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About Jeff Hildebrandt
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Jeff Hildebrandt's blog

 

About Jeff Hildebrandt:


This former Country Music DJ, Fireman, Emergency Medical Technician and TV producer is currently the Director of On Air Promotion for
Encore Westerns. While he's "Nadacowboy," he is an award winning Western humorist with a message.

In 2008, he received the prestigious Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, in the Best Factual Narrative category for the 100 Years of John Wayne special he produced for Encore Westerns.

He's pictured below with actor Robert Fuller and Fuller's wife, actor Jennifer Savage, at the Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, April 12, 2008. (Robert Fuller was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Great Western Performers.)


WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING:

"An extremely talented poet, Jeff not only makes us experience the full spectrum of emotions, from laughter to tears, but he prods us to look deep into ourselves to find a deeper meaning.  He touches our hearts." Dennis Weaver, Actor

"Your poetry is terrific." Clint Walker, Actor

" . . .a clever and different glimpse into the world of the cowboy." Bill Barwick, Western Entertainer

" . . . his poetry will brighten even the cloudiest day, giving strength where it's needed, and leave you wanting more.  A finer saddle pal can't be found any where." Johnny Neill, Western Entertainer

 

WHERE YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HIM PERFORM:

Great American Cowboy China Tour – The Great Wall, Beijing and Shanghai
Great American Cowboy Concert - Carnegie Hall, NYC
Motion Picture Golden Boot Awards - Beverly Hills,CA
Dean Smith Celebrity Rodeo
Michael Martin Murphey's Westfest
National Festival of the West - Scottsdale, AZ
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering - Lubbock, TX
Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering - Arvada, CO
Colorado Cowboy Classic - Lakewood, CO

"May your ponies all be gentle, may your saddles all be soft and may the Good Lord ride beside you on the trail"

Poems

Nadacowboy
Sermon on the Mount
Cowboy Up America
He's a Cowboy
The Fence Mender
Cowboy Legends

Angel's Mom

A Christmas Tale (separate page)
Angels Aren't the Only Ones Playing Harps
(separate page)

Dust 'n Tails (separate page)
Heading Home
(separate page)
Riding on the Roof (separate page)

 

Nadacowboy

I am not a cowboy, though I wear a cowboy hat
and the boots I wear have pointed toes and heels that ain't near flat.
I want to be a cowboy, but I'm stopped by one condition
I just can't get a handle on those cowboy definitions.

When you say Chaps, I think cologne, and that's not all, there's more
a Quarter Horse is what kids ride outside the K-Mart store
A Bull is the just first part of an expletive deleted
and Pony's just a little keg of beer, too soon depleted.
I'm not sure what a Cayuse is, but, it's my recollection
that the Spurs play basketball and Red Eye's an infection.

No, I am not a cowboy, and I guess that's clear to you
but, I read books by Cowboy Poets to find out what to do.
How I should walk, how I should talk, and even how to spit.
When to drink and when to eat and when to take a sit-
down with some pardners, play some cards and chew the fat
about the Dallas Cowboys and topics such as that.

A fella told me "get a horse," that's the thing that I should do.
So, I got a little Pinto, but the body rusted through.
I used to have Colt 45's. I'd drink some every day
now, the Saddlebags it gave me just won't go away.
Roundup kills weeds, I know because I use it now and then.
When you say stirrups, all I think is O-B-G-Y-N.

Yeah, I want to be a cowboy, wearin' jeans and denim shirts
and dance that Texas Two Step till my old doggies hurt.
I'll eat my Texas Chili hot, washed down with Lone Star Beer.
I'll vacation at a Dude Ranch and maybe milk myself a steer.
No, I am not a cowboy, but I think that I could be
once I get a handle on the terminology.

© 1999, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Sermon on the Mount

The J-Bar-H boys, we all knew were really, quite an ornery crew.
They'd chew tobacco, scratch and spit and tended to carouse a bit.
They'd spend all week out on the range then Saturday, wash up and change
and when they made it into town all good sense would soon be drowned
and they'd spend Sunday, flat in bed with one hellashish aching head.
They saw themselves as a dying breed and didn't really see the need
for folks who went to Sunday service.  Those folks always made 'em nervous
by the way they shook their head and such, looked down their nose and glared so much.
And you know that cowboys as a rule will bow their backs just like a mule
when someone's got em under tow to places he don't want to go.
Well, one day, out there, on the range, all of that began to change.
When a parson, just a-riding through, asked em if they'd spare some chew,
and he sat there silent on his mare as those cowhands commenced to swear.
Well, them roughneck fellas were amazed this Bible thumper wasn't phased
but laughed right with them at their jokes just like he was common folks.
He asked if he could stay the night and they said that'd be all right.
Round the cook fire they dished up some stew and watched to see just what he'd do.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head but they don't know just what he said.
Then he looked up with a big old grin, picked up his spoon and dug right in.
Next morning, he was set to go but one cowpoke just had to know
why he would spend time with the crew when that's not what those church folks do.
That parson sat there on his mare, and in his Bible, showed them where
God sent his Son to not cast blame but love all peoples just the same.
Their lives were changed, those hands recount, thanks to that "Sermon on the Mount."

© Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

 

Cowboy Up America

Around the world, the American Cowboy is a symbol of independence, initiative and integrity.  Right now, we can all learn a lesson from the Cowboy, because no matter how tough things get, the Cowboy never quits until the job is done. That attitude is summed up in two words...Cowboy Up.

When a Cowboy's in a pinch, he just tightens up the cinch,
spurs his horse and rides right through it cause that's the way the Duke would do it.
He'd Cowboy Up.

And when our country is in danger a cowboy's like the old Lone Ranger.
Ridin' hard and shootin' straight, fightin' those who spread the hate.
He'd Cowboy'd Up.

A Cowboy's ready and he's willin' to face the foe, like Marshal Dillon.
And when the gunsmoke clears away Cowboy Spirit wins the day.
So, Cowboy Up.  Pull your hat down tight and don't back down from what is right.

We'll bring back "Happy Trails" for you like Hoppy, Gene and Roy would do.
Think back about Flight 93 and how those heroes came to be.
They knew that thousands more could die if they just let that airplane fly
They Cowboy'd Up.

One widow had this tale to share, a husband's love and one last prayer.
And when their sacrifice was done terror lost and Freedom won
"Let's Roll", he said and Cowboy'd up.

Cause Cowboys fight until they win just like TV's Paladin.
They will not let our flag unravel as long as they Have Gun, Will Travel
And Cowboy Up, hell bent for leather.

Cause we're all in this fight together.
We're ridin' hard right on their trail
and with God's help, we will prevail.

If Gary Cooper, Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott were here today
they'd fight for what is right and true like Rex and Tex and Lash LaRue.
They'd Cowboy Up.

So, let's give Uncle Sam a hand cause we're all ridin' for his brand.
Let New York and the Pentagon inspire resolve to carry on
We've Cowboy'd Up. In God We Trust.
We fight because our cause is just.
We're standin' tall and standin' free
Cause we won't stand for tyranny.
So America, Cowboy Up.

© 2002, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Jeff Hildebrandt at Michael Martin Murphey's Westfest, 2002

We asked Jeff to tell us a bit about how he came to write this poem, and he replied: How did "Cowboy Up" come to be?  Well, I was thinking about a USO-type tour of military bases and what I could say to encourage the troops.  I know how important it is for young men and women in the military to feel the country's support because in 1968, I was in their place. But I also wanted to say something to encourage those of us at home.  And what better icon of patriotism to use than John Wayne, the Duke.  Once I had the first stanza done, the rest just seemed to roll out. I read a shorter version of the poem to some friends at the Western Music Association Festival in Tucson and was encouraged to expand it.


Cowboy Up America was run in observance of September 11 on the Westerns Channel between September 7 and 14, 2002.  At the time, there were  several commemorative versions.  Jeff wrote: "....if anyone is interested in a color painting or b/w lithograph of the poem they can check out www.katiewestart.com and go to the Patriotic Art link. If they want a copy of the video, they can contact Film Creations at www.filmcreations.com."

A parchment copy of the poem, suitable for framing, is available for $6.00 (postpaid) from Jeff Hildebrandt, 3132 W. Monmouth Avenue, Englewood, CO 80110.  

In December 2002 Jeff released a high quality chapbook, Cowboy Up America, that includes the title poem and twelve others.  It was in much demand and was sold out by the end of 2003.

There is a CD recording available for $6.00 postpaid from Jeff Hildebrandt, 3132 W. Monmouth Avenue, Englewood, CO 80110. 


  The January, 2002 issue of American Cowboy had a great feature on the Westerns Movie Channel, where Jeff Hildebrandt is Managing Producer. In the article by Debra Bokur, Jeff says that the channel's "On the Trail" feature shows viewers that the West is still alive. He says "We focus on people and events that are keeping the legends alive.  Young people are enthralled by the Western culture." The article was accompanied by a photo of Jeff with Westerns Channel host Dennis Weaver, and Jeff's poem "Cowboy Legends."  The same issue also carries a version of Jeff's poem, "Cowboy Up." 

 

He's a Cowboy

He's a Cowboy,with a hundred years of history
that's no where near the mystery
and romance on the range the movies show.
He's like those who rode the Chisholm trail
pushin' cows from Texas to the rail
when a Cowboy's Code was all you had to know.
It's Courage, Strength and Loyalty,
Good Humor, Trust and Decency.
And when he gave his word, he wouldn't fail.
A man who'd face stampedin' beeves,
wild Indians and cattle thieves,
then swear there weren't much trouble on the trail.

