I've never moved cattle or branded or fixed fence.
The last time I rode a horse I was absolutely terrified.
At the same time, I've lived in Wyoming continuously for two months shy of 46 years. Any song with "cowboy" or "cowgirl" in it gets my attention. George Strait's "How 'bout them Cowgirls" immediately reminds me of our own Wyoming Cowgirls and their accomplishments.
So I was thrilled to see three "real" cowboy poets and one awesome cowgirl poet in Glenrock on Tuesday. They were celebrating Amanda Smith's one-year anniversary of Open Range magazine. Each poet has been a contributor to the magazine in its first year and Clark Crouch's "Open Range," poem is the magazine's namesake.
So they were all awesome - Lauren McCluskey from Casper, Skip Hornecker from Lander, Crouch from Bothell, Wash., and Mason Tibbs from Jackson.
Cowboy "poetry" is not like reading E.E. Cummings or Shakespeare, thank goodness. Sometimes it rhymes, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's short and funny, sometimes it's longer, and sometimes it makes you cry. Subjects on Tuesday ranged from a mule who thought she was a horse and potatoes cooked over the fire, to what a cowgirl wants in a man - including a line about a truck with paint that matches.
Personally, I'd love to have a poster with that poem on it.
McCluskey had her poems memorized, which seemed to connect her more to those seated in the historic Paisley Shawl dining room.
She dedicated a poem about Garcia spurs to her good friend, Pvt. Scott Miller, 20, who graduated from Natrona County High School and died in Iraq on June 9, 2007.
Patrons dined on cornbread and green salad, ribs and barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cob and peach cobbler.
The meal, the company and the entertainment made for a terrific evening.
On Thursday, I returned to The Historic Bishop House for a delightful afternoon tea to celebrate the transfer of ownership of the 101-year-old private residence to a nonprofit foundation. Foundation president Susan Bishop, granddaughter of the home's builders, promises public events at least quarterly.
That's a good thing, because the three public teas sold out in a matter of days.
Food for the initial teas was catered by Market & More downtown and included a sandwich course, warm scones served with jam and Devonshire cream and a variety of desserts.
Tea was poured by waitresses in white tuxedo shirts.
It doesn't take a very vivid imagination to see the six Bishop girls and three boys who were raised there running down the steep formal staircase and out the front door. As adults, four of the daughters lived in the home at one time.
As the city's retail offerings expand both east and west, it's somehow wonderful to know that the Bishop House, sandwiched between a convenience store and a beauty salon, has stood the test of time and begins its second century as a monument to 1900s charm and afternoon tea.
Please pass the scones, they were awesome.