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Coaly Orchard

IN MEMORY OF

JAMES RICHARD "J R" AKRIDGE
COWBOY
13 JUN 1927 - 17 FEB 2002
born Megargel, Archer County, Texas

See, poem written by J R following this poem by a FRIEND!
and Family Photo

My HEROS Have Always Been Cowboys

........This poem was written by a nurse who cared for J R after the rodeo accident that severed his spine. She wrote it for our special COWBOY and it is printed on these pages in memory of
J R AKRIDGE !

He could ride, boy, could he ride, he was a straight shooter, he could sing and pick the guitar
and he loved every day he spent in the rodeo arenas of the West....!


Poem by Katherine Smith

HE'S OKLAHOMA
HE'S a COWBOY
HE'S MY FRIEND

He's as Oklahoma as the sun
that warms the Cimarron.
He's as cowboy as the man
who rides the saddled roan.
His life survived the dustbowl days,
His memory will not end !
He's Oklahoma,
He's a Cowboy, but mostly
He's my Friend.

I never saw him ride a bull or rope a runnin' calf,
But I've heard him tell a winnin' tale and listened to him laugh.
I never saw him set a horse or tie the fastest knot,
But I've seen him grin a cowboy grin and give hard times a shot.
I never saw him speed his horse across a rodeo ring,
But I've seen him play his big guitar and heard him pick and sing.

He's Oklahoma,
He's a Cowboy,
He's my Friend.

While I was still in saddle shoes and lived under Eastern skies,
I dreamed of cowboys like this man who grins with crinkled eyes.
He rode the circuit in the days when gas cost nineteen-nine.
He drove his truck from place to place,
Then moved on down the line.
He rode some broncs that threw him off and some he stayed full time!

He's Oklahoma,
He's a Cowboy,
He's my Friend.

The day he was hurt and they picked him up, they knew he'd never mend,
But his cowboy heart pulled him through and he lived to be my Friend.
Though his saddle now is a rollin' chair that keeps him in one place,
You wouldn't know the pain he has by lookin' at his face.
Oklahoma sunshine beams from past his wide-tooth smile,
I know its been his cowboy heart that's kept him all this while.

He's Oklahoma,
He's a cowboy,
He's my friend.


Poem by J R Akridge

BRONC RIDERS PRAYER

“ Dear Lord,

I’m just a Rodeo Cowboy
Whose not called, too often, on the line
But, I hope you’ll really listen-
To this old Bronc Riders Prayer-
..….Just this one time.

Now, I’m not complaining
Or meaning to whine
Cause—really—things down here
Are going along just fine.

Why—I want to Thank You—and
I’m happy and tickled as pie—
For the good ones I’ve rode
When I was in MY prime.
Why-- there was Golden Rule, Pretty Sock, Big Three,
Nobody’s Darlin, Pinocchio, Black Hawk, May Day
And that mighty little horse they called
"Try Me”.

Why--I’ll never forget that night
In Portland, Oregon, when I rode
Christensen Brothers’ famous Skid Roe Sue
And LORD….That’s just to name a few.

So, When it comes my time to trade
This old body for one of another kind
How Happy I’ll Be, to just hand the head to him
And Spur... and Ride... one of those mighty buckin’ horses
You’ll have way up there on high !
No, I don’t want to stroll those Golden Streets!
It’s just arena dust…I want to get all over my feet.
So, if you’ll let me open Chute Gates or Pick Up Flanks….
That will be fine.

But….I beg of you LORD!
With tears in MY eyes.
Just let me be around somewhere….
….WHEN IT’S RODEO TIME!”

This poem shared by niece Carol "Sue"
"I can't hardly read this without having tears in my eyes!!
Sure do miss that big guy...Love to you all, and May God Bless....Love, Carol "Sue" !"
....and cousin E H and daughter Connie!

We..... are missin' YOU!


