in they're ten gallon hats, spurs & chaps, they had no idea what was about to land in their laps.
They rode into the corral two by two, With no idea what to do.
There was dust  a flying as they rode around, But not one calf had hit the ground.
The ol buckaroo just shook his head, And I'll never forget what he said.
He told them young bucks to go sit on the fence & rest, Since that was what they seemed to do best.
He had ol rusty tied right outside the corral, And you could tell ol rusty was his pal.
He grabbed the horn & swung through the air, No use for a stirrup it may as well not have been there.
I looked at his brother & his brother says to me, take a good look son you probably won't won't believe what you're about to see.
He had a stiff rope hung on the saddle, Put another in his mouth and had a look as if going into battle.
Ol rusty laided his ears straight back, Getting ready for this attack.
What i seen next is imbedded in my mind, The words to describe it are mighty hard to find.
We turned the first calf loose, and right away he had this calf's head in the noose.
Now that wasn't strange i'd seen it done many times before, But what he did next was amazing that's for sure.
Shortly after the calf's head & the rope did meet, He had the other rope around its feet.
Ol rusty pulled back & took a set, The ol buckaroo wasn't done yet.
He hit the ground on a dead run, He said hand me the iron there is a job to be done.
The smell of burn't hair filled the air, As we branded, dehorned, & docked while the drugstore cowboys did nothing but stare.
Four more calves hit the ground this way,  And i'm still amazed to this very day.
The ol buckaroo didn't brag or gloat, He just unsaddled rusty and put away his rope.
There wasn't a whole lot of talk as young bucks are prone to do, Just a lot of respect for an ol buckaroo.
I only knew this man for eighteen years, But the memory of this friend sometimes brings me to tears

2002, Keith L. Adams
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


My Dad's Hat

There is hat hanging on the wall in my shop,
The stories it could tell would be hard to top.
When he got it nobody knows,
But the tales that go along with it continue to grow.

I don't recall when he didn't have it on his head,
He wore it to work & sometimes I think he wore it to bed.
He had it on when he walked out the door,
And he always had it on when he came back in that's for sure.

He had other hats he wore once in a while,
But in these hats I don't remember the smile.
Except for the one with the fish,
I think with that one he was making a wish.

It's kinda small with a narrow brim,
And everytime I look at it it reminds me of him.
He was not very big but he was awful strong,
And this strength he had kept me from doing to many things wrong.

My wife & him had a special bond,
Of her he was especially fond.
They had fun in whatever they did,
The love they had for each other they never hid.

She used to tease him about that hat,
I think he wore it more because of that.
He wore it when they went to lunch,
Cause he knew it bothered her a bunch.

She threatened to take it & burn it one day,
He just laughed & said "ain't no way",
The next time we seen him he had a new hat,
So we just figured that was the end of that.

We forgot about that hat after that day,
Not even a thought till after he passed away.
Mom had passed on two years before,
So no one knew what was behind this closet door.

I was taking things out to keep or throw away,
We have all been there it's not a fun day.
I moved some boxes that for years they had sat,
There in the corner was that damned old hat.

I guess he was so sure she would burn it that day,
He found a spot to hide it away.
I had to smile as I took that hat off the shelf,
My wife smiled too when she seen it herself.

That hat will hang on the shop wall till the day we die,
It has a special meaning to my wife & I.

2002, Keith L. Adams
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem is also included in our collection of 
poems about Cowboy Dads and Granddads




Never Forgotten
Len J. Adams
1913 - 1985


Keith sent us the sad news that beloved poet Jon Pentz of Morgan, Utah died May 27, 2002. 

Keith told us "Jonny was well known around this area for his poems and tall tales. He was a big influence on me and what I'm trying to do. I spent some time with him at his camp on Lost Creek where he would go to think and reminisce about his life on the range and about his family who he cared about very much... I liked Jonny a lot and will miss his smile and sense of humor." Keith added "I knew him well when I worked in Morgan, Utah for two years about 1977 till about 1980. I left Morgan to work in Layton, Utah. I saw him a few times after that at his camp in Lost Creek but then we went our own separate ways but I always considered him a good friend."

