We had performers from as far away as Monrovia, Indiana (that would be Mr. Dale Page), Texas (Kay Nowell from Alpine) and Colorado (Terry Nash, Floyd Beard). New Mexico was well-represented, too. Besides me and Rod Taylor, we had Mike Moutoux from Pinos Altos, Doug Figgs from Lemitar, Randy Huston from Rociada, Deanna Dickinson McCall from Timberon, Gayanne and Kara from Eagle Nest and finally, from the shortest distance (about .2 mile is my guess), Dennis Russell Nazelrod. We had poet Duke Vance as well and for the life of me, I can’t remember where he’s from (sorry Duke). Legendary local cowboy, historian and author, Steve Zimmer, was our emcee and he did a stellar job. We also had the great group, Saddle Sores, who provided the background music at the beginning and break as well as providing the sound for the event. They were as friendly, cooperative and competent group of sound engineers as I’ve ever worked with.
No event, even the best planned ones, ever goes off without a hitch. One problem Dennis hadn’t anticipated was the weather. No, it didn’t rain; he was prepared for that. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. It was a warm…VERY warm…clear day and the sun got pretty intense. We should always have this kind of problem. People accommodated by congregating in the covered areas and the show went on. Rod Taylor wasn’t able to be there for his early afternoon performance…no problem. Wonderful Utah poet, Jerry Brooks…okay, Brooksie is how we all know her…stepped into his slot at the last minute and delivered an outstanding performance. WMA Hall of Famer RW Hampton and his lovely wife, Lisa, stopped in just to support the event and late in the afternoon, Rod Taylor prevailed on RW to jump up on stage. RW, Rod and Steve Zimmer started working together as cowboys at Philmont back in the 70s so they go WAY back! Randy Huston and I threw in some mandolin, guitar and harmonies and we had as an “instant” band. For his last song, RW deferred to his 13 year old son, Calvin, (how can you be SO tall at 13??) who sang a beautiful rendition of the song, “Home,” from the mini-series, “Gods & Generals.” Looks like there’s another budding star in the Hampton family.
Some friends of mine from Albuquerque came up to attend their first cowboy gathering. By the end of the day, they had been thoroughly entertained and were completely satisfied. The next morning, they attended their first-ever Cowboy Church and described it as a very spiritual experience. It was hard to tell how many people attended the event during the day because they were so spread out in their quest to avoid the sun’s searing rays. Late in the afternoon, when the sun went down far enough, Steve Zimmer directed folks to pull their chairs out in front of the beautiful stage (constructed by Dennis, Dale Page and his cousin, Harvey). They just filled up the patio area. Some folks came early and stayed for awhile. Some came later and stayed till the bitter end (well, it was more of a “sweet” end). Some brave souls came early and stayed late.
I’m writing about this event because I think it represents something special that you tend to find in the Western community. When someone has a good idea, folks tend to pitch in and do whatever it takes to make it happen. There is a sense of camaraderie that makes all the hard work seem like fun. People look out for each other and do whatever they can to lend a hand. That is the spirit of the West and it was embodied in this gathering. Thanks to the Express St. James Hotel and Philmont Scout Ranch, along with the other sponsors, for their support. Thanks to Dennis Russell Nazelrod and his lovely wife, Jana, for all their hard work. Good job. Hope to see all of you next year at the SECOND Annual Cimarron Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering.
There is a photo album on Facebook called "Cimarron" where you can see photos from the event. Here is the link. Enjoy. Wish you could have been there. https://www.facebook.com/buchanan.ranch/media_set?set=a.10204554542364389&type=1