It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Larry McWhorter
March 19, 2003.

Read more about Larry on our tribute page, on Larry's poetry page, and below.


Some Special Efforts for a Special Person


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Hearts stopped throughout the West when the news came. Debra Coppinger Hill wrote on January 22, 2003: "I have just gotten off the phone with Jean Prescott. Andrea and Larry McWhorter have requested that we all pray for Larry. He has received the news that he has advanced cancer. They will be taking him to MD Anderson in Houston. Our prayers are needed and appreciated. Please pray and pass this on to others who will pray with us for Larry. He has always been a real friend to all who meet him and it is our turn to repay all the kindness he has shown us." 

Then, immediately, hearts opened and love and support poured out for Larry and Andrea.  Below are just some of the events and efforts being offered by the many, many people who care about these exceptional people.

Funds to Receive Donations

Memorial Funds

Larry McWhorter Fund
Special donations by:
SilverCreek Books and Music

Abi McWhorter College Fund


Send Cards and Letters


Hear a Letter from Larry


Read a letter of thanks at the
  Academy of Western Artists' site (posted 3-18-03)


Enjoy Larry's Poetry


The Benefit Auction and Activities at Elko

Official Report of Auction and Prayer Service
Partial list of auction items
More Information from before the auction
Prayer Service at Elko

Benefit Auction and Concert at Weatherford

A Report about the Event

Tribute page



Funds Set Up For Donations  

Memorial Funds

The March 21, 2003 obituary in the Fort Worth Star Telegram cites these memorials: 

Cross My Heart Ministries
Box 1362
Weatherford, Texas 76086


First United Methodist Church Building Fund
301 S. Main St.
Weatherford, Texas 76086

Larry McWhorter Fund

Cash donations are very much needed and welcome. You can make checks payable to "Larry McWhorter Fund." (revised address 1/31/03) Send them to:

Weatherford National Bank
101 College Park Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086
Attn: Tami
Larry McWhorter Account
Account # 844028544

Sandra Herl donated a page at to the first 20 donors of $75 or more the the Larry McWhorter Fund.  Artists such as Jean Prescott, Wylie and the Wild West, Les Buffham, and others have pages at, a site devoted to Cowboy and Western Artists.   


The fine folks at SilverCreek Books and Music donated all profits from sales through January 31 to this fund.  


The Abi McWhorter College Fund

A March 1, 2003 tribute and auction was held to raise funds for Larry and Andrea McWhorter's daughter Abi's college tuition and expenses.  You can send checks made out to "The Abi McWhorter College Fund," to: 

Craigs's Music, Inc.
115 East Spring Street
Weatherford, Texas 76086


Send Cards and Letters

You can send cards to the family:

1211 Vivienne
Weatherford, TX  76086

Hear a Letter from Larry

Larry's friend poet Ross Knox filled in for Larry at Elko at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering on Friday evening, January 31, 2003 and he read a letter that Larry faxed him that morning.  You can hear it on the archived cybercast from the Western Folklife Center


Benefit Auction at Elko

Virginia Bennett, Chris Isaacs, Sandy Smith (Jesse Smith's wife), Jana Marck, and countless others  worked to put together a benefit auction at Elko on January 31, 2003.  

The benefit auction for Larry McWhorter, with Baxter Black as auctioneer, was held at Elko on January 31, 2003 at 5:00 PM upstairs at the Stockmen's. This was not an official function of the Western Folklife Center. 

Virginia Bennett reports that the auction was a grand success.  She adds "... it was blessed from the git go. Everything  was perfect! Baxter stayed 'til the very end...Red Steagall helped... Waddie did the Vanna White thing... everyone responded so enthusiastically! After Buck Ramsey's hat received a great amount, Waddie sold the hat off his head and  Baxter sold the shirt off his back. Everybody's donations brought mega times more than they were valued! EVERYONE was so generous!"

Read her official report of the Elko activities below.

Last updated 2/4


See the list of items below

Prayer Service

There was a prayer service in Elko at the Great Adventure Harvest Church at 8 AM on Saturday of the gathering. Pastor John Prewitt presided.

Following was the most current list of items compiled by Virginia Bennett before the auction:

...and the celebrity auctioneer was none other than Baxter Black!