Jon Pentz' obituary said "Jon was a natural born poet, he wrote many poems, and the words of each came right from his heart."  It also told that he shared 44 years with "his sweetheart and soul mate, Ethel Rose (Doddie)" who had died just 16 days before he did.  

Jon Pentz performed at the second Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1986.

Keith sent this tribute:

My tribute to Jon Pentz. Cowboy Poet & good friend.

About twenty some years ago,
An old sheepherder I got to know.
He was working for the city at that time,
But he would write a poem at the drop of a dime.

He brought some by the shop one day,
And I made some copies that I still have today.
I only knew him for two years or so,
But in them two years our friendship would grow.

I found out one day just by chance,
That at one time he worked on a Nevada ranch.
The name Red came up one day,
And Spanish Ranch is where he would stay.

My father-in-law the ol buckaroo,
Told me he used to work there too.
Tuscurora was mentioned too,
But the two of them each never knew.

He spent his time out on the flats with the sheep,
The ol buckaroo with the cattle where it was steep.
Although they never met one another,
I could sense a bond that was like no other.

I was lucky to have known these two,
The sheepherder & the ol buckaroo.

Jon Pentz gave me a poem about a night out on the plains,
With the high winds and all the rain.
He said it really gave him a scare,
And he was wondering what he was doing there.

The rain turned to snow and he couldn't see,
He had no idea where the sheep might be.
When he got back to the tent it had blown down,
Oh how he wished he was back in town.

He got the tent put back up all right,
Then he found one dry match and lasted through the night.
He sat out the storm for a day or so,
And he swore back to Morgan Valley he would go.

For two years Jon Pentz was a friend of mine,
A friendship I hope will last for all time.
I've got more stories I could tell about Jon,
But I've got to give them more thought now that he's gone.

Jon Pentz passed away May 27th at the age of 67,
To join his sweetheart waiting for him in Heaven.
She passed away only sixteen days before,
And now they'll be together forever more.

2002, Keith L Adams
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Never Forgotten
Jon Pentz
1935 - 2002


This Old House

I've changed my way of thinking, no more driving and no more drinking.
We've lived on this here acre for twenty eight years. it aint much but it's 
   our home.

I had me a thought awhile back,
Maybe we should get out of this old shack.
The roof is a leakin & the wind blows straight through.
Find us a better place is what we should do.

So me and the missus took to lookin,
She said it was better than stayin home cookin.
We looked and looked and we surely found,
Some newer places that were very sound.

They had lots of windows & big heavy doors,
Fancy drapes & hardwood floors.
Kitchens to die for the misses would say,
Much better than our place in every way.

We spent the better part of the day lookin around,
And were amazed at the places we found.
I said to the missus what do ya think,
That's a lot to pay for a new kitchen sink.

We went back home to get us a snack,
Thinkin it would be the last day in that old shack.
After we ate we sat down for a spell,
And were thinkin a new place sure would be swell.

I sat in my favorite chair & so did the missus,
We never even took time to do the dishes.
Before we knew it we were sound asleep,
These old chairs we would surely keep.

I woke awhile later and looked around,
The missus was still sleepin sound.
I said to myself I'd better go feed,
Cause ol Snapper was a neighing & surely in need.

The back door stuck on me as it usually does,
Why haven't I fixed it? I don't know just cause.
As I walked to the haystack I heard a familiar sound,
I stopped for a minute and looked around.

There on the fence post I could see,
A roaster pheasant looking back at me.
I see him there most every day,
A fine looking bird I must say.

After I fed Snapper I looked to the west,
To where we had laid all our pets to rest.
There was Ruffy, Scruffy, Angel, Toby, and Boomer too.
Holding the tears back was hard to do.

Boomer was our keeper for many years,
He was a Golden lab, Shepard mix with floppy ears.
He took care of the farm and everything here,
Never letting any danger near.

The boy raised pigeons out in the back,
Boomer would hold of any varmint attack.
He took care of young kittens & the pigeons too.
If they needed help he just knew.

