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Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Kiskaddon?

katlaughing 05 Aug 99 - 10:39 PM
Allan C. 06 Aug 99 - 08:18 AM
katlaughing 06 Aug 99 - 09:04 AM
katlaughing 06 Aug 99 - 09:20 AM
arkie 06 Aug 99 - 10:56 AM
DougR 06 Aug 99 - 02:53 PM
Frank of Toledo 06 Aug 99 - 04:05 PM
open mike 04 Mar 09 - 12:48 AM
Artful Codger 10 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,DWR 10 Mar 09 - 06:28 PM
Arkie 10 Mar 09 - 06:37 PM
Artful Codger 11 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM
open mike 12 Mar 09 - 07:43 PM
Artful Codger 12 Mar 09 - 10:48 PM
Artful Codger 13 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: need info
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 10:39 PM

I was talking to my dad, who is making a tape of old cowboy songs for me and a few Mudcatters. Anyway, he had been trying to remember the name of an old cowboy poet whom he considered to be excellent....the real McCoy.On par with Badger Clark, as far as dad is concerned, which is saying a lot, coming from him.

Today, he called me to let me know it was Bruce Koskoden, maybe with two "s" and he pronounced it "kiss koe den"; said the guy had lived in Douglas, Arizona. Koskoden was related to a really good friend of dad and his dad's.

I couldn't find anything out about him on the internet. Have any of you ever run across his poems or info on him?


katlaughing& her dad

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: Allan C.
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 08:18 AM

Using the spelling you give, I was only able to find some people who live somewhere near Pittsburgh. However, I discovered this at Barnes & Noble

Cowboy Poetry: Classic Rhymes by Bruce Kiskaddon, H. Mason Coggin (Editor), Hardcover, 208pp., ISBN: 0966209109, Publisher: Cowboy Min, Pub. Date: January 1998

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 09:04 AM

Totally KOOL, Allan! Thanks very much! I am sure that's the usually is meticulous about spelling, but by the way he himself pronounced it, I had a feeling it wasn't right.


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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 09:20 AM

Now that I know the correct spelling, I was bale to find this:

The Old Night Hawk by Bruce Kiskaddon I am up tonight in the pinnacles bold Where the rim towers high, Where the air is clear and the wind blows cold And there's only the horses and I. The valley swims like a silver pea In the light of the big full moon, And strong and clear there comes to me The lilt of the first guard's tune.

The fire at camp is burning bright, Cook's got more wood than he needs. They'll be telling some windy tales tonight Of races and big stampedes. I'm gettin' too old fer that line of talk: The desperaders they've knowed, Their wonderful methods of handling stock, And the fellers they've seen get throwed.

I guess I'm a dog that's had his day, Though I still am quick and strong. My hair and my beard have both turned gray And I reckon I've lived too long. None of 'em know me but that old cook, Ed, And never a word he'll say. My story will stick in his old gray head Till the break of the ]udgement Day.

What's that I see a walkin' fast? It's a hoss a slippin' through. He was tryin' to make it out through the pass; Come mighty near doin' it too, Git back there! What are you tryin' to do? You hadn't a chance to bolt. Old boy, I was wranglin' a bunch like you, Before you was even a colt.

It's later now. The guard has changed. One voice is clear and strong. He's singin' a tune of the old time range I always did like that song. It takes me back to when I was young And the memories came through my head Of the times I have heard that old song sung By voices now long since dead.

I have traveled better than half my trail, I am well down the further slope. I have seen my dreams and ambitions fail, And memory replaces hope. It must be true, fer I've heard it said, That only the good die young. The tough old cusses like me and Ed Must stay till the last dog's hung.

I used to shrink when I thought of the past And some of the things I have known. I took to drink, but now at last, I'd far rather be alone. It's strange how quick a night goes by, Fer I live in the days of old. Up here where there's only the hosses and I; Up in the pinnacles bold.

The two short years that I ceased to roam, And I led a contented life. Then trouble came and I left my home, And I never have heard of my wife. The years that I spent in a prison cell When I went by another name; For life is a mixture of Heaven and Hell To a feller that plays the game.

They'd better lay off of that wrangler kid; They've give him about enough. He looks like a pardner of mine once did, He's the kind that a man can't bluff They'll find that they are making a big mistake If they once git him overhet; And they'll give him as good as an even break, Or I'm takin' a hand, you bet.

Look, there in the East is the Mornin' Star, It shines with a fiery glow Till it looks like the end of a big cigar, But it hasn't got far to go. Just like the people that make a flash, They don't stand much of a run, Come bustin' in with a sweep and dash When most of the work is done.

I can see the East is gettin' gray, I'll gather the hosses soon, And faint from the valley far away Comes the drone of the last guard's tune. Yes, life is just like the night-herd's song As the long years come and go You start with a swing that is free and strong, And finish up tired and slow

I reckon the hosses all are here. I can see that T-bar blue, And the buckskin hoss with the one split ear; I've got 'em all. Ninety two. Just listen to how they roll the rocks These sure are rough old trails. But then, if they can't slide down on their hocks They can coast along on their tails.

The wrangler kid is out with his rope, He seldom misses a throw. Will he make a cow hand! Well I hope, If they give him half a show. They are throwin' the rope corral around, The hosses crowd in like sheep. I reckon I'll swaller my breakfast down And try to furgit and sleep.

Yes, I've lived my life and I've took a chance, Regardless of law or vow. I've played the game and I've had my dance, And I'm payin' the fiddler now.