He's a Cowboy
Vaquero blood pumps through his veins
and he is all that now remains
of a breed-a men whose handshake sealed a deal.
His Stetson's stained with honest sweat,
his boots are scuffed and you can bet
he ain't no Urban Cowboy; he's for real.
He's not afraid of workin' hard
out in the field or his own back yard
and he gives thanks to God for all His grace
The Cowboy Code says lend a hand
and he does that every time he can
and thanks to him, this world's a better place.
He's a Cowboy.

© 2002, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


The Fence Mender

Fresh Snow
Undisturbed
except by the horse tracks behind him
and the sagebrush,
like polka dots on a bed sheet,
stretching to the mountains ahead.
He's alone but far from lonely
as he rides up through the snow
along a sagging fence line
with the valley down below.

Pausing
where the wire is down
this old fence mender looks around
to see if he can find a clue
of just what critter busted through.
But fresh snow
undisturbed
covers any sort of sign
except those horse tracks back behind.

So he picks up the wire
nails it back in its place
under gray skies that cover
this wide open space.
Then the clouds     split       apart
by shafts from the sun
as if they're God's spotlight
on a job that's well done.

Shadows shorten.
Boot and horse tracks
melt together as one
and tight wire is all that's left behind.

© 2004, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem appears in the January/February 2005 issue of American Cowboy

Jeff told us: The inspiration for this poem came during Michael Martin Murphey's Westfest in Aspen over the July 4th weekend, 2004.  I saw the painting, "The Fence Mender" by Clark Kelley Price and something clicked.  I'd write a while, then walk back and digest more of the painting and write some more.  When I got back to Denver, I shared this with a couple of my mentors, Laurie Wagner Buyer and Corrine Brown who helped me tie my thoughts together. The result is this poem which combines free verse with rhyme and uses different meter in each section.

 

Cowboy Legends

They are Cowboy Legends from their hats to their boots.
They could ride like the wind, they could rope and could shoot.
And, when we were young, on a Saturday
we would watch them for hours at the matinee.

See him ride cross the prairie on Champion, his horse
He's the first singing cowboy.  It's Gene Autry, of course.
He lived by the law and the cowboy code
that says give all you've got but just take what you're owed.
He didn't do it for money, that's just not his way
and he hoped that we'd do the same thing some day.

He's the King of the Cowboys, a white hat's his crown
and he'd never kick dogs nor a man who was down.
He sat tall in the saddle and he rode like the wind
and we wish that Roy Rogers would ride by again.

But, the good guys are gone and what's left us today
are heroes whose morals and feet are of clay.
So, I guess if our children are gonna learn how
to respect one another, we've gotta start now
to teach em there's value in all that God's made,
to show love and compassion, not anger and hate.
The young uns need heroes to learn what to do
So, saddle up friend, cause that hero is you.

© 2006, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

  Jeff Hildebrandt shared his poem, "Cowboy Legends." In Spring, 2006 Jeff Hildebrandt traveled to China with The Prairie Rose Wranglers, the children of The Independent Middle School of Wichita, Johnny Western, and Rex Allen, Jr., and others.  (Read more about the event at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon site and here at CowboyPoetry.com.)

Jeff told us, The Chinese don't have the history and traditions that allow them to understand and appreciate what we know as "cowboy poetry," but they have been exposed to some of our Western Movie heroes, so I chose a poem that talks about the positive values we learned from them."

 

Textured by Time

Paint peels;
reveals silver splinters
amidst the gray grain of winter-warped wood.

Once a showplace,
now a showcase of hard times.
Rusty tears,
from too many years of neglect,
weep from 10-penny punctures.

Once a haven for Herefords;
twice a day
hay, 3 legged stools and galvanized pails.
Now, musty and dusty;
a home for birds and barn kitties.

Once sturdy and straight;
now stoop shouldered and
textured by time.
But, still beautiful, some say,
in a natural way.
Barns are like that.

Once brown and bushy
now silver streaked and scarce,
covered by a tractor hat in need of an oil change.
Penny candy pockets,
all tickles and teasing.
A soft touch at bedtime.

Once lean and feisty
now leaning and forgetful;
Once raising cane
now held upright by one.
But beautiful, some say,
in God's way.
Grand-dads are like that.

© 2006, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Angel's Mom

A man once wrote this famous quote:
“I have a dream.”
Remember?
For Angel’s mom, the dream lives on
despite the dust, the bills and rust.
Despite back pain, the lack of rain,
the coyotes howl and banker’s scowl;
for Angel’s mom, the dream lives on.

Winter wind whipping, ice cycles dripping,
as mom chopped ice, not once, but twice.
Then toted water while her daughter
watched it from the pasture. 
She saw her mom walk past her
with grit not tears. 
Though it’s been years,
for Angel, the dream lives on.