50th Wedding Anniversary The AKRIDGE FAMILY abt 1967
Willie Mae, Mildred, "Big Daddy" Jas R and "Big Mama" Mable, Ed, Ruby,Grace and Jimmie Lee

#######

EDWARD HENRY "EDD" AKRIDGE
COWBOY
9 Jan 1929
born Pampa, Gray, Texas

Local cowboy Akridge to ride into Hall of Fame By Jeff Wollard
Review-Journal

The wait has been a long one, but the final chapter of the Eddy Akridge story is about to unfold.
After years of anticipation, the 29-year Las Vegas resident will be inducted Sunday into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. It's the "good-guys-always-win" ending the rodeo legend has always dreamed of.
"This is very important to me," said Akridge, who will turn 71 in January. "It's just like being put into the Hall of Fame for football or baseball. You're there for life and I'm very pleased. This is a big highlight of my career."
His cowboy pride kept him from complaining, so Akridge remained silent for years about the unexplained wait. He wondered if he would be inducted.
"There's no way I was going to ask them to let me in," said Akridge, whose rodeo career spanned 25 years. "I just waited and hoped the time might come."
Akridge had no problem getting into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was inducted in 1979, the year the museum opened.
But he said things run a little differently in Oklahoma City. "They're pretty political," he said. "They have a lot of ranchers, businessmen and other prestigious people, so I guess it just took a while."
The road to Oklahoma City was a long one. In an era when celebrities like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were claiming fame and glory, cowboys like Akridge were doing all the work and receiving little recognition.
Akridge, who defied his father to join the rodeo at age 16, started his career in 1945. He hitchhiked from town to town, often riding in cattle trucks until he finally caught his big break in 1948.
After trying to sneak his way into a professional rodeo in Tucson, Ariz., Akridge was told he could not compete unless he paid the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association membership dues and an entry fee. He scraped up the money and went on to win the bareback event, his first professional victory.
There was no turning back.
"I was in high cotton," he said of winning. "I won $940, which was the biggest money I'd ever seen in my life. I was off to the races then."
The success continued. A year later, he won the all-around title in the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest rodeo.
Then came 1953. Akridge rode away with an All-Around championship in the Pendleton Roundup before going on to win two world bareback titles--one in the International Rodeo Association and one in the PRCA. The year was capped by two of his biggest victories--bareback titles in the Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden.
One of his biggest victories came at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1955, when Akridge won the bareback championship in front of 106,000 people.
He would go on to win the world bareback title four times, his last coming in 1961.
Money, Akridge said, was never a driving factor in his rodeo career.
"You made just enough to get by on if you had a good year," he said. "So you didn't do it for the money. I did it for love of rodeoing."
Among Akridge's many side jobs was a stint as a musician. He picked up the guitar and gained a following by playing in hotel rooms after the long days at the rodeo. It soon developed into something more.
"Everybody would come over to my room for the music," he said. "Nobody would go to the bar, so I was finally invited (by hotel management) to play the rooms."
Music eventually became a major source of supplemental income for Akridge, with his 1963 song "One-a-Day Multiple Heartache," reaching the top 50 list in the national charts. He would go on to pursue a career in music after his rodeo retirement in 1970, moving to Las Vegas and becoming a regular on the strip. While he never gained the celebrity status enjoyed by Autry and Rogers, he appreciated their contributions to Western lifestyle.
"It kind of got under your craw that they paid those singers so much more than they did us," Akridge said. "But as long as they brought people into the rodeo, it was all right."
But Sunday's ceremony will have little to do with music. Instead, Akridge will be recognized for his rodeo accomplishments.
A lifelong dream finally will be realized when the native Texan travels to Oklahoma to receive the highest honor a cowboy can earn.
And when it's over, Akridge can ride off into the sunset knowing his name will forever be remembered with the legends of his sport.

########

...and other special Oklahoma poems....

This is the first published collection of his poetry.
But, there will be more ....... Darin has a new book getting ready to print!....

THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE
by Darin Brookman

When I was just a little pup,
I liked more that a toy,
To get to tag along with Dad
And help someone cowboy.

Joe he would saddle for himself.
For me, he'd take Ol' Tom.
We aways left before sunup,
With orders from my Mom.