Baxter, Elko 2002
Photo by Teddie Daley


Last updated late morning  January 28:

Buck Ramsey's pocket knife, hat custom made for him with his name inside, and his pen, donated by Bette Ramsey

Handcrafted necklace ("amber, some white onyx, and other pieces on it.  It has a bone, or ivory cross pendant in the center of it.  The piece hangs down 18", for a total length of 36". I always
name my pieces.  The name I have given this is "Larry's Token." The red bead at the end, near the
clasp is my trademark, and represents life") donated by Shirley Sturgill

Three original art-photographs and accompanying poems. The photos are signed 11x14 color prints, matted to 16x20 and set in frames. The poems are signed, individually matted and framed to complement their respective photographs. Each combination pair is valued in excess of $350.00, donated by the artist, Ted Lyster

3 complete sets of posters from the HIGH DESERT WESTERN ARTS ASSOCIATION (1996 -2002, 7posters each set) sold originally at $5.00 each - a full set should be worth $50 - $100  donated by Ted Lyster and the High Desert Western Arts Association

Two tickets to the Fifth Annual Lewis Clark Cowboy Entertainment and Western Arts Festival and a seat with the performers at special reserved tables.  Each ticket value is #25.00. The event takes place in Lewiston, ID at the Elks Lodge, February 6-9, 2003  donated by Kathy and Charlie Camden and the Lewis Clark Cowboy Entertainment and Western Arts Festival

1989 Hesston National Finals Rodeo buckle with the barrel racer on it, value $140,  donated by Woody Woodward

Cowboy Poets & Cowboy Poetry signed by authors Elaine Thatcher and David Stanley, donated by David Stanley.

One week (7 days) at Sunriver Oregon, March 13th thru 20th ,2003.This is a two bedroom Townhouse, with a spa, hot tub, work out room, steam rooms, and it is about 17 miles from Mt Batchler Ski Area. It rents for $200.00 A night plus room tax. A value of $1,500.00.This a beautiful 1850 sq. ft. townhome, that will accomodate six people. It has a master bedroom upstairs, and a break away suite on the main level. Donated by Damon Barnard

Leather-bound, limited edition, "Croutons on a Cow Pie," by Baxter Black, value $100, donated by Baxter Black

Cardiac Cowboys package with books, tapes, CD's and video donated by The Cardiac Cowboys, Chris Isaacs, Sunny Hancock, and Jesse Smith

Four-CD set by Liz Masterson and Sean Blackburn: "Kids At Heart," "Swing with the Music,"
"Born to the Saddle," and "Western Serenade"  donated by
Liz Masterson and Sean Blackburn

Four tickets for all events going on in Fort Worth July 7th & 8th, 2003 at the Academy of Western Artists (AWA) activities (conferences, pre-awards party & Will Rogers Awards show). donated by Bobby Newton

A 1/4 page AD in the Awards Show Program for 2003 Academy of Western Artists (AWA) Will Rogers Awards Program. Value $250.00. donated by Bobby Newton

A 1/4 page ad in Rope Burns, publication of the Academy of Western Artists, donated by Bobby Newton

Set of CDs by New West, donated by New West:  Michael Fleming, Raul Reynoso, and David Jackson

Photograph of the wranglers at the Grand Canyon. The photo was made with a camera that was in the '20's and the negative size is 7 inch by 17inch. The print is matted in a mat that is 16x24 inches. Donated by the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering's official portrait  photographer, Kevin Martini-Fuller

Pen and ink drawing of Larry McWhorter by Tom Baker, donated by the artist

1947 Rhymes of the Range, one of the books Mrs. Kiskaddon gave to the wagon cook at the ZX Ranch in Oregon to distribute to the cowboys there. The cowboy's name was Jimmy Smith. He wrote "ZX" on the tops of the pages (so you can read it when the book is closed) and his initials and brand on the bottoms of the pages. Donated by Bimbo Cheney and Jana Marck.

Covered wagon oil painting, donated by Bimbo Cheney and Jana Marck

Braided rawhide reins, slightly used, donated by maker, Jesse Smith

Handmade turquoise necklace, created and donated by Sandy Smith 

70’ Rawhide Reata, donated by Waddie Mitchell     

Framed monotype, Winter I (Horses), donated by Teresa Jordan, valued at $450.

