Featured at the Bar-D Ranch



Western Music Association (WMA)
Top Female Poet
2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010

Academy of Western Artists' (AWA)
Top Female Poet

About Yvonne Hollebeck
Books and Recordings
Contact Information and Web Site


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About Yvonne Hollenbeck:

Yvonne Hollenbeck is a Clearfield, South Dakota rancher's wife and that is the side of the fence her writing falls on. While helping her husband Glen tend to the cattle or registered quarter horses they raise, she often finds humor in the everyday duties of being a rancher's wife and quite often writes poetry or stories about this subject matter. She also has a few extracurricular activities, as being the daughter of a National Champion Old-Time Fiddler, she grew up in an environment that nourished her to become an accomplished musician. Another hobby, in which she has won many awards, both State and National, is designing and making beautiful hand-made quilts. Her favorite hobby, however, is writing and performing poetry.

A native of Gordon, Nebraska, she likes calling South Dakota cattle country her home and feels very much a part of the state as she is the great-granddaughter of Ben Arnold, a well publicized old-time Dakota cowhand who came to the state with the Texas trail herds and led quite an adventuresome life as a South Dakota pioneer. The book, Rekindling Campfires, a biography of his life published in 1926, received its title from one of the many poems he wrote depicting his life as a cowboy, so cowboy poetry and writing is indeed a part of her heritage. (Incidentally, this book was republished by the University of Oklahoma Press under the title The Exploits of Ben Arnold and is on the store shelves today.)

Click for Amazon

The Exploits of Ben Arnold: Indian Fighter, Gold Miner, 
Cowboy, Hunter, and Army Scout
See the Amazon description and U. of Oklahoma description

Yvonne has been a featured poet at many gatherings, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada, and keeps a busy schedule entertaining.

Her poetry is included in several anthologies and a part of the four-poet CD, Where the Buffalo Rhyme. She was named the Top Female Poet in 2005 by the Academy of Western Artists and named the Top Female Poet by the Western Music Association in 2006, 2007, and 2008. She's received numerous other awards. She has published four books of poetry: Blossoms Beneath the Snow, a Tribute to the Pioneer Ranchwomen; Where Prairie Flowers Bloom, which received the Will Rogers Medallion Award; and From My Window, which also received the Will Rogers Medallion Award and was named Top Poetry Book by the Western Music Association, She has five CDs, My Home on the Range, Prairie Patchwork, and Winter on the Range, What Would Martha Do? (Western Music Association Top Poetry CD in 2007) and Pieces of the Past (Western Music Association Top Poetry CD in 2008). 

Yvonne Hollenbeck also performs with  Jean Prescott, and Liz Masterson as the "Sweethearts in Carhartts." The three popular performers—their group name inspired by Montana ranch hand DW Groethe's "The Carhartt Song"take their show of poetry and music to gatherings and events across the West.

 Read about all of these books and recordings below.

Yvonne Hollenbeck was named the Top Female Poet in 2005 by the Academy of Western Artists and named the Top Female Poet by the Western Music Association in 2007, 2008, and 2010. She's received numerous other awards.



Rancher and roper (and Yvonne's husband) Glen Hollenbeck
 in Sterling, Colorado, 2005



The Little Red Geranium
The Auction Sale
Give Your Horse His Head
A Windmill on the Prairie
The Truth About the Bra
How to Cut Taxes
Why Jane Left Ted
The Fiddler
Nature's Church
The Rescue Unit
As Birds Fly from the Nest
Rancher Wannabe
Calving Time

The Making of a Cowboy
Beat By Old Hands

Branding Time
I'd Like to be in Texas (When We Round Up Cows Next Spring)
The Ranch Rig
Hometown Shopping
Old Eagle Eye
Song for Josiah
The Truth About Cowboy Laundry
Cowman's Calculations
The Banker and the Insurance Man
What Would Martha Do?


