One of the fun parts of the Gathering is bringing all our western gear, the stuff we don't wear in our everyday lives: boots, vests, hats, scarves, special shirts, fringed jackets and jewelry. It's a chance to step into our favorite culture.
Old West Cowgirl
The wondrous part of the Gathering is that there are free shows and workshops every day. They're in small venues and often more entertaining than the large ticketed shows. The hard part is making a choice, as there are usually 4-6 events going on at any one time at several venues.
The morning starts off with "A Couple of Rebels" featuring Vess Quinlan and Paul Zarzyski; both accomplished poets, reciters and storytellers. Whether free verse or rhyme their work will get you to thinking and haul out your emotions, running the gamut from tears to hysterical laughter.
We lived beneath the arch with a mix of grit and grace,
Just ordinary folk in an extraordinary place.
The first Members' Show at the Convention Center Auditorium was a round robin featuring Don Edwards, Joel Nelson and Randy Rieman ~ one and all credentialed and steeped in living the American West. Rather than try to put words to the experience, I'll send you to the link for the Western Folklife Center Members' Show #1 on Thursday, January 30th.
Performance from Teen Poetry Slam
Photo credit Jessica Brandi Lifland
Glenn Ohrlin and Bridget Reedy
Photo credit Jessica Brandi Lifland at
We need to remember across generations
That there is as much to learn as there is to teach.
Look up any of the performers cited above on YouTube and you'll find some great examples of their work. If you go to Cowboy Poetry.com you'll find an incredible resource for research, poetry and all things cowboy. The link is http://www.cowboypoetry.com
We checked out a few of the trade shows in the afternoon, had an early dinner and called it a day. Time for a little dose of Louis L'Amour and dreamland.