Beautiful sterling silver feather design's the kind you just slide your wrist through an was designed by Ray Tracy, the Navajo jeweler and is about 15 years old.....value estimated $350 donated by Byrd and Woody Woodward

2 gift baskets to be auctioned separately, containing the following:1 Autographed copy of videotape "Hapless Trails To You", 6 separate titles of short story booklets, authored and autographed by Dennis Gaines,1 jar of Kerr County Fair, blue ribbon winning mustang grape jelly, 1 packet of mixed Texas wildflower seeds, 1 packet of Texas bluebonnet seeds 1 ring of dried venison sausage from the Texas Hill Country. These baskets will be "A Whole Lotta Texas." Donated by Dennis and Karen Gaines

Two copies of Classic Cowboy Songs by Don Edwards (rare copies as the book is out of print.) donated by Don and Kathy Edwards

Kacey Musgraves’ CD's "Wanted One Good Cowboy" and "Movin On," donated by Barb and Kacey Musgraves

Framed print "Close Quarters" by Joelle Smith, donated by Joelle Smith

Buckaroo style working spurs, silver snake design, jinglebobs, spur straps, value $300, donated by Pete Bennett

Basket of goodies: jam;  applesauce (much favored by a famous Texas entertainer), 3 different packages of Joelle's cards, notepads, a deck of playing cards with JMS image on them. The cookies include chocolate chip (also a favorite of our Texas friend) and molasses (much sought after by a renowned collector of movie posters from central California) donated by “Cookie Mom” Sally Smith (Joelle Smith’s mom!)

Cowboy Poetry by Larry McWhorter published and donated by Cowboy Miner Productions

A rare recording of Larry McWhorter's clarinet playing can be heard on The Texas Trailhands' debut CD from 1998, "COWBOY SWING". The CD is no longer in  production, but there's one on its way to Elko! donated by the Texas Trailhands, Devon Dawson

Silver Scarf Slide by Karen Ross, donated by Jim and Karen Ross

Fine prints donated by artist Dan Bane

Set of posters donated by Sharlot Hall Museum

CDs: "The Trail Home" and "Rest Beyond the River", donated by the artist, Charley Hendren

Several signed and numbered lithos of "Gunner"paint reining stallion painting and signed and numbered litho of "Pardners" painting of a cowboy on his pardner in the tall grass prairies of Oklahoma.. Value of each retail is $135.00 unframed. Donated by D. Gail Guenther

CDs by Buckshot Dot donated by the artist Dee Strickland Johnson ("Buckshot Dot")

The Big Roundup, anthology of cowboy poetry published by (plus donation) Margo Metegrano

Cowboy Poetry Book (The Lyrical Lawman Rides) by Mick Vernon, Monterey, CA

One set of 4 framed posters from each of the first four Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festivals, featuring the work of Linda B’arkarie, Joelle Smith, Jack Swanson, Vel Miller, donated by the Monterey (CA) Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival

Multiple CDs by Cowboy Celtic, donated by Cowboy Celtic

"Rooted in the West" Planter Gift Box (the White Metal Planter itself PLUS
nine other items):
1. New pair of spurs, w/spur straps
2. Autographed CD by Chris LeDoux "20 Greatest Hits"
3. Bowl w/brands around the edge, filled w/homemade soap balls
4. Homemade jar candle, scented in Blueberry
5. Lady's Colorful Rhinestone Belt Buckle
6. SW Artist-made Cowboy Pin, also for the lady
7. American Western Magazine/ "The West Is Where My Heart
Is" coffee mug decorated with authentic ranch brands (plus our barn logo)
8. 2 votive candles, leather-scented
9. HOT BISCUITS ranching anthology published by University of New Mexico
Press and edited by Max Evans and Candy Moulton. All donated by American Western Magazine/

30 minute full feature for musician on KVLR radio in Winthrop, Washington on the Saturday program, Dollar Watch Cowboy Show. You will receive a tape recording of the program. Donated by Lauralee Northcott.

