cowboys

Podcast seeks to stoke interest in cowboy poetry

Apr 23, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

In the first 20 years following the Civil War, cowboys who drove cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas, would improvise poems and songs as a means of fighting boredom on the trail. And that is how cowboy poetry was born.

A new podcast called Cowboy Crossroads is helping to keep that rich tradition alive.

Public Domain

Few baby boomers can flip through old photo albums without finding black and white pictures featuring themselves, siblings, and cousins as youngsters. They often show off cowboy hats with stampede strings tied tight under their chins, fuzzy chaps, and belts holding plastic six shooters that fired red ribbons of firecracker-scented caps. Not many escaped that ache to ride the range on a stick horse or to rope sad-faced pups and kittens. Watching Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger on those two-channel TVs fueled dreams and guided neighborhood shootouts.

Provided photographs / amarillo.com

Last week in Clarendon, Texas, a crew of cowboys passed through town on a historic journey. The men were delivering pen pal mail to school children from Missouri to Texas. Their task was performed in the same way it would have been done over a hundred years ago. But the unique part, notes Amarillo.com, is the method by which they transported the letters. The cowboys made the journey in an authentic 1880 Butterfield Stagecoach. This was the coach’s swan song.

The Wichita Eagle

Contrary to the impression you might get from some of the old Hollywood Westerns you may have seen, cowboys of the Old West were not all white men.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Trent Johnson didn’t grow up on a farm, but he was always enamored with the cowboy lifestyle.

He sure looks the part now. I visited him in his custom cowboy hat shop in Greeley, Colo. In a sleek black cowboy hat and blue western shirt, Johnson delivers the modern cowboy aesthetic.

During college he hung out with the urban cowboy crowd, which included concerts for country idols like Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw. The city kid, who’d spent part of his childhood on a ski team, decided he needed a change.