Poems, Page 2

The Flag Out on the Ranch


Father's Boots
The Waitress
A Plain Ol' Ranch Wife
The PETA Reporter
A Good Name
Old Folks Rodeo

An Old Fashioned Christmas
The Annual Christmas Program

Halloween Headlines

Saga of the Dust (by grandmother Blanche Hanson)
The West (anonymous)

Roundup Day (to Kyle Evans)
Where the Sweetest Grasses Grow (to Kyle Evans)

Our Hero (for Wally Bazyn)


Saddle Tale (in a feature about Jean Prescott feature)

And other poems posted elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com, noted below.


A Father's Day tribute to Harry Hanson, Page 3


The Little Red Geranium

Women who lived in sod houses often said that the only color, or item of decoration, was their red geraniums. I was thinking about that when I wrote the following poem:


The church that day was crowded,
     it was filled clear to the brim;
the organist was playing
     her favorite old hymns.

I thought how folks would miss her.
     For the most of ninety years
she'd been doin' things for others,
     and the thought brought me to tears.

Pretty flowers lined the altar,
     but among the large bouquets
sat a little red geranium
     and it looked so out of place.

I wondered how it got there
     but I didn't wonder long
for the service was beginning;
     first a prayer, and then a song.

Then the pastor started talking
     and he left the Speaker's Stand;
he picked that scraggly plant up
     and held it in his hand.

He said he went to see her
     just before she passed away,
and she gave that plant to him
     with instructions for this day.

She first told him a story
     that he'd tell to us today,
'cause she asked him if he'd share it
     just before she passed away:

Her folks came West to homestead
     when she was just a girl,
And her mama got so lonely
     in this strange and foreign world.

But one day a kindly neighbor
     brought a red geranium.
She gave it to her mama
     ...and that was to begin

a long and lasting friendship;
     then every year towards fall
her ma would take starts from it
     and she would share them all

with others that were lonely,
     or sick, or needed care;
she would take a red geranium
     and leave it with them there.

She said her mama told her
     it reminded her of God,
how He made us in His image
     from a little clump of sod.

And with a little kindness
     and a little bit of care,
plants, like His love, could multiply
     and grow for us to share.

She said when she was living
     in a soddy in the hills,
she always had geraniums
     blooming on the big wide sills.

Red was the only color
     in her drab and dingy home
reminding her that God was there
     and she was not alone.

Then came those awful thirties
     when the hills were parched and brown;
those pretty red geraniums
     were the only things around

that seemed to keep on growing,
     and how she loved them so;
and kept right on a-givin' them
     to visitors when they'd go.

Then wartime came and took
     her only son, so brave;
it was a red geranium
     that she planted at his grave.

Now her life on earth is over,
     but before she went away,
she started many little plants
     to give to you today.

Just little red geraniums
     descended from her mother's;
through years it's been her joy
     to share with many others.

She hopes you all will take one
     and you'll have it in your home;
then when you're feeling lonely
     you will know you're not alone,

'cause flowers fade and wither;
     seasons come and seasons end,
but your plant will live and grow
     if you share it with a friend.

We all were taught a lesson
     at the funeral that day:
the greatest love we can receive
     is the love we give away!

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

This photo accompanies "The Little Red Geranium" in Yvonne Hollenbeck's book, Where Prairie Flowers Bloom: 

L. to R.: Gladys & Eleanore Klein; their Grandmother, Flora Hobson; and their mother, Coral Hobson Klein, in front of their Sod House door.  Reprinted with permission.

This additional interesting photo appears elsewhere in Where Prairie Flowers Bloom:

One of Andrew Hollenbeck's sons cutting sod for a new dwelling. Reprinted with permission.