Met the rest out in the pasture
Along about daylight.
Discussed the mornin' gather and
Then pulled our cinches tight.

There was Harlan, Wash, and Blackie,
Darrell, Shorty, and Sprout.
I know there's names I've forgot and
Don't mean to leave 'em out.

To a little boy, they seemed like gods,
assembled in the night.
Who'd taken on their mortal forms
At the first warm rays of light.

Shorty's big black, would always pitch,
The first thing ever' day,
But, I kinda think Ol'Shorty,
Just liked a horse that way.

I marveled at all their talents.
The ones that you can't fake.
Like usin' hondas in their ropes
To kill a rattlesnake.

The storms that I seen 'em get in.
Between the horn and hoof.
I'd swear upon the bible that
They all were bullet proof.

They could handle one ton brammers,
And never hesitate.
Then sit and wait there patiently
For me to clear the gate.

I'm sure they never cheated and
I know they'd never lie.
It wouldn't a surprised me much,
To a seen 'em up and fly.

But now, I get to wond'rin if,
They're the last of a kind.
Or will they leave a little bit.
Of all theirselves behind?

Did they see in their fathers,
What we see in them now?
Did their fathers give to them,
A gift for us somehow?

Then its up to us to pass it on.
And even up the score.
For the heritage that we've received,
From those who came before.

THE COW
by Darin Brookman

She's just an old snide,
A lousy old hide,
Standin' there' side the water tank.

An old crossbred cow,
But then still somehow,
She had a good calf at her flank.

She ought'a went as a cull
While she's still slick and full.
But, that calf's a good lookin' thing.

I remembered, just then
All the trouble she'd been.
When she calved that very first spring.

I'd watch and I'd wait.
She wouldn't cooperate.
She grew used to all my cursin'.

Then 'bout three weeks late
I opened the gate
And a calf stood there a nursin'.

Well I called for the kids
To come see what she did.
We all walked in like we had good sense.

They said, "Oh look, how cute."
But their point was soon moot,
Cause that sow put us all on the fence.

She got turned right out
Cause there was no doubt
She'd get along just fine from here.

Then 'bout a year after
I's out in the pasture'n.
Caught a glimpse of a long white ear.

I rode up real quiet,
I thought it just might
Be her and sure 'nuff I found.

She's a standin' there
Her nose in the air
A new calf there on the ground.

She was bloody yet
The calf was still wet.
But she didn't pay it any mind.

Then, the coyotes I saw
Circlin' on silent paw
What must'a looked like a tasty find.

But, she's slingin' snot'n
Them coyotes knew not
Their supper they'd do without.

She sent three a packin'
With the one a lackin'
I rode on down and helped her out.

Her new calf I admired
I could see she was tired
From the exertion the coyotes'd forced.

Then like I knew she would
To show her gratitude
She made a run at me and my horse.

And, seems ever' time, by gummed
That she was always the one
To hear a horseback crew a comin'.

She'd just matter of fact
Throw her tail o'er her back
And lead the whole bunch off a runnin'.

Last winter, I recall,
I had 'em all
In the trap to do some sortin'.

And true to her form.
What I knew as her norm
She stood in the corner snortin'.

But she looked kind of poor,
A favor I thought I'd do'er
And let her winter in town on wheat.

So I backed up the trailer
Into it went to haze her
When she introduced her head to my seat.

Then, just to aggravate.
She jumped over the gate
And lit out for her home in the trees.

I got the bleedin' all stopped
As a distant hill she topped
I hollered, "You biddy I hope you freeze!"

And now she just stood there
With her nose in the air
Like she's still the belle of the ball.

She was so old of course
I assured the horse
We could catch her'th no trouble a 'tall.

But, somethin' 'bout her, you see
Reminded me of me
Then it struck me that I knew how.

That me and her'd
Likely concur.
We'd a lot in common, me'n that cow.

We both like it here
Where the air is clear.
In the mesquites, we felt at home.

We's both our own boss
And if we won'r lost,
We just liked to be let alone.

So I made a vow
To that old white cow.
That cantankerous, hard headed ol' snide.

