Student writers to share stage with cowboy poets

Cowpoke Fall Gathering runs Nov. 7 to 11
By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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Cowpoke Fall Gathering

What: Cowboy music, poetry, story-telling, free

dummy roping demonstration and lessons

Who: Cowpoke Foundation to benefit Ride to Walk, Tough Enough to Wear Pink and the South Placer Heritage Foundation

Where: Blue Goose Event Center

Price: Evening shows $35/$45; matinee $25/$35

Tickets: Online at, (866) 967-8167

Information: 652-6113 or www.cowpokefall


Big Buckle Night and Cowboy Buffet

When: 5 - 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7

Where: Le Casque Winery, 3273 Swetzer Road

Tickets: Purchase dinner tickets online for $22 at or at the door, space permitting, for $25


Kick-off Reception

Where: Red Horse Barn, Newcastle

When: 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8

Price: $50


Shows times

Friday evening: 6:30 p.m., Nov. 10, featuring Baxter Black, Rusty Richards, Pat Richardson and Jeff Severson.

Saturday matinee: 1 p.m., Nov. 11, featuring student poets, Larry Maurice, Rusty Richards, Bill Brewster, John Kintz and Jeralynn Strong

Saturday evening: 6:30 p.m., Nov. 11, featuring Baxter Black, Rusty Richards, Pat Richardson, Bill Brewster and Jeralynn Strong with Jeff Severson as Master of Ceremonies


Cowboy Church

When: 9 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 12

Who: Rusty Richard, John Kintz and Bill Brewster

Price: Free admission and refreshments

An award-winning cowboy is keeping the heritage of cowboy poetry alive by teaching youngsters to carry on the tradition.

Riding a stationary saddle like a bucking strawberry roan horse, cowboy entertainer Larry Maurice last week introduced fourth-graders at three local elementary schools to the craft of writing cowboy poetry.

Students from H. Clarke Powers Elementary, Loomis Grammar School and Penryn Elementary School learned some history about the old west, as Maurice explained that cowboy poetry always tells an entertaining story with a lesson.

Teaching them how to make words rhyme, Maurice sent the kids back to their classrooms to write their own cowboy poetry. About 10 students will be selected from the three schools to recite their poems at the Cowpoke Fall Gathering matinee show at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10.

“This is a great, great event we do to keep the heritage of cowboy poetry alive and make people understand that the cowboy is not dead, you just can’t see us from the highway,” Maurice said.

Maurice has received the Lifetime Achievement in Cowboy Poetry Award from the National Cowboy Symposium and the Will Rogers Award for Cowboy Poet of the Year 2000 from the Academy of Western Artists. He said he started writing cowboy poetry when he was a kid and enjoys working with children in about 20 different schools each year.

“It keeps me young with all this energy in the room and I always find good writers at this level. It always surprises me what their imaginations can come up with when you give them free rein,” he said.

Student Dillan Madden demonstrated how setting the beat, or meter, of a poem was like playing drums during Loomis Grammar’s workshop.

“The cowboy was funny and I think I can probably write some poetry, but I don’t know what yet,” Dillan said.

Ashley Nuetzman said she plans to start her poem, “I was feeding my cattle when something came by.”

And Sara Gill, who ran back into the room after the workshop to get Maurice’s autograph said, “I already have one written and I know it by heart now.”

This is the eighth year that participants in the Cowpoke Fall Gathering Creative Writing Program, sponsored by Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic, Small Animals and Exotics, will be selected to recite their poems in public, but the first time they’ll perform on stage with professional performers.

“On Friday, we’ll have a dress rehearsal at the Blue Goose with a light lunch, let you get on stage, use the microphones, and show you how the lights work and all about being part of a stage production,” Maurice told the students.

Christy Braun, who co-founded the event with her father, Bert, said, “It’ll be a heightened experience for the kids this year. They’ll each get a little swag bag like they’re celebrities and briefed on what to wear then they are performing.”

This year’s Cowpoke Fall Gathering will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 7 with Big Buckle Night and a Cowboy Buffet at Le Casque Winery. The Kick off Reception will be held at the Red Horse Barn in Newcastle on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Cowboy poets will make the characters and critters of the old west come alive through poetry, stories and song on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Saturday will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink day to support Breast Cancer Awareness and cowboy Jack Roddy will give a free dummy roping demonstration and lessons to the public between shows. Cowboy Church will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m.