Texas is a state of mind, as much as it is a significant geographical region. Cowboys rode dusty trails from San Angelo to El Paso avoiding Comanche Indians, wearing chaps to absorb cactus like the cholla whose prickly daggers seemed to jump at them, singing to keep themselves company, and telling tall tales around flickering campfires. Cowboy radio programs with heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger, and the Cisco Kid spurred my imagination before my family moved to Texas when I was a young teenager in the 1950's. Cowboy movies on television enhanced the folklore and lure of the Old West. Cowboys still ride out on their ranches to survey the cattle. Oil derricks still dot the landscape in West Texas. Honesty, integrity, and the fight for justice is still the code of the New West. This collection of poetry echoes the cultural values of the Old West, invigorates the senses with newer images of Rodeos, Ranches, and Wranglers, and relates stories that are as old as the campfires and as bright as a silver dollar. Legends include a retelling of Pecos Bill with faithful attention to the old timers tales; historical poems include retelling of what happened to the wagon train sent by Maximillian of Mexico across West Texas; hometown stories include that of Texas Trooper, Sammy Long, who was a local hero; and Pansy, the vaunted trapeze artist, who remained in my hometown after her husband died from a fall from the trapeze. All poems are originals that could have been the subject of past campfires and may be of future ones on the dusty trails of Texas that still exist, if not entirely in fact, at least in memory.
Texas Trail Dust: Cowboy Campfire Collection of Classic Poetry
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