That I'd try and see
Out here where she's free
She could live till the day that she died.

And I hope that some day
That maybe someway
That cow in me the Lord might see.

And that if he could
Perhaps he'd conclude
To do the same favor for me.

CAIN'S DOMINO HALL
by Darin Brookman

There was a noble institution
In this town where I was raised.
Where you could go and kill some time
On slow or rainy days.

Even after many years
I still can hear the call.
To go and shoot a game of snooker
Down at Cain's Domino Hall.

Old timers gathered'n rattled the bones,
Whenever they's able.
They filled the old cane bottomed chairs,
Four to ever' table.

They spoke of all the troubles and
The hard times they had licked.
Then laugh just like a bunch of kids
When Bryan killed Ray's double six.

The smoke filled air contained the ghosts
Of all their glorious days.
The men they'd known, the crops they'd grown,
The cattle'n hell they'd raised.

The young men sat on the benches
That lined the pool room walls.
Each just waitin' for his turn
To sink a bright red ball.

A cue stick smooth and arrow straight,
Some chalk upon the tip.
Sugar Cain provided cans
For them that liked to dip.

A red one, then a number,
Sometimes thay fell with ease.
You kept your score there on the wall
For ever'one to see.

Other days you always scratched or
Left yourself corner hooked.
You went ahead and wrote it down
But hoped no one had looked.

Around the crowded, smoky room
Ol' Sugar Cain would pace.
A nail sack apron full of change
Tied there around his waist.

There was never any trouble,
Hardly an argument.
Otis never would allow it
In his establishment.

Ever'one just got along
To play the graceful game.
Regardless of your color or
The sound of your last name.

Now Sugar Cain left years ago,
I really don't know where.
The snooker tables all were sold,
For a while the place stood bare.

V.C.R.s and T.V.s are now
Sold in that hallowed hall.
Video tapes'n movie posters
Line the sacred walls.

Sometimes I take my kids in there,
Rent 'em video games.
Tho nothin' 'bout the old pool hall
Even looks the same.

At times there in the distance you
Can hear the faint dim sound.
Of dominos bein' shuffled
And pool balls rollin' 'round.

A spit can's brassy ping from a
Stream of brown tobaccer' juice.
The squeakin', gratin' noise
Of players chalkin' up their cues.

And somewhere in amidst
The low and familiar noise,
Sugar Cain says, "Come on in
They're all racked up now boys."

IMPORTED FROM JAPAN


by Darin Brookman

The weathered homesteads stand as proof
Of their love for the land
They satisfied their families wants
From things they had at hand.

But the dustbowl and depression
Didn't do'em any good.
A harsh and stark reminder of
Ma Nature's fickle mood.

Then the government stepped right in
To save'em from their plight.
Created many agencies
To help them do things right.

They all studied and they researched,
For years these folks did toil.
Tried to help protect and conserve
Our wildlife and our soil.

We should give'em credit, because
Friends the credit's due
They all helped produce the harvests
Enjoyed by me and you.

But somewhere in the process things
Seem to've gone askew.
They've gotten pretty complex and
We've lost our common view.

Some buer'crats and politicians
Aren't entirely able,
To utilize their common sense'n,
Discern 'tween truth'n fable.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful
For the advice we've been given.
But boys, you got to understand
We've got to make a livin'.

We grow the cheapest food supply
Of anyone today.
But with all the rules'n politics
It's get'n where it just don't pay.

To humor special int'rest groups
Although they do mean good.
The fact is plain, without us here
There won't be any food.

Somewhere in all the rhetoric
There must be common ground.
To meet and set some policies
That's truly wise and sound.

Or else some night when you sit down
To feed your little clan.
The meal you fix could eas'ly say
"Imported from Japan."

CONSTANTS

(accordin' to Max and Spec)
by Darin Brookman
The grass it grows, the rivers flow.
But nothin' stays the same.
We live and die and wonder why,
Life is a changin' game.

I once was told, while on life's road
Three things to guide your travels,
Class always tells, crap always smells,
And water seeks it's level.