The Auction Sale

After sixty years of marriage, our neighbor passed away,
and when they had his auction 'twas a nice and sunny day.
I suppose because it was so nice the crowd was fairly large,
but I finally found a place to park and walked up to the yard.
Their yard was full of furniture and almost everything,
as the auctioneer, his helpers, and the bidders formed a ring.
I was wanting nothing special, but I thought perhaps I'd buy
just some kind of memento if things didn't go too high.
Then I saw her in a lawn chair in the shade beneath a tree,
and I went to say hello and hoped that she'd remember me.
When she saw walking towards her broke out in a smile,
then took my hand and asked if I would sit with her awhile.
Of course, I had intended to get in the bidding war,
but the lonely look upon her face I'd never seen before.
So I took the other lawn chair and I asked her how she'd been;
She said that she was pretty good, but my, how she missed him.
Then told me how they came here when they were newlywed
and she pointed to a dresser and a pretty iron bed,
saying: "That was our first purchase, and that old cast-iron range."
Then she started telling how things were, and how the West had changed.
Next she pointed to a feed bunk full of harness, nets and hames;
and in it were his saddles; she talked of horses he had trained.
The afternoon went fast. We both shed several tears
as she told me lots of stories of their many happy years
a-building up this ranch, how she had made a home,
but today it all is auctioned off 'cause she can't stay alone.
She asked if I'd come visit her; of course, I said I would
but it seems I keep so busy and don't do the things I should.
A lifetime full of memories were shared with me that day,
and I hoped that just by listening it'd helped her in a way
to ease the pain she felt inside as all her things were sold,
while she recounted happy times back in the days of old.
I didn't buy a thing that day and didn't even care
'cause I got something one can't buy while chatting with her there.
See, I took home something special as I headed on my way...
... the blessings of a friendship from the auction sale that day.

© 2001, Yvonne Hollenbeck 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written

Give Your Horse His Head

He would saddle up his pony
and bundle up real good
then load his gear, check the cinch
just like every cowboy should.
Then he'd climb up in the saddle
...feeling happy, as a rule,
then down the trail you'd see him lope
a-headed off for school.
His mom would gladly drive him there
but he did not want that;
he liked to ride his pony
wearin' boots and cowboy hat.
He loved the birds and animals
he'd watch for on the way;
besides it did his pony good
to ride him every day.
Then one day, during recess time
the sky got dark and gray;
a call came that a real bad storm
was headed out that way.
The teacher let the children out,
Little Cowboy headed home;
but soon the snow was blinding him;
he was out there all alone.
He had soon lost his direction
and thought he'd got off course,
and knew the only chance he had
was to trust his little horse.
His mom and dad were worried sick
all they could do was pray.
Where could their little cowboy be
as the blizzard raged that day?

They hoped he'd found a neighbor's home
where he'd be safe and sound;
perhaps he'd stopped at Father Doyle's
but phone lines were all down.
It seemed like an eternity
when suddenly they heard
what sounded like a horse outside
they could neither say a word.
They opened up the back porch door
and shed some tears of joy;
when they saw that dear old pony
and their precious little boy.
Now many years have come and gone;
the little cowboy's growing old,
remembering still that frightful day
...the wind...the snow...the cold.
And as we go through life it seems
there's things that blind our way;
and why we take a dead-end road
is sometimes hard to say.
But we are all aware that life
is full of things we dread;
instead of pulling on the reins,
just give your horse his head.

© 2001, Yvonne Hollenbeck 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written

(from a true story about my husband, Glen, when he was a 10 year old boy and got caught in the Blizzard of '52 which was one of the worst in South Dakota history)


