|These visitors to the Castle Valley Ranch seem to enjoy the evening of poetry at the ranch.|
The Emery County Historical Society held its annual Cowboy Poetry night on Aug. 28. Glendon and Frank Johnson, of Castle Valley Outdoors, welcomed the group to the ranch for the gathering. Glendon Johnson began his welcome with a short personal history. He told the group that he was born in Cleveland and drank the same ditch water growing up that they had as children. His career as an attorney has taken him many places, but Emery County is always his favorite to come "home" to. "You are all welcome to look around at what we have been building here and you're welcome to come back anytime," said Johnson.
Sam Singleton began his emcee duties by introducing Al Shakespaere, of Ferron, who would be performing later and also operating the sound system. Singleton then welcomed Sam DeLeeuw, a cowboy poet from Manti, to be the first performer. Singleton explained DeLeeuw's Emery County roots by saying that at one time she had been a school teacher in Ferron and that her sister, Irene Mead, still lives here.
DeLeeuw began by reciting two of her original poems. The first about a new love in her life, her grandson. Her second poem was about a topic that all of the ranchers in the audience could relate to, Spreading Sunshine, about a manure spreader.
Shakespaere sang I Don't Think I Will and Teddy Bear followed by a local artist, Russ Swasey. Swasey recited a touching poem written by his cousin Ross Nordell, about Swasey's Cabin.
Local musician Jay Frandsen was next with two songs that he had written. More poetry followed by Shawnee Barnes, who selected three poems that the wives of the ranchers understood well.
A poignant moment in the program was a song by Evelyn Huntsman, who sang, accompanied by prerecorded music being played by her sister JoAnn Cox who had recently been killed in a car accident in Price Canyon. Another Ferron poet was next, Kent Petersen told two stories about the lives of cowboys of the past.
Zen Majors, of Huntington, recited an original poem about a "Special Piece of Cloth," the American flag, followed by a humorous piece about "Reincarnation."
As the Dutch oven fruit cobblers were being prepared, DeLeeuw, Shakespaere and Frandsen performed again to the apparent delight of the crowd.
The Emery County Historical Society is one of the largest historical societies in the state and they meet once a month to continue the tradition of celebrating the past. Their dues are inexpensive and welcome new members to join them. The monthly meetings are on the fourth Thursday of each month.