The Missouri Cowboy Poets Association met Saturday at the Newton County Fairgrounds for their annual meeting.

The Missouri Cowboy Poets Association met Saturday at the Newton County Fairgrounds for their annual meeting.
Starting at 3 p.m., the afternoon and night were filled with cowboy poetry, cowboy music and a chuck wagon supper.
One after the other, the poets took the stage and told stories in rhyme about horses, cows, snakes, coyotes and other assorted characters of the old American West. Mostly the poets were elderly men although a couple of cowgirls recited their poetry as well as a newcomer, a "20-something" young Kyle Rieff, who charmed the crowd with his original poetry. It seemed a budding young star was born, as Rieff recited his poetry and talked about his grandfather who had inspired his poetry.
Francine Robison, a retired teacher from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, told a funny story about her encounter with a snake when she was a child. The humorous poem mentioned the belief that a snake cannot die until sundown, and how she handled a snake that her father had killed.
"The snake story is true," Robison said, "and I remember it well."
Robison told how she got involved with cowboy poetry.
"I was teaching high school English and saw a notice that offered a class on cowboy poetry. I thought maybe my students would enjoy cowboy poetry instead Dickens, so I went to the class. The class ran for six weeks and I never got to use it with my class, but I was taken with it."
She recommends that anyone interested in poetry give it a try. "It builds up your confidence, and you meet a lot of nice people," she said.
Besides the poetry and music, a live auction was held featuring cherry, peach, pecan, and apple pies as well as a Doug Hall painting, various tools and, a coveted jar of homemade green tomato relish which brought $105.
Rickey and Gail Locke and Dennis and Donna Williams cooked the chuck wagon dinner outdoors in Dutch ovens. Dewayne Bowman was the featured musician.
 Williams, president of the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association, declared the gathering a big success, and said it could not have been done without the many sponsors who contributed items for the auction. He also commended the MCPA members who attended and worked the event.
Money raised will be given to the Leroy Watts Memorial Agricultural Scholarship.