GRANDAD


by Darin Brookman

GRANDAD, HE'S BEEN AN OLD MAN,
EVER SINCE I GUESS THAT I'VE KNOWN HIM.
KINDA GREY AND WRINKLED, BUT
BACK THEN, HE'S STILL PLENTY FIT AND TRIM.

WHEN I'S A KID, I'D GO TO THEIR HOUSE.
GRANNY'D FIX US BREAD AND JELLY.
GRANDAD'D TICKLE ME UNDER THE CHIN,
SAY, 'COME'ERE, LET ME BITE YER BELLY'.

THEY BOTH COULD MAKE THE GRANDEST OF TOYS
FROM THINGS JUST LAYIN' AROUND.
LIKE A BOW AND ARROW, OR SOME STILTS,
TO WALK ON UP OFF THE GROUND.

THEY'D PLAY BASEBALL WITH ME AFTER CHORES.
AND THEY NEVER STRUCK ME OUT.
TOLD ME THAT I'S THE GREATEST SLUGGER,
I BELIEVED WITHOUT A DOUBT

GRANDAD SHOWED ME HOW TO USE A KNIFE
AND TO WHITTLE ON A STICK.
HOW TO TELL IF A HORSE WAS LAME, OR
IF HE'S MAYBE GETTIN' SICK.

ONCE, HE EVEN BOUGHT ME THIS PONY,
PULLED A CART SO HE'D BEEN TOLD.
WELL, WE HITCHED HIM UP AND BOTH GOT IN.
THEN WE STRUCK OUT DOWN THE ROAD.

THE FIRST FEW FEET, EVER'THING WENT FINE,
THEN THEY SORTA' WENT AWRY.
THAT 'OL HORSE LET OUT A GREAT BIG SQUEAL.
AND JUST TOOK OUT ON THE FLY.

AS WE WENT RATTLIN' AND A BOUNCIN'
OUT ACROSS THE BUNCHGRASS CLUMPS,
GRANDAD LOOKS OVER AT ME, SAYS,
"PARTNER, I THINK WE'D BETTER JUMP!"

GRAND COMES UP ALL SKINT AND BLOODY,
AND MY ARM WAS KINDA HURT
THAT HORSE TOOK OUT A FIVE RAIL FENCE AND
GENERALLY STIRRED UP THE DIRT.

HE COME TO A HALT THERE 'SIDE THE BARN
WITH BIG ROLLERS IN HIS NOSE.
THAT CART HUNG OFF HIM ALL IN PIECES,
HE SURE STRUCK A FUNNY POSE.

I JUMPED UP'N RUN TO THE BARN,
IF MY HORSE WAS HURT, I WANTED TO SEE.
GRANDAD, HE LIMPED ON OVER,
SAID, "IF HE AIN'T, HE'S FIXIN' TO BE!"

FROM THEN ON OUT I'S PUT ON HORSES
GRANDAD WAS SURE THAT HE KNEW,
LIKE BABE OR TOM OR SOX OR CUPY,
NIT FLY OR MAYBE OL' BLUE.

NOW I'VE GROWED UP, AND GUESS YOU COULD SAY,
I'M PRETTY WELL HAIRED OVER.
GRANDAD SEEMS A LITTLE SMALLER, A
LOT MORE WRINKLED AND OLDER.

HE DON'T NAVIGATE LIKE HE USED TO.
DON'T GET OFF THE PLACE TOO MUCH.
MAYBE DRIVE AROUND AND CHECK HIS COWS,
OR GO INTO TOWN TO CHURCH.

HIS OUTSIDES ARE THE WEATHERED RESULTS
OF YEARS SPENT OUT IN THE SUN.
BUT HIS INSIDES HAVEN'T CHANGED A BIT,
STILL FULL'A VIGOR AND FUN.

SOMETIMES WHEN I GO OUT TO SEE 'EM
GRANNY'LL FIX US BREAD AND JELLY.
GRANDAD SAYS, "DON'T GET TOO SASSY SON,
OR ELSE I'LL BITE YER BELLY"

FOR A FRIEND
by Darin Brookman

A light shined for just a moment
'Cross these Oklahoma Plains.
Like sunlight dances on the grass
Behind the warm spring rains.