Ticket package to gathering at Cal Farley Boys Ranch
Jacket with Cal Farley logo
a first-year poster for the
Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering signed by all the headliners, and a signed
Don Dane print of "The Storyteller", which will be used on the 2003
poster. All donated by Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

$500 cash donation from the Visalia Roundup and the Cowboy Cultural Committee

2 passes to all events at the Visalia Roundup, October 17 and 18, plus two hotel rooms. Donated by the Visalia Roundup and the Cowboy Cultural Committee. Value: $150

Four Sourdough Slim CDS donated by Sourdough Slim and Rocki

3 pen and ink limited edition drawings by Pat Richardson-value $20 each, A Bullrider, A Bareback Rider and a cutting horse, signed to the buyer plus 2 CDs by Pat Richardson, donated by Pat Richardson

2-Trail ride packages with RW Hampton, value $1200 each. This is for 3 days spent at RW’s house and/or up on the trail in the mountains of New Mexico. Donated by RW and Lisa Hampton

Handmade braided quirt donated by Nancy Curtis

Canadian chocolate cowboy hat and hockey puck, donated by Doris Daley

Somewhere in the West, Texas Women Who Left a Legacy, Poems and Legends by Linda Kirkpatrick, donated by author, Linda Kirkpatrick

CD by Andy Hedges, and a signed edition of S. Omar Barker's book, Sunlight Through the Trees (1954), autographed by the author and with handwritten corrections and notations by the author!! donated by Andy Hedges

Box of CDs and Books, donated by Debra Coppinger Hill

Four Classic Cowboy Poetry Books by Cowboy Miner Productions, donated by Janice Coggin

A Collection of 7 CDs by Arizona artists, donated by Janice Coggin

3 Brothers’ Keeper CDs plus $50 donation by Mike Faast (amazing bluegrass music!)

Ken Maynard memorabilia. Rare autographed framed movie still of Ken Maynard, along with Curley Fletcher songsheet of Strawberry Roan, AND VHS movie of Strawberry Roan featuring Ken Maynard! Donated by Gary Brown

A framed, gold record presentation of the Chris LeDoux album, "Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy." donated by songwriter Donnie Blanz

A limited edition copy of each of Red Steagall’s books donated by Red Steagall

Rope Basket, handmade and donated by Yvonne Hollenbeck

One Month of Advertising on my radio show which includes: Three 30 second spots every Saturday night for 4 consectutive weeks on Joe Baker's Backforty Bunkhouse Show. The highest bidder will be responsible for contacting Joe Baker with script information. These 30 second spots will be aired on KWES, 93.5FM, "The West" in Lincoln County, Ruidoso, New Mexico. Value $70.00  donated by Joe Baker

1929 edition (2nd edition) of “Smoky” by Will James in very good condition. Donated by Virginia Bennett  

undescribed items donated by John Dofflemyer

1 Handcrafted size 6 7/8 Western Hat by "Somebody Hats" of Houston, Texas, 
1 copy of poetry book "Horsesense & Nonsense" personally autographed, 
1 audio-cassette tape "Horsesense & Nonsense", 
1 audio-cassette tape "I Want To Be A Cowboy" 
donated by LeRoy Jones, Cowboy Poet and Singer


Brian and Sherry Woodrome of Silver Creek Books ( have donated 100% of their profits from web sales of books and music through Jan. 31, 2003 to the Larry McWhorter Fund!

Sandra Herl at is contributing a web page on to the FIRST 20 cash donors of $75 or more  to the Larry McWhorter Fund!! That's incredible!!

Official Report  on Elko Activities, February 4, 2003, by Virginia Bennett


Here is the official report from the Larry McWhorter benefit auction. It was a raging success! You were a part of a very special and memorable event. The auction took on a life of its own, from the very start. Everyone was so responsive in their generosity. Many of you mailed items to the WFC, and didn't even tell me. ALL of you were so giving of your time, resources and prayers. It was definitely felt!

Baxter Black, Red Steagall and Waddie Mitchell gave of their precious time by not only sharing their presence, which was invaluable, but also just plain working! Red had to depart after a bit because he was on the Friday night show in the auditorium, and he was heart broken to leave. Waddie made a wonderful "Vanna White," as he paraded each item up and down the aisle for bidders to view as the sale proceeded.

All of your items were treasured and appreciated. Each and every one! Some special moments were Ross Knox bringing one of his favorite bridles to sell, with a mecate made by Ross and Larry Schutte. Another bridle was contributed by the folks at the Grand Canyon, where Larry used to work. All handmade, it featured romal reins, silver bit and classic headstall.

Buck Ramsey's hat, knife, pen, and skoal can lid brought spectacular prices and were the high sellers, and really kicked the sale into high gear. At one point, Waddie Mitchell sold his Rocky Mountain Hat Company hat, that one we all identify him by, black with light silver ribbon around the brim and
band. This was done when someone on the sidelines said they wanted to buy it.  Next, the same man said he wanted to buy Baxter's shirt, which Baxter immediately shed, leaving him in white t-shirt with his scarf still adorning his neck! Believe me, all these items, in fact all the auction items, brought high bids way, way over their value! The love in the room was palpable!

