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Got a new keyboard today so I am back at my usual pace… 😉

Read this out loud for best effect…

JW

You’d never guess from looking
the name they hung on him at his birth
I guess it wasn’t what you’d maybe expect
it was Johnathan William Hinklesworth

Now, that’s a purty long name
for just a tiny little feller
maybe he got it when Doc whacked his butt
cuz’ he let out a big man’s beller

Johnathan William was an elf
guess that sort’er maybe explains his size
but other than that and them pointy ears
he looked like one a the guys

He was like most little tykes
fightin’ with siblings and goin’ to school
runnin’ an’ wrasslin’ with his buddies and friends
actin’ rowdy and thinkin’ they’s cool

But the thing about ol’ JW
well… that’s what he called his self
was that he wanted adventure and action
more than your typical elf

He yearned to head down west
see… he lived way up north
he wanted to ride broncs and rope wild cattle
rodeo on the Fourth

There’d never been no elf cowboys
heck, they don’t run cattle way up there
horses was scarce as hen’s teeth
just snow and cold arctic air!

Like a kid raised in the city
he got by with books and TV shows
watching Roy and Gene and Lash LaRue
frustrated by cold and the snows

Made do with what he had
forged spurs from old rusty metal he found
built chaps out of a ratty ol’ walrus hide
Mama had left layin’ around

Asked Santa Claus for a Stetson
got it for Christmas, the very next year
order’d him a pony, but typical cowboy
his check just didn’t clear

You can’t keep horses at the Pole
there ain’t no hay or oats or grass
he got a Bruce Grant book on how to braid stuff
just to help the time pass

Braided a reindeer reata
70 foot long and it was a dandy
and after he practiced quite a spell
I tell you, he got plumb handy

But then he got into trouble
he was caught ropin’ ol’ Santa’s deer
snubbin’ ‘em up to an old sled runner
that had frozen up that year

Pleaded his case with St Nick
told him, cowboyin’ was all he wanted to do
so Santa thought it over for a spell
made JW stew

Then Santa made an announcement
said he was just callin’ a spade a spade
nothin’ to do but send him him down south
he could learn the cowboy trade

See, Santa knows lots a cowboys
they all owe Santa a great big debt
so he made a few calls and shipped the boy out
learn to cowboy, you bet!

That’s how it come to be
this little feller from way up at the North Pole
learned to rope and ride from the very best
too bad he learned to chew Skoal!

Now JW’s back up there again
ropin’ and trainin’ and swallerforkin’ ears
only difference ‘tween him and his southern friends?
he’s doin’ it with reindeers!

He’s finally found his niche
Buckaroo boss on the North Pole spread
mostly ropin’ and trainin’ them reindeer
to pull ol’ Santa’s sled

But now he’s got a new plan
called me last night, he’d been drinkin’ beer
put in an order for a custom made saddle
and it’s got’a fit a reindeer!

It’s got to be the right size
better be tuff, but light as air
bet he had a gleam in his beady little eyes
he’s gunn’a rope him a polor bear!

JW-1

Robert Dennis 12/12
Picture by Lee Stevens

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No, not the weather (yet!) I have one. Went with Hope to the kid’s doctor and must have picked it up there….

Went over to Clint’s and we worked their fall calves today. Nothin’ like the smell of burnin’ hair! When I got home I was ready to collapse… after I did the chores. Took a hot bath and now eating chicken noodle soup. Not nearly as good as when I was a wee shaver….

Supposed to get cooler and chance of rain/snow… oh well, at least it’s wet.

Went well.. calves weighed good enough and brought enough, tho’ we sure would have taken more!

Beautiful morning. Big ol’ moon throw’d off a lot of light, better than the pictures show. But it was still dark enough when we got to the back side we couldn’t see a cow in the dark. We sat until we could see and then started gathering. got them penned sorted the calves off, sexed them sorted a few replacement heifer calves off, loaded them and shipped them. We are going with ours tomorrow. This afternoon Chance and I rode out and pushed ours into a smaller pasture easier to gather and closer to the corrals. Wish us luck! Another good day!

Woke up to a wet world this morning. Wonderful stuff. got a few flakes also today and some drizzle. Just what the doctor ordered. It is cool but it is supposed to warm back up in a few days. This will sure help the coughing livestock! Thanks God!

Here are a few shots Raymond and Mick got this weekend. I talked to a nice lady in Iowa the other day who told me she reads this blog often and really enjoys the photo’s so I will try a little harder to post more of them, more often. As always, clicking on the photo’s should make them larger…

My artist friends got here Saturday morning and we had a great time. Ran the horses in and they took photo’s while i worked with some horses. We went in to eat about noon and Chance and family showed up about then, so after dinner and a battery charge for Mick’s camera, we saddled up and went up north and moved some cows around thru’ the rocks on the rocky hill and then rode over to the main bunch and worked with them some while they took pictures. We sat around after Mass and had a great visit and then again Sunday morning. Ray had to get back to Minnesota and Mick had things to do also. They left a bit before noon and then Chance and Hope stuck around until after Cindy got home from work.

Real nice weather this weekend. Got almost hot on Saturday and no real wind and then cooler on Sunday. Cool and cloudy today. Cindy and I ran down to Punkin Center and got some lumber and ate at the cafe. I worked on a saddle a bit this morning and started work on a set of buck bed for he grandkids to go in the guest room this afternoon.

This is the first track on the CD and was a song from day one. I had been out riding my two rein horse one fine spring morning and I wanted to try and translate what I felt, saw and did. Using all the senses.

While working on it, I called Chance and read him a bit and he told me, “I’ve got a line I have been saving for years that would really fit, that you can use as I will never use it, probably….” So thus came, “The rhythm of the rein chains, bouncing to the beat…” he helped me work on the next lines with suggestions and was a great sounding board.

My buddy Mike Tarrant who lives in California and is really into spade bits, rawhide reata’s and the old Californio style of riding, working stock, told me, “This song really speaks to me. Sounds so Californio, to me”.

To me, that is high praise and what I was trying to accomplish with these songs. It’s not so much about my ability to sing or play the guitar, as the story the songs tell and the mood the music gives to the story. This is still my favorite song on the whole CD. But there are some other ones running a real close second! 🙂

Again, both of these songs started out as poems. Written by a neat guy named Slim McNaught ( yes Slim, you should see this skinny booger!) Slim was reciting a poem a few years ago at a gig we were doing and he had stumbled on a poem he had been doing. He made the Joke, “It’s not fair, when these singers miss a line they just yodel!” So I started strumming along behind him, quietly as he started up again. When he came to this poem I just strummed along. It had a very good meter and rhythm to it, so afterwards I asked if I could try and make a song out of it. He said yes and I worked at it off and one for a year. All of a sudden a new set of chords came to me and I really liked it.

On Beyond, I just heard it the end of July at a gig and again asked if I could try to make a song. He was gracious enough to say yes, tho’ he was aware I might butcher his baby, so to speak!

Slim grew up on a ranch down near the Badlands and then worked on ranches for quite a few years until his family started growing and he went on to other occupations, so when he writes a poem he knows of what he speaks. He always has good meter and rhyme and also the subject matter is always dead on. For some reason, probably the way I pronounce the words he uses, I have to drop or change a word to make it flow easier and better for me, but again, he is kind enough to like what I have done. I hope to use more of his stuff in the future..

He also is a whale of a leather stamper and carver and he and his wonderful wife Darlene go to many of these poetry shows and set up a booth which Darlene man’s while Slim is performing. If you need some leather work done or are looking for some great stuff already made up, check them out at http://www.slimscustomleather.com/

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