A Blessing In the Heat (Part I)
It was 105 degrees that Texas day, and in the asphalt parking lot where we were performing it seemed like 150. But I was glad to be there. I had been invited to perform at a Cowboy Gathering in Weatherford, Texas and I had come there for one reason only...because Larry McWhorter was supposed to be there performing too. I had his tape at home and I was a huge fan of his work. After my set, I was approached by a lady who introduced herself as Andrea. She told me how much she liked my work and that she wanted me to come sit with her in the audience because her husband wanted to meet me and that he had a surprise for me.
We sat down in front of the stage and they introduced Larry McWhorter. I was thrilled that I was going to get to see him in person. His works stands high among the true greats of Cowboy Poetry and I identify with him because he is the "Real Deal," just like the men I grew up among. As I sat there Larry spoke to the audience. He told them that he had enjoyed my poem "Mustangs." I was thrilled! Larry McWhorter was talking about my work! He went on to say how he had worked in the part of Oklahoma I am from and that he had a particular poem about that area, that he was going to do it now and that he was dedicating it to me, the only Oklahoman performing there. He then recited Johnny Clare.
Of all the poems in the world, this is my number one favorite. I have stood at the grave of Johnny Clare. I have heard the stories about him since I was a teenager and a friend's uncle told us about him. While Larry recited, nothing else existed in this world. There was no background noise from the festival, the temperature didn't matter...all there was in the world were the words he spoke of an Oklahoma Cowboy.
Copyright © Debra Coppinger Hill | Year Posted 2005
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