A Windmill on the Prairie 

If I could paint a picture of the finest place on earth,
it would never be of buildings, pay no matter what they're worth.
There'd be no canvas covered with a village, neat and quaint;
...a windmill on the prairie is what I'd choose to paint.
Now, you may think it silly that anyone could see
beauty in a windmill, but they mean a lot to me.
Like a lighthouse to a sailor, they're a symbol of the West
of life that's free and easy, a lifestyle that's the best.
To me there's nothing better than to be out there with God,
smell the clover-scented grass, or raindrops on the sod;
to hear the rustling of the trees, the lowing of the herds;
and watch a hawk a-circlin', then be chased away by birds.
A friend to man and beast alike, they never cease to work,
bring forth the fresh cold water from far beneath the earth.
When evening shadows lengthen, like a tower in the night,
a windmill in the sunset is such a wondrous sight.
You can have the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican in Rome;
sky scrapers in the cities, or the fanciest of homes.
The simple upright beauty that will put them all to test
is a windmill on the prairie when the sun sets in the West!
© 2002, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written



Anyone who has been to a Cowboy Poetry gathering has probably heard Bill Hirschi's legendary poem, "The Bra."  (Read more about it in our Who Knows? feature).  Yvonne Hollenbeck says "Here's my answer to the bra poem (it's nothing I'll do unless necessity calls for it)."


The Truth About the Bra

I was workin' in the dress shop when a dude came in that day
and we were quite amused at him, that's one thing I will say.
It was about the strangest thing I think we'd ever saw
when he told us he had come in there to buy his wife a bra.

Now, I have heard some windies and been told a lot of lies,
after all, I raised teenagers, and dated cheatin' guys.
He wasn't buying no brassier to take home to his wife;
it's obvious he's one of those who lives a double life.

I doubt he even has a wife, and if he really does,
she must be quite a looker if she wears that big 'a-cup!
And did you ever know a woman that would ask a guy
to go to town and buy a bra and not give him a size?

I wasn't born just yesterday...I've been around the block;
and I can spot a liar when he first begins to talk.
He might look like a cowboy as he dishes out that line,
but a sales clerk in a dress shop can spot one every time.

Some are wanting dresses and some want underwear,
and always say "it's for my wife," but we are all aware
that these items they are buying are really for themselves
as they eyeball lacy garments on the racks and on the shelves.

And when you ask for sizes you can always bet those guys
will answer quick:  "I do not know, but she's about my size."
But to come into a dress shop just to buy his wife a bra
and use a hat for cup size...that's the worst I ever saw!

© 2004, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written




How To Cut Taxes 


There are aliens here by the millions - illegal, and they're all around;
the Border Patrol is out searchin' but hardly a one's ever found.

The CIA and the Army, Marines and the Air Force too,
have been combing the hills of Afghanistan, while "Bin" just keeps slippin' on through.

There are thousands of folks that are wanted by the police and of course, F.B.I.
I think those departments are useless, and a big waste of taxes, here's why:

When one Holstein cow met her maker at a plant up in Washington State,
in no time they knew where she came from and the source of the feed that she'd ate.

They found where her offspring were grazing...solved all this in less than a day!
They got lots of press and instilled lots of fear in a story that won't go away.

So, I think if I was the President of this "home of the free and the brave"
I close up all those departments and think of the money I'd save.

I'd hire a few veterinarians...a few that would work for short pay;
and call it the "Mad Cow Militia, a branch of the U.S.D.A."

I'd sic this new branch on Bin Laden, and give them the run of the Hill;
this could create more excitement than when Monica visited Bill!

Just imagine how good you'll be lookin' with election time comin' this fall;
by closing these other departments, you'd have refunds galore for us all.

They'd be carving your face on Mt. Rushmore; you'd be leading the list of "who's who;"
Nader and Kerry would not have a chance, as the nation all rallies 'round you.

With the state of affairs all in order, and allies a-wondering "how"
with one explanation you'd tell 'em: "it's the result of a single mad cow."

This nation would once again prosper with very few taxes to pay,
and we'd credit the "Mad Cow Militia, a branch of the USDA!"

© February 2004, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.





Why Jane Left Ted

I know you've seen the tabloids...don't believe what all they said;
I think I know the real scoop as to just why Jane left Ted.
This was overheard in Elko by a coffee drinkin' crew;
by the time it got to my house, you can bet the story's true.

