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Front Page » September 10, 2013 » Emery County News » Cowboy Poetry event at Castle Valley ranch
Published 225 days ago

Cowboy Poetry event at Castle Valley ranch


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By Phil Fauver
staff writer

The Emery County Historical Society held their Annual Cowboy Poetry Night at the Castle Valley Outdoors Lodge on the Castle Valley Ranch near Emery.

Event goers said this was a very pleasant enjoyable summer evening sitting in chairs on the green lawn listening to cowboy poetry and Western music all furnished by local musicians and poets.

Evelyn Huntsman the Historical Society President welcomed everyone and said, "We are so happy to be here. I want you to notice that we chased all the rain clouds away." Our next months meeting will be about the history of the San Rafael Museum.

Huntsman announced dues are still only $5 yearly for membership in the Historical Society and if you will give us your e-mail address we will send the meeting notices to your e-mail address and it will save us the cost for the postage to mail you a post card.

Huntsman also displayed a large thick book to the audience that she said contained a history of Emery County. She then informed the group that this book was now on a CD and available to be purchased for $10 from Lori Ann Larsen of the Historical Society. The Historical Society also has books of Cowboy Poetry and a variety of other historical books for sale at a nearby table that was overseen by Dixie Swasey.

Huntsman then read an entertaining song about "Ma's Old Galvanized Washtub." and the Saturday night bath, which brought forth giggles and laughter from the audience as some of the old timers were reminded of their experiences with the old galvanized washtub. She also read a recipe for the best fruitcake, which was made with two quarts of whiskey and other ingredients.

Huntsman introduced JayFrandsen and his Haywire Cowboy Band.

The Haywire Band is made up of Jay Frandsen and Todd Jeffs playing guitars accompanied by Charla Davis on the drums. Frandsen and Jeffs are from the Orangeville, and the Castle Dale area, while Charla Davis is from Gordon Creek near Price. Frandsen has written several songs about Emery County, about his horses and about his experiences. One of the many songs sung by Frandsen was "King Of The Road." Frandsen has been playing for dances and other events for many years. Kevin Peacock remembered that Jay once played for dances at the San Rafael Junior High when Kevin was a student there.

Evelyn introduced Kent Petersen as the Master of Ceremonies. He started by reading a bit of cowboy poetry. His first poem was, I am sitting on this fence so confused I think I am going to die. I just can't decide if I am going to laugh or start to cry. There is a part of me that knows it hasn't felt so good in years, but the other half can't keep from breaking out in tears. This five year draught just ended, it rained all night and almost all of the day. The nicest sight I have seen in years but it has ruined all that un-baled hay. So if you see me with a big smile on my face and a tear in my eye, you will know I have not gone crazy. I just don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

Throughout the meeting between acts Petersen added humorous stories and jokes.

Russell Swasey was asked to recite some of his poetry. He began by saying, I often think of years long ago of the Sinbad country where the Swasey boys roamed. Old Joe with his brothers Charlie and Rod of course there was Sid and then there was Lucas of which not much is said. They all had a hand in taming the land. Riding and roping was what they done well, so they made a living gathering horses out here on the San Rafael. They would break them and then push them on over the mountain to San Fran to sell. Even old Butch stopped by once or twice. You have all heard the story about the sorrowful spat between Joe and Mr. Bobcat. Joe had wisdom and foresight that would astound. One night while lying out there on the ground. He told his grandson it may not be soon but mark my words some day there will be a man on the moon. The incident at the cabin on Swasey Creek should prove them boys were not meek. One day when Charlie and Sid returned from a ride they found a bear was hiding inside. Well Sid shoved Charlie inside. Sid's words of instructions now filled the air. Charles you fight that bear fair. Down in that country near Mexican Bend where the San Rafael River has cut the canyon deep, this is the spot where old Sid made his leap. Sid and his horse took to the air or as some would make you believe. It may have been a posse that motivated the feat that he achieved. Sid and Charlie Kofford went for a ride and wound up North on the Canadian side. There they found a switch yard full of trains so they took them an engine just to go for a ride. When they were caught and took to the side, they stuttered and stammered and tried to explain. Hell we have been cowcatchers for years. We just wanted the rest of the train. So I hope in the future there will be someone left to tell of the glorious adventures of the first cowboys from the San Rafael.

If you would like the full version of his poetry you may want to contact Russell Swasey.

Petersen told of a rural state trooper that pulled a farmer over and said, sir, do you know your wife fell out a few miles back. The farmer said, Thank God I thought I had gone deaf.

Peacock played several Western songs on his guitar with the Frandsen's Haywire band. One of his songs was the "Come On Down To The Farm". This song was a spoof.

Kyle Singleton talked about the plight of the farmer and ranchers after which Kyle dedicated a poem titled "The Ranchers Dream", to all the ranchers that have gone before us and who made the life we have today. Then he played a song called "The Last Real Cowboy."

Tyler Jeffs first told a mother-in-law joke that went something like this. His mother-in-law was angry with him because he did not get her anything for her birthday. Last year he gave a cemetery plot for her birthday. She was questioning why he did not get anything for her this year. He answered; well you didn't use what I got for you last year. Jeffs then read the following poems: "Why Do All The Trees Lean In Wyoming", "Jay The Rancher" and "The Big Fuzzy Coat."

Petersen invited everyone to partake of the peach cobbler and ice cream before they started home. The evening ended with plenty of delicious Dutch Oven peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream served by the Historical Society Presidency and helpers.

Some in the appreciative attendance were of the opinion that this was the best music and poetry. It may have been the largest turn out to Cowboy Poetry in the history of the Historical Society and Castle Valley Outdoors.

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