A Lesson in Cowboys and Murder


I have a couple of friends who are poets. Like most poets they have other jobs, but poetry is where their soul thrives. A few years ago I heard about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko Nevada. The three of us talked about having a road trip but then we looked into where Elko was located-turned out to be a twelve hour car ride, and there were no trains or planes that could get us there. So the idea died on the vine.

But just since I couldn’t go with my friends didn’t mean I couldn’t get in my time machine and travel back to the very first National Cowboy Gathering January 1985 when they thought it would be a one-time thing. One bonus that comes with writing about things I know nothing about is I have to learn something. I had some help from Hal Cannon who was the primary mover and shaker although he will tell you it was a lot of work by a lot of people.

When I write a book that is based on an actual event I try to be as true to the event as possible. Fortunately there were no murders at that actual event but there were when I got there. In fact, it seems everywhere I go people die. Some have posited that I have a hand in the killings, but I’m not that smart to be able to pull that off. I barely am able to find out whodunit. I’ve had to use some voodoo therapy magic and a good dose of flim-flam to be able to get the killer to reveal himself.

I gained a lot of respect for cowboy and cowgirl poets writing this book and if you can find a way to get to Elko one of these Januarys you might just find yourself having a very good time.

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