Local cowboy poets pay homage to veterans

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By BOBBIE GREEN

Progress

Cowboy poet Russ Westwood gives a recitation on the microphone while fellow poets Marleen Bussma and Lee Kimberlin await their turn in a Cowboy Poetry Tribute to Veterans program offered at the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum last week. PHOTO BY BOBBIE GREEN / Progress

The Virgin Valley Heritage Museum hosted a Veterans Tribute program offered by a small group of locally known cowboy poets. The group gathered in the outdoor pavilion behind the museum to pay homage with patriotic poems about veterans or related in some way to the U.S. military.

The participating poets are known locally as they are also regular performers of the Cowboy Poets Western Roundup held in Mesquite.

The poets for last week’s tribute included Marleen Bussma, Russ Westwood, Lee Kimberlin, Farrell Bott and Hap Stuart. Each of them were experienced poets who had plied their trade for fourteen years or more.

Marleen Bussma is known to only recite works that she composes herself. She has published two books of her original cowboy poetry. Both have won awards.
“We all love to do this,” Bussma said. “I’m doing this to help keep the Old West alive. Our young people need to know his story.

During last week’s performance, Bussma recited a poem about Sargent Reckless, an army horse messenger.

The oldest member of the Western Roundup, Lee Kimberlin reminded the audience that it was he himself, Sam Jackson, Butch Burkholder who started the Western Roundup in Mesquite fourteen years ago.

Unfortunately, the popular Roundup has been postponed this year due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled from February 24 to 25, 2022.

The audience heard an excellent rendition of Johnny Cash’s Grand Old Flag. One of the poets, who will go unnamed, left his poetry lying on this counter at home. So he charmed the audience by reciting the snake which had no pot in which to whistle; putting smiles on the faces of the audience.
It was hard to say which part valued the other more: the audience or the poets.

This tribute was just a preamble to the Cowboy Poets Western Roundup coming up in February. Mark your calendars for this event.

Elspeth Kuta, coordinator of the museum, was happy to see the crowd that showed up for the tribute to the Cowboy’s veterans.

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