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Cowboy Poetry Gathering Drawing Crowds

Cowboy Poetry Gathering Drawing Crowds

Posted - Nov. 13, 2004 at 10:04 p.m.



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Jed Boal reportingCowboy culture is kicking up its heels in Heber this weekend. From a humble gathering of 200 ten years ago, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering has swelled into quite a stampede.

Waddie Mitchell captured his love for spinning yarns and penning poems as a kid on a remote ranch in Nevada.

In his family, they told tales to entertain themselves. There was no T-V.

So Mitchell helped start the first modern cowboy poetry gathering in Elko 20 years ago.

Waddie Mitchell/Cowboy Poet: "Poets were coming out of the woodwork.

Now, thousands of cowboys and cowgirls from across the country celebrate their culture at the Heber City Cowboy Poetry gathering.

"Mitchell says the great cowboy traditions never went anywhere, there's simply been a revival.

Waddie Mitchell/Cowboy Poet:"It was always there. It's not because there's an audience...there was a need to write."

Tom Whitaker/Director, Cowboy Poetry Gathering: "A lot of it's the values that we associate with the cowboy that a man's word is as good as his bond."

Horse trainers even share their craft at the gathering. Breaking a colt by trying to understand him the best they can.

Ben Quinters/Horse Trainer: "A fella learns every day. the more you know, the more you know you don't know."

While the gathering grows, none of the cowboys find it odd at all that their culture is drawing a crowd.

Ben Quinters/Horse Trainer: "I love every minute of it...even the bad times are good."

As Waddie Mitchell put it, .a tradition that's worth holding on to.

You can catch more poetry, music and barbeque tomorrow.

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