It filled the canyons and the breaks
And ever' rocky draw.
Gave a feelin' of warmth inside
To all of those who saw.

This light, it was a brother.
A husband and a son.
He was a friend and in my book
Rated second to none.

With him I rode the brammer bull
And chased the ol' wild cow.
For him to be called home so quick
Just don't seem fair somehow.

But I'm sure there was a reason
No one can understand.
That let his ol' horse stumble and
God catch him in His hand.

Maybe He just needed a friend
To sit with 'side the barn.
To talk of horses and cattle
Or just to spin some yarns.

Could be some of heaven's pastures
Just needed prowlin' thru
Well, If a good man was needed,
This one would sure 'nuff do.

His loss left us all empty
Like a piece of us was gone.
For a while we all felt like
We'd been left all alone.

But even in the darkest night
His light comes shinin' thru.
In the faces of his family
And the son he never knew.

I still see it in the cattle
A grazin' on the wheat.
In the feelin's in the voices
When old friends chance to meet.

There in a dusty arena
When some bull turns a crank
I see him laugh and smile because
He always savvied rank.

When I see a good horse workin'
To turn an ol' rouge cow,
I get the feelin' that he's there
A joining in somehow.

I see it might near ever' day
In ever'thing I do.
A brand burned deep into the lives
Of ever'one he knew.
I guess that light'll shine forever
'Cross the Oklahoma Plains,
Like sunlight dancin' on the grass
Behind the warm spring rains.

It fills the canyons and the breaks
And ever' rocky draw.
Gives a feelin' of warmth inside
To all of us who saw.

OF LEATHER AND LIFE
by Darin Brookman

A wore out old saddle sits on the rack.
A beat up, handmade, flower stamped kack.
A three inch cantle, 'sociation tree.
Visalia stirrups, full rigged dee.
A spur mark gouged 'cross the saddle's off side.
Is proof of one he didn't ride.
Little telltale scars, 'round the swells and horn,
From battles fought in brush and thorn.
Tho it once saw much use, kept oiled up well.
Now it's a dry and dusty shell.
A legacy of a life lived with pride.
No more horses now will it ride.
Won't feel the cool damp of a frosty morn,
Or a rope tied hard 'round its horn.
Bust no more brush on that ol' hammer head,
It just gathers dust now instead.

Cause the old man, ain't been 'round in awhile,
His son'll pause, with a faint smile.
See the miles a horseback, his Dad and him,
Mem'ries tooled, in the flowers and stem.
He'll run his fingers 'cross the old man's wood,
Say, "Dad would ride ya, if he could."

But the boy's pard on the circles he'd roamed,
Rides a chair at the nursin' home.
Stiff and crippled from arthritis and time,
Most days ain't quite right in his mind,
He's lost in the days of a vibrant youth.
Mercif'ly he don't know the truth.
Thinks he's just in there, till he gets healed up,
Then he'll go home and saddle up.

So the boy's left the rig, right where it sat,
Same as the spurs and greasy hat.
Out in the pasture stands, the old man's bay,
He says he'll need 'em any day.
The boy knows he won't, Doc just shakes his head
But, he's always done, what Pa said.

THERAPY
by Darin Brookman

The world's heavy on your shoulders
You pour yourself a cup.
Sit there in the early silence
And watch the sun come up.

Your bank account's been mauled around
'Till you've just 'bout enough.
To buy a tank of diesel and
A weeks supply of snuff.

All the bills and overdue notes
Prove without a doubt
Cash flow could be the problem here,
'Cause it's all flowin' out.

It's rained too much the last few weeks
But you don't question why.
'Cause you know that soon enough
It'll be too dad-gummed dry.

Life's drawn up tight around your neck
Like some ole hangman's noose.
Some days you stop and ask yourself
Just what the heck's the use.

But you've got some steers to doctor,
Some water gaps to check.
As you slip the cotton lead rope
Around your pony's neck.

