Featured at the Bar-D Ranch

Tributes to Dale Evans

What little girl didn't want to be Dale?   (Send us your photo)

Elko, Nevada poet Debbie Burdic

Back on Home

The Latest
     What's New
     Newsletter
        Subscribe (free!)

Be a Part of it All 
     About the BAR-D
     Join us!

The BAR-D Roundup

Cowboy Poetry Collection
     Folks' poems
     Honored Guests
     Index of poems

Poetry Submissions  
    Guidelines
    Current Lariat Laureate

Events Calendar

Cowboy Poetry Week

Featured Topics
    Classic Cowboy Poetry
    Newest Features
        Poets and musicians
        Cowboy poetry topics
        Programs of  interest
        Gathering reports
        In memory
   Who Knows?

Cowboy Life and Links
    Western Memories
    Books about Cowboy Poetry  

The Big Roundup

Link to us!
Give us a holler

Subscribe!

line.GIF (1552 bytes)


BAR-D Poets share their tributes to Dale Evans:

Janice Mitich
Queen of the West Queen of the West

Doris Daley
Thank Heavens for Dale Evans

Larry Maurice
She Was Always the Music

Rusty Calhoun
Childhood's End

"California Steve" Dirksen
Short a Few

Rolf D. Ritschel 
Last of the Western Heroes

 

In early 2003, Dale's grandson-in-law Todd Halberg wrote to us:

I've been married to Dale's granddaughter for 28 years, knew Roy and Dale well, wrote the eulogy on his funeral program, and never knew two stronger or more real people.  I'll always love and miss them, and I'll always appreciate true and simple tributes like the ones here.

With Todd Halberg's kind permission, following is the eulogy he wrote for Roy Rogers:

While others left their mark here by doing it "their way," Roy Rogers left his mark in us with each act of selflessness, care, and conviction.  Who of his profession comforted more lonely orphans, brought joy to more hurting children's hospital rooms, or rode a straighter trail as a generation's role model?  Who stood as bravely or paid more dearly for the right to publicly and unashamedly honor God in the course of all his programs?

How do we honor this life of courage, generosity, and integrity? Though we rename boulevards or commission memorials to his memory in major cities around the nation, there is not adequate pavement, parchment, or bronze in America, and, it would miss the point. Already, his legacy is firmly erected in our hearts and we require no monuments or reminders to pause there frequently for a pure memory or another moment of warm admiration.

Goodbye Roy Rogers...good guys everywhere miss you.  We'll miss you too, but thanks to the Good Lord who took much more than a liking to you, it won't be long.  And now, after bringing compassion and strength to so many, your Heavenly Father holds you in His perfect care and His complete joy forever.

                                                          Todd Halberg, 1998

 

See the official Roy Rogers/ Dale Evans web site for their Dale Evans' Memorial page, their Roy Rogers' Memorial page, and much information and many photos.

 

 

Queen of the West

Our favorite treat when we were kids was the Saturday matinee,
     In times that seemed so innocent, those days of yesterday,
Where our comic book heroes would come to life on that silver screen.
     There was Hopalong, Randolph Scott, the Lone Ranger, Roy, and Gene.

Being the oldest, Joyce and I helped Dad with all the chores.
     Milkin' cows, breakin' colts, stackin' hay 'til our arms were sore.
We did all the jobs that our ranchin' neighbors gave to their boys
     And rarely had time for tea parties, dolls, or other girlish toys.

We knew our lives were different from the rest of the girls at school,
     'Cause, in town, they all wore dresses while we broke their cardinal rules
By wearing jeans, long-sleeved shirts, and high heeled, cowboy boots.
     All their teasin' and finger pointing just made us more resolute.

'Cause, you see, we had our hero, too, up on that movie screen.
     In all those Saturday serials, she was the only Queen.
In fringed skirt and rhinestone shirt, on Buttermilk she'd ride,
     To do right by all with Roy Rogers by her side.

She was the voice of wisdom and showed us girls we had a right
     To fight wrong and injustice, to be fair, good, and forthright,
To find within our selves the courage to always do our best.
     She became our hero, Dale Evans, the Queen of the West.

The world seemed a little colder, today, when I heard the news,
     That my hero, Dale, had headed for that heavenly rendezvous.
I can hear Buttermilk's nicker as she lopes up to Dale's side,
     And see Trigger prancing up in welcome with Roy's smile a mile wide.