See, Jane was getting restless, said her life'd become a bore;
with all her wealth and luxury, she wanted something more.
So, Ted with all his billions thought he'd give her back her life
and thought just what she needed was to be a rancher's wife.

He'd seen 'em in the movies in their homes out on the range,
and thought that his dear Janey could use this kind of change.
So, he bought a bunch of ranches, put together quite a spread;
the "biggest rancher in the West!" ...at least that's what they said.

He stocked his range with buffalo, red fox, and prairie dogs;
to heck with raisin' cattle, sheep, or horses,  corn and hogs.
His Jet brought her to Omaha (the place her dad called home)
from their they drove Hummer out to where his bison roam.

And just like every rancher does when driving with their mates,
they always do the driving while the ranchwife gets the gates!
In spite of her aerobics, her body was not fit
for a ranch of fifty townships and all its gates to get!

Jet lag mixed with blisters, by the time they made their house
had started causing stress upon this wealthy rancher's spouse;
The next day was pure hell on earth, at least that's what she said
...the day the cookie crumbled and the reason Jane left Ted.

And what she hadn't planned on, something city gals don't do,
she had to rise at 5 a.m. and feed a ranchhand crew.
Ted said to be a rancher's wife she had to look the part;
he handed her an old wool cap and tattered old carharts.

Next came yellow work gloves, and knee-high rubber boots;
he showed her where the buckets were, the log chains, and the scoops.
And on that frosty morning when she'd plan to sleep in late,
he had her in the muck and mud sortin' bison through a gate!

Do you 'spose that bison prolapse?  Did she have to lance a cyst?
With those big front ends and small behinds do their calves stick at the hips?
No one knows what happened...at least no one will say,
but she went back to Georgia, and left poor Ted that day.

They claim the West is hell on horses, hell on women too;
the breakup of this marriage is just proof that theory's true.
She said to be a rancher's wife, she'd rather be caught dead;
and now you know the truth about the reason Jane left Ted.

© February 2004, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




The Fiddler


In the fall of 1997, I was asked to entertain at a Cowboy Poetry Gathering
at Devils Tower.  I took my dad, Harry Hanson of Gordon, Nebraska (a many-times
Champion Old Time Fiddler) with me to help entertain the folks.  I
wrote this poem to introduce him:

There's been lots of stories 'bout days long ago,
of cowboys and roundups and such;
and one thing we've learned from those stories of old
is folks then were rugged and tough.

We know that the life on those big cattle drives
was hard on those men on the trail;
but they ended each day in their own special way
with good entertainment, they'd tell.

They claim they would gather 'round the campfire
as some cowboy strummed a guitar;
they'd sing songs of women and horses and wars
and fights they had won in a bar.

But the best entertainment them cowboys would get
was when one to the wagon would fetch
a fiddle and bow, and every boot toe
would start tapping, and 'twas a sure bet

that you'd hear lots of hoe-downs and waltzes and songs
that would take their minds back to their home;
some guys would get up and jig 'round the fire
while others would sit all alone

just remembering the time when a pretty young gal
was a-dancin' with him way back home,
while a fiddler played all those tunes of the day
as they danced to the Strawberry Roan.

So I brought this here fiddler for you folks to hear
some songs that came up on the trail.
It's a story that no one can write in a poem
and no writer of stories can tell.


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


This poem is included in our collection of 
poems about Cowboy Dads and Granddads


Yvonne had told us previously about her father, whose music is featured on her CD, My Home on the Range, which was named the Academy of Western Artists' Best Poetry CD in 2003:


He's won over 200 first place trophies at contests in the past and won the National Championship at Weiser, Idaho, in 1967.  He was born in a sod house in a Norwegian settlement in northern South Dakota (real near the North Dakota border) where he was raised.  He started playing for house dances when he was 7 years old and would stand on a chair because he was so small, and from what I was told many times by older relatives and neighbors, was as good or better than any of the men fiddlers.  He's the kindest, sweetest person the sun ever shown on and we have had a lifetime of fun together.  He taught me to chord with him when I was little (he says I was 4) and we've spent many hours making music together.