Memories of that cowgirl swirl
like dust devils do where grass once grew.
She sees mom’s face; that sweat stained grace,
a road map to all she’d been through
and all she did to raise cows and kids
so, for Angel, the dream could live on.

Angel’s tales of hauling bales,
re-stringing wires and changing tires,
aren’t softened by the mind’s patina.
Her mom’s no barnyard ballerina
tiptoeing through the clover.
She’s stooped and pooped and all bent over
so, for Angel, the dream could live on.  

For Angel, mom’s an inspiration
whose perfume is pure perspiration;
She’s a symbol of integrity
and other hard hewn qualities.
As long as cattle graze the field
mom says there’s hope and will not yield
so, for Angel, the dream can live on.

© 2008, Jeff Hildebrandt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Jeff comments, "I was inspired by a letter sent to Tucson-based photographer, Jamie Williams, who is producing a documentary on American cowgirls. She forwarded it to me and I was struck by the love Angel has for her mother and the grit her mother has to make sure they don’t lose the family farm."

At Jamie Williams web site, www.americancowgirl.com, you can view her work and her blog www.americancowgirl.com/blog, which includes video from her film, American Cowgirls, and a segment about her from Encore Westerns.


Jamie Williams and Jeff Hildebrandt at an exhibit of her work in Tucson

 

Read Jeff Hildebrandt's

Riding on the Roof

and

Heading Home

and

A Christmas Tale

and

Dust 'n Tails, in our ArtSpur project

and

Angels Aren't the Only Ones Playing Harps with 2005 Christmas poems

Books and Recordings

 

  Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand. is Jeff Hildebrandt's book of Christian cowboy poetry. He comments it "focuses on the Gospel with an entertaining blend of cowboy poetry and preaching designed to get to the Truth of faith and faithfulness" and that, "It is also a great resource for Cowboy Church preachers who might like to spice up their sermons."

“This volume is Jeff at his most heartfelt.  I recommend his book to you, neighbor, as a guide to life.”
                                                            Jesse Mullins, Editor-in-Chief
                                                            American Cowboy Magazine

“Jeff Hildebrandt’s refreshing look into the spiritual side of the cowboy reminds us that the essence of Christianity is Christ, not religion.”
                                                           R.W. Hampton
                                                           Award winning singer/songwriter

“Ridin’ for the Boss and the Brand” covers topics as varied as witnessing, evangelism, stewardship and knowing what it takes to be a Christian.  It is also a great resource for Cowboy Church preachers who might like to spice up their sermons.

“You Nailed It.  You caught the cowboy and Christian dead on.”
                                                           Lynne Schricker
                                                           Fellowship of Christian Cowboys

“This unique cowboy poetry book will be an inspiration to everyone who reads it.”
                                                           Dr. Walter L. Bishop
                                                           Founder of West Quest

Ridin’ for the Boss and the Brand is available by mail for $12 postpaid to Jeff Hildebrandt, 3132 W. Monmouth Ave. Englewood, CO 80110. Discounts are available for orders of five or more copies. For more information contact Jeff Hildebrandt at rangerhymer@hotmail.com.
 


Jeff Hildebrandt's book, Prairie Prose . . . and Cons, is recommended by Read West Internet Magazine. Selected poems have appeared in The American Cowboy magazine, Colorado Country Connection, The Greenwood Villager newspaper and The Sand Creek Gazette.

Book    $10.00
Live Performance Cassette $10.00
Live Performance C D  $15.00

So, you said to yourself, "You know who would get a kick out of this is good old. . . ." Well, now you can let them in on all the fun. Just send a check along with a note about where you'd like it sent and if you'd like it autographed to "good old . . ."   

Available from:

Jeff Hildebrandt
3132 W. Monmouth Ave.
Englewood, CO  80110


 

  In December 2002 Jeff released a high quality chapbook, Cowboy Up America, that included the title poem and twelve others.  It was in much demand and was sold out by the end of 2003.

There is a CD recording available for $6.00 postpaid and a  parchment copy of the poem, suitable for framing, is also available for $6.00 (postpaid) from:

Jeff Hildebrandt
3132 W. Monmouth Ave.
Englewood, CO  80110

As mentioned above, Cowboy Up America was run in observance of September 11 on the Westerns Channel between September 7 and 14, 2002.  At the time, there were  several commemorative versions.  Jeff wrote: "....if anyone is interested in a color painting or b/w lithograph of the poem they can check out www.katiewestart.com and go to the Patriotic Art link. If they want a copy of the video, they can contact Film Creations at www.filmcreations.com."

Contact Information

Jeff Hildebrandt
3132 W. Monmouth Ave.
Englewood, CO  80110
rangerhymer@hotmail.com

Jeff Hildebrandt's blog

 

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