Some of the touching details of the evening, which lasted two and a half hours, included the Gillette Brothers from Texas purchasing for a very high price the wonderful S. Omar Barker book, Sunlight Through the Trees, donated by Andy Hedges, and then turning around and giving it back to Andy! Maybe that book ought to be the roving tradition for any future benefit auctions, Andy! A bit like Lassie Come Home!

The very last auction item was a photograph donated by Ray March of Carmel, CA, a mesmerizing, matted photo of a bucking horse, all four feet off the ground. Bimbo Cheney of Elko dearly wanted this photo, but the bidding got a little too rich for his wallet (and mine!). A friend of Bimbo's finally
achieved the high bid, and turned around and gave it to Bimbo, who will have some special and dear thoughts whenever he looks at that picture on the wall!

It's hard to pick out individual donations and mention them, since they were all filled with love and brought so much fun into the auction, not to mention your presence was felt all through the evening. It's also hard to pick out folks to thank because of the likelihood of leaving someone out. So, I'll fight the temptation, and just won't start listing folks to thank. You'll understand! Women who showed up at noon on Friday, sacrificing at least 10 hours of their Elko time to dive into the grunt-work in putting on an auction of this magnitude. Guys arrived early and helped run errands and clean up and spot bids and just fill a "hole" where needed. Family and friends manned the table where money needed to be carefully and skillfully handled. All of this and much more. It's simply impossible to tell of the work done by these people.

And everyone went home with great stuff!! CDs and posters and books and artwork and gear and jewelry and treasures beyond measure!

The prayer service for Larry on Saturday morning was a blessing for us as much as it was for Larry. How wonderful to hear hearts poured out, and prayers sent heavenward on behalf of Larry, Andrea and Abigail. A generous offering was received to place into the fund from that service, as well.
And let's just say this about how much was raised...whatever you've heard, it's probably better than that!

The latest word on Larry's condition, which I heard on Saturday morning, was that he is going to undergo some treatment,  and Larry has told us he looks forward to seeing us all on the stage at Elko next year! He has a very tough road ahead, and faces a major battle. He is full of Faith and Love for his Savior, Jesus Christ, and is ready to accept whatever the Lord has in store for him. I know he stands as a testimony for us all as to the power of God's Love through Jesus.

I know I am thanking you all for your support, good thoughts and prayers for Larry and his family. Keep up the good work, and if you are so inclined, there is still the opportunity to contribute to the Larry McWhorter Fund, set up at this address:

Weatherford National Bank
101 College Park Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086
Attn: Tami
Larry McWhorter Account
Account # 844028544

This world of the cowboy, whether it is a poet, a writer, a photographer, musician, artist, rancher, fan, lover of horses all, astounded me in the last two weeks. Around our country, it is a tradition that when someone is in need, you lend a hand. Wives bring baked dishes to freeze and then cook
for future suppers. Men and women both roll up their sleeves and do the farming, chop the wood, tend the children, help with transportation to doctors, whatever it takes to lighten the load. Last week, you all (and many more) ante'd up, stepped up to the challenge and created not only a blessing for our friend, Larry McWhorter, but a show of support and love, and a memory that will never go away, a definite highlight from the last twenty years at Elko. You are all unsung heroes!

In His Name,

Virginia Bennett (along with Sandy Smith, who conceived of this great idea and gave unrelentingly, and Jana Marck of Elko, our wonderful, on-site facilitator!)

Excerpts from messages by Virginia Bennett before the auction...

January 28, 2003:

I said it wouldn't happen but I just had to share one more update with you folks. What great additions we had today! Check out that one first on the list: Buck Ramsey's pocket knife, his hat with his name inside and his pen! What a treasure and sacrifice given by his wife, Bette!

THANKS to all of you for your love, support and donations. Don't forget: Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, 5 pm, 2nd floor at the Stockmen's. The honorable Baxter Black presiding!

Don't forget the prayer service service Sat morning in Elko, 8 am, Here is the prayer meeting info: For those who will be in Elko and want to join us in a prayer service for Larry, it will be held at the Great Adventure Harvest Church which meets on the county fairgrounds at 13th and Cedar, near the college at 8 AM on Saturday of the gathering. Pastor John Prewitt will be presiding. YOUR PRAYERS ARE STILL SO VERY MUCH NEEDED!


