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Saturday, March 10, 2012


I was on a high last weekend that I haven’t experienced since the Hippie Days..., oh so many years ago.  These days..., with a 60 year old birthday looming just two months away..., those bouts of inspiration still happen..., occasionally.  Usually after the chores are done and the sweat has been replenished with a few ice cold beers in The Saddle Bar(n).  And such was the case last weekend.
I was listening to Tom Russell singing, “Bucking Horse Moon"
Down a one lane road there’s a dusty fairgroundWhere I learned the bronc trade..., I fell in loveWith a blue-eyed twister and her smokey whisperShe said, “They call me the Cimarron Dove”
We’d spool our bedrolls on down together
My calloused hands combed through her hair
She’d stare at a star through an old mesquite tree
“See that moon shadow, there’s a bucking horse there”
Sweet bird of youth, no easy keeper
Flown with the seasons all too soon
Beneath Montana’s blue roan skies
Nevada starlight and a bucking horse moon.
Yeah..., I was thinking about how that sweet bird of youth had slipped 25 years past me and my own Cimarron Dove..., Julie.  We didn’t follow the rodeo circuit, but that old timber trail had provided a lot of travel and adventure from Forks to Alaska and back.  Carving a homestead out of the overgrown Quillayute Prairie and watching the full moon  rise over the Olympic Mountains have provided us with plenty of fond memories..., and a little different type of adventure.
Our love reeled out like a Western movieDown hard worn highways through the rodeo townsWrapped in her wings for the midnight flightThat bucking horse moon kept shining down.
Bucking horse moon on the hood of the truck
She’d smile and say, “That means good luck”
Bucking horse shadow through the purple sage
We’ll ride forever, our love won’t age.
Well..., Julie and I hope that we have many more happy years together.  But age does have a way of creeping up on you and health issues are a concern.  Since we have been together I have told Julie that she has to see Yosemite National Park.  I suddenly realized that Tom Russell was scheduled to play in Visalia, CA on 9/19/12 and in Bishop, CA three days later.  Yosemite lies right between the two.
But heart and bone are made for breakingThe Cimarron Dove’s flown with the windThen a bronc in Prescott rolled on my backI’ll never ride rank stock again.
Sweet bird of youth, no easy keeper
Flown with the season all too soon
Beneath Montana’s blue roan skies
Nevada starlight and a bucking horse moon
So..., we aren’t getting any younger and I couldn’t think of any reason to put off the trip.  I have always loved maps..., and my gosh..., Google is a shear delight in that respect.  My ink cartridge is probably about dry now..., and I have a ream of paper plotting a trip down the Oregon and California coasts, across the Golden Gate and San Francisco to Carmel.  Then a decision to make..., whether to cut across to Visalia from there or continue on down through Big Sur before leaving the coast.  I am thinking we may have had enough of coastal scenery by then..., the weather may help clear up that dilemma.
I lost my youth on the dusty fairgroundsI’m an old bronc fighter long past high noonBut on a haunted night wind I can hear her whisperingAs I search the heavens for the bucking horse moon.
Sweet bird of youth, no easy keeper
Flown with the season all too soon
Beneath Montana’a blue roan skies
Nevada starlight and the bucking horse moon
Wyoming sundown and a bucking horse moon.
Yeah..., maybe we will recapture some of that sweet bird of youth as we back-track the route through Yosemite that I followed when I was 21 years old, just out of the Army, and on my way home to Idaho.  Maybe..., and that brings me to the CRUSHED !!!! in the title to this piece.  This weekend I called the Maverick Coffee Shop in Visalia to reserve our tickets.  Would you believe..., I didn’t..., that they think that reserving tickets over six months in advance is unnecessary !!!!!  They told me to call back five weeks before the show!!!!  A nearly 60 year old old man shouldn’t have to suffer that magnitude of anxiety for five months.  After all..., who could enjoy planning a trip like this without being able to count on seeing and hearing Tom Russell play “Bucking Horse Moon”?
Not this wannabe cowboy anyway.


  1. My best friend was a rider(and writer)

  2. Yeah..., quite a prolific writer..., Giles Tippette has 26 titles to his credit on Amazon. Including "Tombstone"..., that one of my favorite movies was adapted from.

    "Bucking Horse Moon" was co-written with Tom by Paul Zarzyski..., who was also a bronc rider and widely published poet. The music from this video is a slightly different version from Tom than the CD that I have, "Cowboyed All To Hell". It is a compilation of cowboy themed songs from Tom's other albums. It contains some of Tom's best stuff..., in my estimation..., and is highly recommended.