This photo is from Spring, 2009, of Harry Hanson, age 94:


She sent us the photos above and this one:



and wrote that it was taken .... 


"...10 years ago on Mother's Day (hence, the blooming lilacs in the background). He hasn't aged a bit since then, but I certainly have. He will be 90 on August 23, 2004 and stands up straight (he's a little over 6'), doesn't have an once of fat on his body, and his fingers are as nimble as a youngster's. He still plays that fiddle so well and as the cowboy poet and musical entertainer, Howard Parker says: 'Harry Hanson has the keenest knowledge of old-time tunes of anyone I know. If you want to know how a tune goes, he knows it and knows it right.'"



Nature's Church
Did you ever see the mountains that are covered up with snow,
or see a sun set in the West with purple afterglow?

Have you ever seen a newborn calf a-wobbling to its feet,
and though it's only minutes old it knows just where to eat?

You can't climb upon a saddle horse and cross the prairie sod,
or see an eagle on the wing and not believe in God.

A cowboy doesn't worship in a building made of stone,
but worships with his Maker out with nature all alone.

His church is in the great outdoors; the valley, heaven's gate,
his favorite hymn's a coyote that is calling to its mate.

He makes his own communion as a choir of songbirds sing,
as he cups his hands and drinks the fresh cold water from a spring.

With the budding of the springtime and with autumn's goldenrod
a cowboy lives with nature and the wonders of his God.

So, when you hear a meadowlark that's singing from his perch,
he's inviting you to worship with him there at Nature's Church.

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





The Rescue Unit

He's been a rancher all his life and was born there to the land;
...made a big name in the rodeos and for sure was one top hand.

There's a real nice herd of cattle that are grazing on his range,
'though the road was sometimes rough, and you might think that this is strange,

but this cowboy's first to tell you that it's been a rocky road
and to keep it all together was at times a heavy load.

Remember in the '80's when the cattle market died?
A lot of farms and ranches also made their final ride.

But to keep from losing all he had he lost a lot of sleep
but the thing that pulled him through it was, my friends, a herd of sheep.

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


Yvonne writes: Many ranchers in the Great Plains have raised sheep from time to time to help supplement their income.  Our ranch is no different.  In the early 80's the cattle market was very bad and many places were lost because of the economy.  We were able to weather the storm due to the fact that we had approximately 500 ewes which provided us with income, both from the sale of the lambs and from wool, to support our family of six as well as help soften the loss we were experiencing from our cattle.  We no longer have sheep on our ranch, but we will never forget how they helped us out.


As Birds Fly from the Nest

You'll miss those muddy footprints or small feet tracking sand,
You'll wish for smudges on the glass left by a little hand.

You'll find yourself just wishing for a broken window pane,
or wagon or a ball glove that's left out in the rain.

'Cause when those days are with you and you long for peace and rest
you'll find too soon you'll have it just as birds fly from the nest.

You'll wish for little kids to beg for cookies or for pie
and wish for candy traveling from the cupboard on the sly,

you'll wish for dressing him all up in clean and ironed shirt
to only find it covered with a fresh supply of dirt.
And then that little girl, with her doll and pretty smile
will only be around you for a tiny little while.
Too soon her heart is taken, and on that I can attest,
she'll be someone else's darling just as birds fly from the nest.
Take some time to smell the flowers as you often hear folks say
'cause all too soon you're wishing for what you once had today.
As the evening shadows lengthen and the sun sets in the West,
you'll find that time has flown away like birds fly from the nest.

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

Yvonne told us: Jean Prescott and I were visiting about how fast our children grew up and now they all have children of their own. The conversation led to the ideas for this poem, which I wrote for my daughters.