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: arkie
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 10:56 AM

Though cowboy poetry is a relatively recent interest and I do not claim to be an expert in the field, have heard several of Kiskaddon's poems over the past couple of years and from what I have heard and by the respect shown by those more knowledgable about the genre, he is one of the true greats of cowboy poetry. Was told by a friend that when he stopped cowboying, Kiskaddon was employed as a doorman at a big hotel and that is when he started writing his poetry.

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: DougR
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 02:53 PM

Douglas Arizona is an old mining town near the border of Arizona and Mexico (Old). There is a grand old hotel in Douglas and that may be the one where he worked as a doorman. I can't come up with the name of the hotel at the moment. A movie was released two or three years ago featuring Tom Sellick (it was Ben Johnson's last film)titled "(Something) and Little Joe." Several scenes were shot in that old hotel in Douglas.


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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 06 Aug 99 - 04:05 PM

Shanachie released a Waddie Mitchell CD, recorded live at the Warehouse Theatre in Colorado Springs Sept 10 & 11 1997, with cowboy poetry backed by two great musicians, Norman Blake and Rich O'Brien. It was produced by Don Edwards. Waddie pays tribute to Bruce Kiskaddon by doing the complete poem "The Old Nighthawk". The music in the background played by Blake and O'Brien is "Miss Forbes Farewell". It is Shanachie CD 6030. A real gem..........

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: open mike
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 12:48 AM

there has been a Bruce Kiskaddon poetry collection recently printed.
The book, called Open Range contains a complete collection of his poems and has illustrations.

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM

By the way, I know of one poem by Bruce Kiskaddon which has become a song: "Hittin' the Trail Tonite". I have a recording of it done by the Bunkhouse Orchestra.

I'm sure there are others, but I can't name any. It's kind of strange, considering his popularity among the western folk at the time, and his living in Hollywood during the heydey of cowboy films with singing cowboys. Anyone know of other Kiskaddon songs?

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 06:28 PM

No, not at the moment, but I do know Hitting The Trail Tonight. I have heard it from Prickly Pair   That's Les and Locke (locky) Hamilton from Wyoming. I'm listening to the song as I type. Most excellent!

Anyway, they might be a source, both are very articulate and informed on the music.

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: Arkie
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 06:37 PM

Here is another of Kiskaddon's poems.

The Bronco Twister's Prayer

It was a little grave yard
   on the rolling foot hill plains:
That was bleached by the sun in summer,
   swept by winter's snows and rains;
There a little bunch of settlers
   gathered on an autumn day
'Round a home made lumber coffin,
   with their last respects to pay.
Weary men that wrung their living
   from that hard and arid land,
And beside them stood their women;
   faded wives with toil worn hands.
But among us stood one figure
   that was wiry, straight and trim.
Every one among us knowed him.
   'Twas the bronco twister, Jim.
Just a bunch of hardened muscle
   tempered with a savage grit,
And he had the reputation
   of a man that never quit.
He had helped to build the coffin,
   he had helped to dig the grave;
And his instinct seemed to teach him
   how he really should behave.
Well, we didn't have a preacher,
   and the crowd was mighty slim.
Just two women with weak voices
   sang an old time funeral hymn.
That was all we had for service.
   The old wife was sobbing there.
For her husband of a life time,
   laid away without prayer.
She looked at the broncho twister,
   then she walked right up to him.
Put one trembling arm around him and said,
   "Pray. Please won't you Jim?"
You could see his figure straighten,
   and a look of quick surprise
Flashed across his swarthy features,
   and his hard dare devil eyes.
He could handle any bronco,
   and he never dodged a fight.
'Twas the first time any body ever saw
   his face turn white.
But he took his big sombrero
   off his rough and shaggy head,
How I wish I could remember what
   that bronco peeler said.
No, he wasn't educated.
   On the range his youth was spent.
But the maker of creation
   knowed exactly what he meant.
He looked over toward the mountains
   where the driftin' shadows played.
Silence must have reined in heaven
   when they heard the way Jim prayed.
Years have passed since that small funeral
   in that lonely grave yard lot.
But it gave us all a memory, and a lot
   of food for thought.
As we stood beside the coffin,
   and the freshly broken sod,
With that reckless bronco breaker
   talkin' heart to heart with God.
When the prayer at last was over,
   and the grave had all been filled,
On his rough, half broken pony,
   he rode off toward the hills.
Yes, we stood there in amazement
   as we watched him ride away,
For no words could ever thank him.
   There was nothing we could say.
Since we gathered in that grave yard,
   it's been nearly fifty years.
With their joys and with their sorrows,
   with their hopes and with their fears.
But I hope when I have finished,
   and they lay me with the dead,
Some one says a prayer above me,
   like that bronco twister said.

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Subject: RE: Bruce Kiskaddon
From: Artful Codger
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM

You can find many of Bruce Kiskaddon's poems online at the Cowboy Poetry site. In fact, they seem to have more poems of his than of any other poet.

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Koskoden?
From: open mike
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 07:43 PM

gosh i wish someone would spell his name correctly in the thread title
Kiskaddon would bring up searches better!! joe...are you there??

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Subject: Thread title changes
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 10:48 PM

Changing the thread title has little effect on searching. It doesn't even seem to affect the default subject line supplied when you reply to the thread. More effective is for you to change the subject line when you reply to the thread. Anyway, if people spell the name correctly in their messages, those messages will get listed in searches (at least, after the next indexing run).
Changing the spelling in the title ensures the thread will come up in a filter search.
I changed the spelling. There wasn't room to leave the alternative spelling in too. ~Mod

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Subject: RE: Old Arizona Cowboy poet, Bruce Kiskaddon?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM

And apparently, changing the thread title DOES change the default subject line for new postings. So thanks, "Mod".

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