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On the back porch

Sometimes, you have a friend or acquaintance that have characteristics that literally beg to be immortalized in a poem or a story. These characters walk this earth leaving footprints on your heart, such as Charlie! I recently learned that Charles Prentiss passed away. You say, “Who the heck is Charles Prentiss?” Well, he’s a top hand that God has brought home to ride herd up in Heaven’s range.

I met Charlie in Alpine, Texas. I had sponsored a Cowboy Poetry and Western Music jam in the lobby of our hotel when Charlie Prentiss stepped up and asked if I needed another hand. That night began our friendship and I learned that Charlie was a top hand. He rode for the brand on some big outfits in the west, and he had also written about his experiences. He could recite just about any poem, his or another poets, that you might ask him to. And to say Charlie was a character, would be an understated fact! He asked me to join him to do cowboy poetry at a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas and my young bride Stella and I got to know him and his sweet wife, Janet, just a bit better. I wrote this poem to honor the memory of my friend Charlie Prentiss.


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