We used to sit out front and watch the pigeons fly around,
Boomer brought one to the boy one day and laid it at his feet on the ground.
It was a tumbler and had tumbled in to the canal,
It couldn't fly with wet feathers so Boomer brought it home to his pal.

Boomer's another story I'll tell some  day,
Right now I can hear the missus I'd better go see what she has to say.
As I walked back to the house I looked around,
Ya know this old place is still pretty sound.

I said to myself I should fix them doors,
And we could get new carpet for the floors.
A little paint and some roofing tin,
This old place would be fit to live in.

About that time the missus hollered to me,
Come back inside there's something you should see.
I went back inside & to my surprise,
There was a glow in the missus eyes.

She says to me do you remember when,
We fixed up this room for the boy when he was ten.
See that hole in the wall over there,
We was mad then but now we don't care.

When we look at that hole now all we can see,
Is the boy saying I'm sorry Mom don't be mad at me.
There's a reason we've never fixed that hole,
It's a part of the house a part of it's soul.

Our daughter's room is the next one down that hall,
It's a guest room now & it's kinda small.
She brought us our first grandson and raised him there,
He used to cry in the night but we didn't care.

We looked at each other and we could tell,
That this old house would never be for sale.
Wherever our kids go & wherever they roam,
They always come back here because this old house thier home.

I'd better get some bids on the windows today,
Because for me and the missus this is where we will stay.
It's not very fancy but the missus keeps it clean,
And it's the memories that make it a home if you know what I mean.

2002, Keith L. Adams
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


If a Cowboy's Boots Could Talk

Ya ever wonder what a cowboy's boots would say?
If they could tell us what they go through before being throwed away.
They've got a good life for the first year or so,
Only to funerals, weddings & dances are they required to go.

They stay in the bunkhouse by the foot of the bed,
The cowboys got another pair he wears every day instead.
The new boots laugh at the old boots every day,
They say why do ya let that cowboy treat ya that way.

You're all scratched up & there's mud on your soles,
Why I'll bet he even sets ya next to the fire by the hottest coals.
We would never put up with treatment like that,
Cause we're special same as his Stetson hat.

The old boots just lie there and not a word do they say,
They know the reason they get treated this way.
Then one day the old boots get left by the door,
They must be plum worn out that's for sure.

Then another pair of boots show up & they sure are purty,
They kind of look the same but not quite as sturdy.
Then what happens next takes the new boots by surprise,
There's a whole new look in that cowboys eyes.

The next day the old boots aren't there any more,
And the new boots get moved over by the door.
The next thing they know they're in the water trough,
Thinking what did we do to tick this cowboy off.

They are in there all night and at the break of day,
They see the cowboy headed their way.
He gets there and pulls his old boots off,
Then pulls the new boots out of the trough.

He dumps out the water and pulls the new boots on,
Suddenly the memories of the funerals, wedding & dances are all gone.
They see a stirrup for the very first time today,
Then mud and rocks, how could the cowboy treat them this way.

At the end of the day when they get back to the ranch,
They look to see if the old boots were there by chance.
But it seems the old boots aren't there any more,
And this time the new boots get tossed to the floor.

As they lay there covered in mud and humility,
The newer boots are saying I wouldn't let that cowboy do that to me.
Every old pair of boots have a story that could be told,
The stories may differ but all cowboy boots will end up old.

The ol buckaroo told us this story about his boots during his last days,
I think it was his way of sharing with us his cowboy ways.

2003, Keith L. Adams
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Keith writes about his father-in-law: We spent a lot of time with the Ol Buckaroo just before he passed away.  He relived his life on the ranch in Rebel Creek Nevada and shared it all with
me and my wife, the Ol Buckaroo's daughter. These stories have been stuck in my mind every since. I enjoy telling them to other folks so's they will know what a cowboy does and thinks.

See Keith L. Adams' Christmas on the Porch, posted with other Holiday 2002 Poems.


About Keith L. Adams:

I was raised in what was then a small town in Utah. As a boy I had a lot of room and a lot of time to think about life. The poem Ol Buckaroo, Father-in-law & Friend above is a result of the times I spent with my wife's Dad. Things I didn't get a chance to do until I met Him. There are many things I remember about him but this one stands above the rest.



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