Your mood improves a little bit.
You brush his muddy back
Then throw your blankets on him'n
Drag your saddle off the rack.

You tell him of your troubles while
Your warmin' up his bit.
Then lead him out to cinch him up
In case he throwed a fit.

Talkin' plumb nice and gentle like
You step up on his back.
Then turn him' round a time'r two
While gatherin' up the slack.

With your feet stuck in the stirrups
Seems trouble disappears.
The world somehow looks tolerable
Seen'tween a horses ears.

WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE
by Darin Brookman

TELL ME, WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE
WHO ONCE LIVED HERE ON THE LAND?
WHO KNEW HARD TIMES AND ABUNDANCE,
WHO COULD TRULY UNDERSTAND.

THE THINGS THAT GOD DID GIVE 'EM.
SO THEY MIGHT AT LEAST SURVIVE.
AND IN SPITE OF ALL THEIR SACRIFICE,
THEY ALL DEARLY LOVED THIS LIFE.

THERE'S PROOF THAT THEY WERE ONCE OUT HERE,
EVIDENCE THAT YOU CAN SEE.
AN OLD HOMESTEAD STANDING BARREN,
A WEED CHOKED CEMETARY.

WHERE THEY LAID THEIR FALLEN COMRADES,
'NEATH A NOW ABANDONED MOUND.
THEN FOR MANY DIFF'RENT REASONS,
MOST MOVED OFF TO SOME BIG TOWN.

WHY'D THEY LEAVE, WELL THERE'S A THEORY,
THAT SOME KNOWIN' PEOPLE TOUT.
THAT JUST LIKE A CROWDED GARDEN,
SOME DID NEED A WEEDIN' OUT.

THAT WITH NEW TECHNIQUES AND PROGRESS,
YOU DON'T NEED A MULTITUDE,
ONE, CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF MANY
TO GROW OUR FIBER AND OUR FOOD.

ITS TRUE THAT FROM PERPETUAL CHANGE,
THERE'S NO PLACE TO RUN OR HIDE.
PROGRESS AFFECTS EACH ONE OF US,
AND THE WAY WE LIVE OUR LIFE.

AND THERE'S LOTS OF NEW IDEAS, WHOSE
OLD FASHIONED ONES PLACE THEY TOOK.
COMPUTER DISKS HAVE NOW REPLACED
YOUR GRANDPA'S OLD TALLY BOOK.

DON'T ASK ME IF THIS IS BAD'R GOOD.
I'M NO SCHOLAR OR NO SCRIBE.
JUST ONE OF THE PRIVILEGED FEW,
WHOSE FOLKS DID PRESERVE THIS LIFE.

AND THEY TAUGHT ME ALL THE BASICS,
THAT YOU NEED TO GET ALONG.
YOUR WORDS A BOND, THERE'S JUST ONE GOD,
TO DO SOMETHIN', EVEN IF IT'S WRONG.

DON'T BE TOO QUICK TO JUDGE OR SCORN,
ON OTHERS, YOUR VIEWS DON'T FORCE,
AND THE BEST WAY TO TEND YOUR COWS
IS ATOP A GOOD COW HORSE.

AND, IF THERE AIN'T TOO MANY OTHERS,
WELL THAT'S QUITE ALRIGHT WITH ME.
CONGESTION, CROWDS, AND CLOSE NEIGHBORS,
WITH ME TEND TO DISAGREE.

I LIKE IT FINE RIGHT WHERE I'M AT,
OUT HERE AMONG THE CHOSEN FEW.
WHERE THERE'S FOLKS THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON.
MOST OF THEM WILL SURE 'NUFF DO.

SO YOU ASK WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE,
WHO ONCE LIVED HERE ON THE LAND?
WHO KNEW HARD TIMES AND ABUNDANCE
WHO COULD TRULY UNDERSTAND.

WELL FRIEND, THERE'S STILL A FEW OUT HERE.
IN ALL THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES.
YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK HARDER 'CAUSE
THERE SURE AIN'T QUITE AS MANY.


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Last update 17 Jul 2007