Upon a ridge rears Silver, and the Lone Ranger waves his hat "hello."
     While Champion slides to a perfect stop as Gene Autry hollers, "Whoa."
Bullet's barkin' up a storm, while he weaves among the horses' feet.
     Seems like all of the legends have gathered here to honor and to greet.

Hollywood's much dimmer now, as in a blaze of glory Dale will ride
     Into the fading sunset, with those cowboy heros at her side.
You know His campfire's waiting, beyond the rise and 'round the bend
     Happy Trails to you, Dale, until we meet again.

© February 8, 2001 by Janice E. Mitich
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Read more of Janice Mitich's poetry here.

 

Thank Heavens for Dale Evans

When Frances Octavia Smith was a little girl growing up in west Texas, she used to say she wanted to have six kids and marry Tim Mix.  In fact, she outdid herself: she grew up to have nine kids and married Roy Rogers!  It was a thrill for me to perform at a festival with Dale Evans in the crowd; she was a radiant woman with a smile you could pour on a waffle and when she was talking to you, she was talking to YOU and no other.  There's a Texas expression that says, "You are one to ride the river with."  It's a way of saying someone is a buddy, a comrade, a good hand, a companion -- someone who rides with you through thick and thin.  Roy and Dale were that for all of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s.

Her Grandpa used to say "that girl will rope the moon some day.
Doesn't matter if the trail is smooth or hard."
She was born with Texas grit, long on spunk and short on quit.
She rode through life a rough and ready pard.

No dusty trails for her, what made her young heart stir
Were the movies at the Bijou Matinee.
She'd take her lumps and licks, she'd grow up and wed Tom Mix!
Dreaming big was just her Texas schoolgirl way.

It was Hollywood, all right, was a cowboy beaming bright,
With fringes and a palomino horse.
She was spunky, she was shy.  She stole the heart of Leonard Sly.
For 52 good years they stayed the course.

Frances Octavia Smith was one to ride the river with,
Her cowboy hat became a western crown.
She wrote the cowgirl code, she never shirked a load.
No matter what, she never let me down.

She taught me right from wrong; to sing an honest song.
A cowgirl saddles up and takes a stand.
There'll be bumps and bruises but life's not about excuses
And when you ride, be riding for your Maker's brand.

She taught me life is more than fame and fortune at your door.
Not every girl can gallop off with Roy.
When life tears at your hide, just suck it up and ride
Choose a trail that stormy weather can't destroy.

She did it all with style, with a song and with a smile.
A cowgirl, a friend, a Texas rose.
No seamy tabloid stunts -- and just think -- she never once
Had to bump or grind or flash or pierce her nose!

Trends many come and go but life's not a fashion show.
So do it right, no matter what or when.
Here's to you, Miss Dale. I'm still following your trail.
Happy trails to you until we meet again.

Giddyup Buttermilk, Let's ride.

© Doris Daley, from her book, Rhyme & Reason
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Doris Daley and Dale Evans at Canada's Cowboy Festival, February 1999

 

Read more of Doris Daley's poetry here.

 

She Was Always The Music

Dale Evans was always the music
Even when Roy sang just with
"The Boys"
You could always hear her in there somehow
All her hopes, her fears, her joys

In every song that was ever sung
In every lingering melody
Dale Evans carried the heart and soul of the west
She will always be the music that you can see

You can see her in the rippling water
As it flows down a quiet stream
When the ocean waves pound the beach and roar
You can see her in the crackle of a smokey campfire
In the quiet, gently creaking of the bunkhouses' wooden floor

You can see her in the sparkle
of a tiny grain of sand
In the way a new leaf hugs tight to a tree
In the sparkle of that music
(complex, sweet and amazing)
she saw, the wonder of you and me

Dale taught us that life is a song
And it sings to all of us
Are you listening?
She knew that we don't get to choose every note or to strum every chord
We never know just how many verses
But in the end, it doesn't really matter
For the song is its own reward

The music in the movement of a powerful horse
When you hold a snowflake as it dies
In loving and being loved without fear or reservation
To put God and grace and goodness in our lives

The simple pleasure of the sun on your face
The wisdom to know that our lives are not planned
That all the choices we make are our own
We must choose
To be silent, too run, or stand

When you go to the high places
or small quiet spaces
Dale's song will reach you where you belong
She knew that we may not have written
the words or the tune
But that we are all
Very much part of the song.

