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Getting your Cowboy on!

RATON — It was indeed branding time this last Tuesday night , February 24 for the newly established annual fundraiser, “Cowboy Poetry and Music” presentation at the El Raton Theatre in Raton, New Mexico. The extra effort I made to get there from Walsenburg was worth it by the call of the trail devotion that I witnessed when I looked around at the fully attended family event. Things got to rolling shortly after our host and event sponsor Dennis Russell Nazelrod (a fine poet in his own right) expressed his gratitude for everyone kindly showing up, especially on a school night, as he put it. The crowd was there to support the grand but aging theatre’s restoration fundraiser and to promote the upcoming Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poet gathering in August this summer in Cimarron, NM. The opening and closing musical acts were delightfully performed by a couple of true coal miner’s daughters, local musicians Gayenne Jeffers and Kara Muntz. They sang several

songs, including a great version of one of my favorites, Neil Young’s “Old Man.” After that, the line-up continued, was incredibly impressive and non-stop. Susie Knight, our 2014’s Western Music Association’s Female Poet of the Year was a big fun, WOW kinda gal! Susie dazzled us with her latest poem called “My Western Man,” a hilarious poem celebrating her fifth wedding anniversary. It explained how she first met Dave, her husband, a tall dark and handsome fellow with a handlebar mustache, in the local grocery store. And even though she warned us girls to keep our hands off her new property, afterwards we all wanted a copy of that latest CD! Next we were equally moved and entertained by Jim Jones and Doug Figgs, an enlivening Western Music Association award winning duo, performing on their guitars and mandolin. My favorite was an outlaw song called “By the Light of a Rustler’s Moon,” sung by Doug. The main entree however was the pure gold quality of poetry performers, like Terry Nash, who rode over from Grand Junction to tell us his tales, along with Floyd Beard, Dale Page and Gerry Brooks, each having their own particular flavor of cowboy magic. We were brought from glory to dread by some of the lyrics and were sung songs of the restless heart. Like the emerald hollow down where the ponies drink, these poets painted eloquent pictures in our minds that we all seem to recognize from our time spent in nature. The simple pleasure of the anticipation of “saddlin up time” reminds us of what life can be, and the daily reverence of a morning sunrise “pinkin up the east” awakens our essence. There were hilarious tales of the “overstuffed bear” and “Why not to rope a deer,” (I thought, boy you should come to La Veta someday). I swear I haven’t laughed so well and felt so right in quite a spell. So thanks to all for filling me up. I am so glad I didn’t miss it, and although all eyes don’t see the same, it was enough for a cowgirl like me! Please come and be part of the Western Way tribe as the Cowboy Poet’s heart transcends boundaries and offers reflections back to you, soul-to-soul, exchanging cowboy pride and sharing their best wishes of “Long May You Ride!” Join us to celebrate the next gathering in Cimarron, New Mexico, Friday and Saturday, August 21-22, 2015. http://cimarroncowboygathering.com/

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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