This poem is in our collection of poems about mothers.



Rancher Wannabe

So you want to be a rancher, well that's an easy thing to be,
you just marry it, inherit it, or win a lottery.

It will take at least a million for a little piece of land
and to buy a hundred cows you need at least two hundred grand.
You will need to buy some bulls if you want those heifers bred
so you'll shell out several thousand for each and every head.
Then a whole lot of equipment is something you will need
'cause you will have to put up hay and raise some cattle feed. 
Of course you need good help, like a real hard-working wife,
for you can't afford a hired man since ranching is your life.
"Good fences make good neighbors," and that saying isn't wrong
but it costs a pretty penny if you want those fences strong.
You need corrals and working chute, a shop with every tool,
a good warm barn, a calving shed and gas tanks full of fuel.
You'll never see the end of all the things you need to buy;
and the fact you want to ranch makes a sane man wonder why.
It will be several years before you start to see return
and a dollar for each thousand is the most you'll prob'ly earn.
Your income's from the calves you raise and sell in early fall,
but you never get to spend it 'cause the banker gets it all.
So, unless you are a doctor that is much too over-paid,
or perhaps a shady lawyer, then you just might have it made.
But to just become a rancher is a challenge as we know it,
or you can just pretend you're one and be a cowboy poet

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


Calving Time

The days are getting longer, early spring has shown its face;
the mud room's clean and orderly, supplies are in their place.
Then suddenly it happens on a crisp and chilly morn;
excitement builds in all of us 'cause our first calf is born.
It's calving time!
Two weeks have passed and all is fine, we've only lost a few,
but when that blizzard hit last week there's not much we could do.
The mud room needs a scrubbing, nipple bottles fill the sink,
and after all those calves brought in this place begins to stink.

It's calving time!

Another week has passed us by, I've nothing to report
except that sleep and patience are both getting mighty short.
You can't get in the mud room, the whole place is one big mess.
Why anyone would live this way is anybody's guess.

But it's calving time!

And now just like those calving cows, we both are slowing down,
I'm gonna watch the place today 'cause hubby went to town.
He went in to a bull sale, it is like an endless chain;
we'll breed those cows for next year and we'll do it all again.

When it's calving time!

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


Calving time coincides with  Cowboy Poetry Week. For 2008, Yvonned shared her plans for Cowboy Poetry Week, with her signature humor and a good dose of reality. Read about them in the 2008 Cowboy Poetry Week news here.


The Making of a Cowboy

From the time he was a button she always kept him sound,
tending scrapes and bruises from encounters with the ground.
She'd chase away the boogie-man and tuck him in at night
and with her there to guide him he was bound to turn out right.

She bought him his first stick horse and a little pair of boots
and dressed him like a cowboy in his Roy Rogers suits.
She walked a million miles leading him on dad's old mare;
when he'd accidentally rope her, she didn't seem to care.

She watched him 'round the men folk so he'd not get in the way,
and dropped what she was doing when he needed her to play.
When he became a teen, a lot of prayers went heaven bound
until she heard his footsteps knowing he was safe and sound.

She pressed a lot of wranglers, starched and ironed every shirt,
...made sure he wore clean underwear in case he might get hurt.
She hauled him and his horse to many junior rodeos
or horse shows and gymkhanas and those Little Britches shows.

Now the little lad is all grown up, her job is now complete
as she proudly sits up in the stands just watching him compete.
He's now a top-notch cowboy and each time a buckle's won
his dad swells up and proudly boasts: "I sure turned out quite a son!"

© 2007, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Beat By Old Hands
 (or, "Ode to Chip")

Retirement can be boring
so he asked if he could go,
and just for old-time’s sake
he entered St. Paul’s rodeo.

They said that he could ride along,
and thought it was joke
but what the heck, he’d buy the gas,
this aged old cowpoke.

It didn’t bother them too much
and it didn’t make them sore
that he’s only roping calves now,
not like in the days before.