I'll send ya'll a report when I get back from Elko about how it went. We started out Thursday morning with the idea of an auction. We ended up six days later with over 8 pages of items, countless contributions in terms of cash donations, prayers galore, and more auction items I'm sure will be given while we are in Elko! ...Your response is

Thanks from all of us (Sandy, Jana, Virginia, Chris Isaacs) along with all our other helpers (Gary, Margo, Lani, and so many more!)  See some of you tomorrow!

January 27, 2003:

This will be brief, friends. I am pressed for time, so am making this a bit short, but the response today has been tremendous! I'm so blessed reading all of your thoughtful contributions.... We have our celebrity auctioneer: Baxter Black...

You can continue to send [notices] mails of your items thru tomorrow. I will add them to my list but may not be able to respond and will not be able to send out another update tomorrow.

I'll see many of you soon at Elko! I can see that this auction is going to be so memorable. I'm also printing out your emails and sending them onto Larry and Andrea, so they will feel as blessed as I have in reading them.

Thank you from the very bottom of all of our hearts: Sandy Smith, Jana Marck, Margo at, Gary Brown who has been such a big help, Lani Hernandez, Chris Isaacs, and each and every one of you who took the time to respond...God is good, and the West is alive in all of your hearts!

love, Virginia Bennett

January 26, 2003:

Hi friends,

Donations are still pouring in and we are smiling ear to ear as we see the outpouring of love and sacrifice being  shown across the country for our friend, Larry McWhorter and his wife Andrea and daughter, Abigail. I can imagine each of you making careful choices on what would be best to contribute, wanting in your hearts to be a part of this event, and then lovingly preparing that item for shipment, traveling to the local post office and laying down your hard earned dollars to ship it the fastest way it can get there. Folks, that is true love, and I'm so honored to have a chance to observe such examples of family and neighborliness.

Attached you will find an updated list. Please look to find your item and make sure it all looks right and I spelled things right, etc. If you have donated something and I didn't get it on the list, it's an oversight and please email me and let me know so I can correct it.

I will send two more updates. One tomorrow night and one Tuesday night, Lord willing.

I want to mention that on some items, I put the monetary value. This is why: the value was given to me, first of all, and also because some people are sending bids by proxy with friends who will be at the auction. Some values helped them to make informed bids on items they are not seeing first and have very little description of. In some cases, we don't have a clue what they are worth and will just have fun watching what happens.

ALL donated items are so much appreciated, no matter the so-called value! Not everyone in the bidding audience can afford to bid on the higher ticket items, we need all kinds of things to keep everyone interested and having fun. And besides, having your item there is in a way, having your spirit there! Some of you can't make it to the auction, but in this way, you CAN be a part of it. That's kinda neat!

I'm sorry I've mixed in items that are new with all the others. I did that on purpose, though, so you'd have to go thru them all again to find yours or the new ones! It's a hide and seek game, so have fun!

Remember to go to, and order music and books, since 100% of profits will go to the Larry McWhorter Fund! Now thru the end of the month! THANKS Silver Creek!

Another interesting donation is that is offering a free web page on their site for a year to the first 20 contributors of cash donations to the Larry McWhorter Fund! A great deal! THANKS SANDRA!

Keep emailing your friends to get the word out, and most of all, keep praying...that is the best thing we can do and give and it costs nothing. God's power exceeds our understanding. Whenever you think of Larry, send up a prayer!

...see some of you soon in Elko.

love, Virginia

January 25, 2003:

... I promised you all an updated auction list and so here ya go....we've had probably ten additions today, at least. We expect many more once we get to the gathering. I KNOW I
am leaving people out who would want to know of this benefit. So, please continue to pass along the word.

Sandy Smith (who along with Jana Marck in Elko came up with this whole idea) wanted me to tell each of you how wonderful she thinks you are. That goes for Jana and me as well! None of us can read this auction list without crying...your outpouring of love is just amazing.

We are working toward getting a great celebrity auctioneer, so will pass that info along to you as soon as I can.