Go find your rhythm
Learn the flats and the sharps
Sing it!
Teach it to others
Dale's song and our song is the symphony that never ends
For even when our verse is finished
She knew that the music will go on
Through all those that we call,
Friends

© May, 2001 by Larry Maurice
Remembering "The Queen of the West"
Truckee, Calif.
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Larry Maurice's poetry here.

 

Childhood's End

Our innocence is gone
Our childhood dreams are dust
The cowboys that graced the silver screen
Will no longer ride with  us.

Hoppy, Gene and Roy are gone
And now, Miss Dale is, too
The Lone Ranger left,  some years back
Now, our heroes are so few.

Guess there’s Arnold also Bruce
There’s Norris and there’s Sly,
But those heroes seem to kill and maim
And never bat an eye.

My heroes all wore white hats
Only drew their guns to scare
They saved the damsel in distress
Then bowed their heads in prayer

Silver, Trigger, Buttermilk and Champ
No longer ride the range
Like they did with me and my horse Hap,
My God, this world is strange.

Yesterday my cowboy heroes
All wore shiny stars!
Now bad guys seem to out-number the good
And you’re apt to get shot in your cars.

Guess I’ll go to the movies
And watch the good guys ride
Across the range and through the draw
I’ll be gallopin’  by their side

For I never want to let go of
The things that I know best
One of which is,  they just don’t make ‘em
Like they did in the Golden West

© 2001 Rusty Calhoon
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Rusty Calhoon's poetry here.

 

Short a Few 

We're short a few cowboys and cowgirls
they've been off the screen growing old
living in places like Victorville,
or Thousand Oaks, so I'm told
we hear of them every so often
being awarded boots of gold
stars not quite so active
cause the fans haven't been polled
mostly the studios think they're passť
but our memories never grow cold
of the voice or the hat or the theme
or where the toy with their name was sold
cowboys in movies still ride some today
cause they can't seem to break the mold
a fresh crop of westerns is needed
mixing new hands with some of the old
we're short a few cowboys and cowgirls
but don't let your saddle be sold
salute both the past and the present
cause the West just won't ever fold.

© 2001 Steve Dirksen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of "California Steve" Dirksen's poetry here.

 

The Last of the Western Heroes 

The feller on the radio said that Roy had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw him just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, he was riding, tall and strong,
the way I'd always seen him ride, whenever I would tag along.

I saddled up my trusty paint, I'd not ridden for many a year
caught up to him up on the ridge, he motioned to come near.
We rode together, side by side, as we had in years gone by,
until we reached a fork on the trail, I knew he'd say "good bye."
He turned to me and gently said, "This is as far as you can go."
He thanked me for remembering, and for the trails that we once rode.
With a youthful grip he shook my hand, said "From here I ride alone."
He told me that my trail went straight, turned and then he was gone.

The feller on the radio said that Dale had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw her just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, she was riding, tall and strong,
the way I'd always seen her ride, whenever I would tag along.

I saddled up my trusty paint, I'd not ridden for many a year
caught up to her up on the ridge, she motioned to come near.
We rode together, side by side, as we had in years gone by,
until we reached a fork on the trail, I knew she'd say "good bye."
She turned to me and gently said, "This is as far as you can go."
She thanked me for remembering, and for the trails that we once rode.
With a gentle touch she took my hand, said "From here I ride alone."
And in the flash of brilliant light, these sights before me shone.

I saw Roy and Dale, together again, around a campfire bright,
there was the Duke and Randolph Scott, oh what a wonderful sight.
I saw Hoppy and I saw Gene, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, too,
the heroes of my yesterdays, and sadly then I knew.
The last western hero was she, no other this way would ride,
the trail she took started to fade, and for a moment I just cried.
Til in my heart I heard her voice, sing that wonderful refrain,
Happy Trails to You, Happy Trails to You, til we meet again.

The feller on the radio said that Roy and Dale had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw them just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, they were riding, tall and strong,
Where they taught me that my trail went straight, 
                                            where they turned and then were gone.

© 2001, Rolf D. Ritschel
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Read more about Rolf D. Ritschel here.

 

 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

HOME

 What's New | Poems

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!

 

Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.

 

CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

 

Site copyright information