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On the Back Porch

I retired from my day job in July of 2007 and I am here to tell you time has not slowed down since.

Well, maybe this year some, because of the coronavirus. In fact, many of the cowboy poetry gatherings that we have been privileged to participate in have been canceled.

So in my reminiscing, I gave thought to one gathering that was probably the most memorable of all the gatherings that my young bride Stella and I have attended. And that one was the 2012 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Kanab, Utah.

Sam Jackson is the originator of this venue and 2012 was the 16th anniversary for the rodeo. Jackson’s goal was to make fair poets good and good poets better. This gathering was a competition, styled after a regular stock rodeo, with the poetry being the animal and the poet being the rider.

I competed in this contest starting in 2009, winning a lot of 2nds and 3rds, but 2012 was to be my year. I was successful in winning 1st place, a dab of cash, and a silver buckle.

The final total gave me The All Around Cowboy Poet Champion award. The competition was tough and the poets were good and I was fortunate to be able to score high enough to gain the win.

Though it is called “The National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo” it actually should be called the “International” since we had participants from several countries.

In fact, the emcee Smoke Wade, said, “We have contestants from four countries…The United States, Mexico, Australia, and Texas!” 

This group of Cowboy and Cowgirl Poets included the Cowboy Poet Laureates from Kane County Utah and Oklahoma. The Australian poet has won numerous awards from down under and others have won awards for poems, books, and films.

As 1st place winner, I got to perform at the Saturday night Western Legends gala production.

That year, Dale Evans and Roy Rogers granddaughter narrated a film about the silver screen stars and then Lynn Anderson finished with her great performance that included, “I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.” 

This brought a standing ovation. I was onstage to perform just before her act and it was quite a thrill! Later, she joined us for a late night jam session.

“Folk, it just don’t get  better than that!” My Ol’ Daddy would have said, “Boy, be careful that yore head don’t git all swole up!” 



Good morning Lord! 

Shore looks like a fine day.

Thanks for takin’ the time jest to

listen to all I’ve got to say.


Jesus came to die for all our sins

an’ give each of us freedom

from the Devil’s evil work.

I shore thank You that He come.


Thanks fer providin’ all I need,

an’ forgivin’ me of my sin.

I know thet I often fail You,

but, I feel Yore love within.


An’ I thank You fer all the blessin’s

You’ve seen fit to put into my life. 

How You multiply them each day,

thru my helpmate, Stella, my wife.


An’ Lord, help me to know how

to always treat my fellow man,

‘cuz ways is sometimes different, 

so give me wisdom to understand.


We thank you for allowin’ each of us 

to enjoy the freedoms won at such cost

by those that faced the tyrant’s wrath

with courage when all seemed but lost.


 An’ I need Yore help to stay my path,

an’ keep me from becomin’ a stray.

‘Cuz I know the trail is steep an’ tough,

so I thank Ye for bein’ here each day.


 I humbly hand to you this day

these tasks we’ve talked about.

 I know that you and you alone                                  

Can calm our fears and doubt.


Thanks for takin’ the time jest to

listen to all I’ve got to say.

I know You’re always there.

An’ it shore looks like a fine day.

By Ol’ Jim Cathey


 God bless each of you and God Bless America!

The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
Fax:(254) 883-6553