Please keep the word going out and let's keep getting items! Let's make this a huge benefit, worthy of a great guy  who deserves the best we can do. As I said last time, the need is great. So very many of you have responded so generously. We are not asking for more from you! And many of you are bringing stuff with you and have not been able to let me know. Bless you all, every one of you! You are getting this because you are Larry's I just want you to keep the word moving along if you would so
we keep the energy up for these last few days before I leave. (I am leaving Wed. am, very early). We are advertising this in the Elko paper and on the radio, will have posters out, and will be announcing it everywhere we can, and we do have a lot of items already, enough for a jim dandy of an auction!! (As you can see!) THANKS! But we can use more if you have friends who you think would love to be involved!

If you read this and see I've left out your item, PLEASE email me and let me know. It's easy to miss things with the volume of emails I am getting.

Also, you have all of next week to mail items to the Western Folklife Center.  Please be sure items get there by Thursday pm, Friday am at the latest. I'd hate your treasured item to get there too late! Remember, there is always next day mail! And, Remember this
is not an official function of the Western Folklife Center so please do not call them with questions, they have their hands full! 

I am probably leaving something out but I'll send this on. I have heard news on Larry...he is going into MD Anderson Hospital in Houston on Feb. 10. He will not be able to make it to the Gathering. He is experiencing a lot of pain, and so please pray for his pain to be relieved, well, you ALL know what to pray for!

All of God's blessings richly upon you! I can't say thank you enough for your response, it has been overwhelming!

Virginia Bennett

March 1, 2003 Benefit Auction and Concert

The following information is about a benefit that was held March 1, 2003


The following is from Judy James, via Virginia Bennett, received February 20, 2003, and later edited:

Hi, Friends.

As you probably know by now, Cowboy Poet Larry McWhorter is seriously ill with cancer.

Craig's Music, in Weatherford, TX, will be hosting a tribute concert and auction for Larry and his family on the evening of Saturday, March 1,  2003, the proceeds of which will go to the college fund for Abi, his and Andrea's daughter.   

If you would like to help by performing or sending items for the auction, contact Jerry at Craig's Music. We encourage you to come, if you can and tell your friends about it.

Thank you.

Judy James
J Spur Productions
Keeping Our Western Heritage ALIVE!
Hear Cowboy Jubilee -
Saturday mornings from 7:30 - 9:30
89.1 FM
Judy James
J Spur Productions
Keeping Our Western Heritage ALIVE!
Hear Cowboy Jubilee -
Saturday mornings from 7:30 - 9:30


Among the performers scheduled are: The Texas Trailhands, Steve Schick, John Clayton Read, Trudy Fair, Judy James, Dan Roberts, Dennis Flynn, Rich O'Brien, and Don Edwards.  

You can also send cash donations, in checks made out to "The Abi McWhorter College Fund," to: 

Craig's Music, Inc.
115 East Spring Street
Weatherford, Texas 76086

A Report about the Event:

Excerpts from Craig Swancy's report of March 4, 2003, which was a letter to Virginia Bennett, reprinted with his permission:

It was a smashing success!  Larry and his family came and stayed the whole evening.  The entertainers did a splendid job...The auction went beyond my wildest dreams... At best count we had an attendance of 250.  Although the crowd was not huge, they
poured their hearts into this.  I can't express how proud I am of this "Family" of Cowboys, Western Music entertainers and fans, Poets, and those that lead this humble lifestyle.  I could feel the outpouring of honest love in the room.

Virginia, please pass on to all those wonderful souls that sent items and well wishes to
Weatherford.  I truly wished that I could personally shake everyone's hand, look each and everyone of them in the eye and tell them "thanks Pard for a job well done."

The auction gathered steam as the night passed.  The participants and auctioneers
worked together to raise a grand amount for Abi's college education.  The money was
deposited in the bank that night...

The final musical set started with Rich O'Brien and Snuffy Elmore followed by Skip Gorman, the elusive Gary Prescott, Jean Prescott (playing the family guitar), Rich
and Snuffy again with Larry himself.  Larry received a standing ovation as his emotions began to show. The evening soared even higher as Rich and Snuffy backed the voice of the Texas Playboys, Leon Rausch. Leon captured the crowd as only he can.  Don Edwards came on and sang a couple of duets with Skip Gorman. Then Don closed the show as a single act.  I know why so many people appreciate  Don for what he does.  He does know how to bring an incredible evening to a close with a touching and memorable performance...

Craig Swancy
Craig's Music, Inc.
Weatherford, Texas

Craig added in another note:  Please convey my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed, who prayed, who sent those good vibes our way.  All of them were received with the joy that was intended.



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