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  St. Anthony (Idaho) April


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April, 2007
20th Annual St. Anthony Cowboy Poetry Gathering   St. Anthony, Idaho


  report by Bobbie Hunter with photos by Smoke Wade 



20th Annual St. Anthony Cowboy Poetry Gathering


The dust has settlednow it's time for the memories to solidify. The rural community of St. Anthony has once again hosted an event
of which they can be proud.  Sponsored by the American Legion, the twentieth annual St. Anthony Cowboy Poetry Gathering shared in the celebration of Cowboy Poetry Weekand what better way to celebrate than to attend the April 20, and 21 extravaganza?

Audiences were not only enthusiastic, but bountiful to boot!  Day show attendance was surprisingly good, and the Roxy Theater was filled to capacity for the night shows. Oh, what magic an appreciative audience can weave!

photo by Smoke Wade

In the traditional patriotic manner of cowboys, each evening's show was preceded with a posting of the Colors; the audience then joined in the Pledge of Allegiance. Before the shows got fully underway, awards were presented to several CPI members. Receiving the Silver Quill was Sam DeLeeuw (Utah); the Golden Note award went to Sam Mattise (Idaho). Two awards for Hall of Fame were given: Barbara Hall (Utah), and John Howell (Idaho). It is gratifying to see these prestigious awards going to such deserving people,  all of whom carry on the tradition of the West and the "cowboy way."


photos by Smoke Wade
Award winners Sam Mattise and Sam DeLeeuw

Too numerous to mention each by name, over sixty performers (poets, musicians, and groups) were present and accounted for in the grand mix. Entertainers came not only from Idaho but also from several neighboring states such as Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, as well as from  Canada. CPI membership is truly international! Each participant's  contribution was much appreciatedafter all, they are the life and vitality of CPI.

Cowboy Poetry Rodeo's Silver Buckle winners Smoke Wade (Nevada) and Sam DeLeeuw (Utah) were among those who shared their talents. Being recently named's Lariat Laureate, Sam Deleeuw continues to build her credentials (which were already impressive).

Warm-up acts for the Friday night show were Valerie White and Jamie Baker.  They were followed by a magical blend of performers such as John Westbrook and Gary "Ferg" Ferguson (both from Montana); Dave Tingey, Sam Mattise
Bobbie Hunter, Layle Bagley, and the Fall River BoysRand Hillman and Mark Seeley (all from Idaho); Sam DeLeeuw and Ken Wellard (Utah); Kevin Inman  (Washington); Mike Burns (Alberta); Doc Hayes (Canada); and Mike Hurwitz (Wyoming). Hard to top a group like that!

photo by Smoke Wade
Mike Burns

photo by Smoke Wade
Larry Gibson and John Westbrook

Rising to the occasion, the Saturday night show was nothing less than spectacular! Warm up began with the Bad Water Cattle Co.Gene and Sandy Jones (Idaho); STAMPEDE!Steve and Terri Taylor, and David Anderson (all of  Utah). Next to share their various talents were Larry Gibson and Denise McRea  (Montana); Smoke Wade and Rees Butikofer (both from Nevada); Phil Kennington(Utah); Wayne Nelson, Ellie Corrigan Johnson, Gordon Peterson, Linda Merrill and Carol Findlay, Bill Chiles, Vern Woodbury, Oral Elser, and Garde Bowman (all from Idaho). Sounds like a dream team to me!

photo by Smoke Wade

photo by Smoke Wade
Wayne Nelson

A community minded group, several CPI members visited various schools, retirement homes, and other businesses on both Friday and Saturday.  If the mountain can't come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain!

Many thanks to the Four Square Church for opening the doors of their  building, used as a hospitality room, where performers could relax, talk, practice, and jam, jam, jam!  And the food!  St. Anthony has a well-deserved reputation for feeding the poets and musicians. CPI members were catered to, even spoiled!

Here we are, another year down that dusty trail. Fond recollections of the  gathering, the people, and the performances jostle for a place in our memories--one more page added to the album in our minds. There will be many things to fill the coming year but nothing will dim the memory of St. Anthony, nor dampen the anticipation of meeting again for the 21st annual St. Anthony gathering in 2008. Plan for it now-let's meet at the Roxy, I'll save you a seat.


photo by Smoke Wade
Event organizers and poets Gordon Peterson and Layle Bagley



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