‘Though he’s won his share of buckles
at most every rodeo,
in dogging and in saddlebroncs,
as record books will show.

But those cowboys were in shock
when he up and won the go
…he didn’t have to go that far
to prove he’s still a pro.

Those guys with fancy buckles
that he’d traveled with this time
were just a tad disgusted
‘cause they hadn’t won a dime.

That ol’ truck was pretty quiet
as they headed on their way;
the road home seemed much longer
than the drive up yesterday.

They acted pretty sullen,
feeling like an endless pit
so he thought a stop for food
might just cheer them up a bit.

They started feeling better
‘till the waitress brought her book,
then started taking orders
and you should have seen the look

they gave that poor old cowboy
as their stares all turned to ice
when he got the senior discount
and they had to pay full price.

We know that there are ropers
that are real tough acts to follow,
but getting beat by “old hands”
is a little tough to swallow.

© 2007, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Yvonne, who ranches in South Dakota with her champion calf-roping husband, Glen, told us about the inspiration for this poem: "Glen was visiting on the phone with one of his roping buddies, Chip Whitaker. Chip was one of rodeo's greats, but like the rest of us, he is getting older and now limits his activities to calf roping. After all, he has had open heart surgery as well as many broken bones and face reconstruction (from a kick in the face). His son, Kyle, who has been the Bill Linderman award winner in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association the past three years and who is also a professional cowboy, was going to St. Paul to the rodeo with some of his buddies. Chip went with them and entered the calf roping, as he is still a member of the PRCA. The result was fuel for the poem."


Branding Time

It happens mostly in the spring,
    when all the calves are here;
excitement builds as plans are made
     for branding time each year.

The rancher calls a list of names
     he’s jotted in his book,
the wife starts making plans
    for all the things she has to cook.

He lines up all the vaccine,
     she bakes a dozen pies,
the day before they set up pens
    …she feeds a dozen guys.

Then finally branding day arrives,
    he’s lined up quite a bunch
she’s lined up dinner, supper,
    and in between, the lunch.

The more help that the rancher has,
    the more she has to do.
It takes a lot of beef and beans
    to feed a branding crew.

(Did I mention that one feller
     who brought along a brat?
He said his wife could use a break;
    she wished she’d thought of that!)

After hauling chairs and tables
     and cooking several days,
the big day’s finally over
    as she goes to bed and prays:

if she should die before she wakes
     she hopes she never has to bake
another cake, another pie
     in that big ranch up in the sky.

But soon the rooster’s crowing
     as another day begins
and she’s making plans for next year  
    when it’s branding time again. 

© 2007, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


I'd Like to be in Texas (When We Round Up Cows Next Spring)

There’s been a lot of poems and songs about those cattle drives,
I’ve never heard a poem or song about those cowmen’s wives.

Did you ever stop and wonder about how those guys get fed?
Who boils that brew and cooks the stew and bakes up all that bread?

Well, I know who and so do you, so I wrote this little thing
bout why I’d like to be in Texas when we round up cows next spring.


In a kitchen in an old ranch house on a cold and autumn day,
sat a bunch of fellers telling yarns about the cowboy way.

They tell of places they have been and country they have seen.
One prefers the Badlands where the grass is never green,

while others tell their windy tales of Sandhills, lush and wet,
as they eat their eggs and pancakes ‘cause it soon is time to get

outside and saddle up their mounts and ready for the ride,
for the roundup is about to start.  I too must get outside

and load up all the food and drink and pack it in my truck,
then find a place along the trail where they can stop for chuck.

I’m soon unloading food supplies …it’s not an easy deal
to feed those men while on the trail and plan for every meal.

And when the noon meal’s over, the work is never through;
you have to clean and pack and move the meal site all anew.

They’ll stop the drive at sundown and again they have to eat,
and then I start all over and I’m really getting beat!

They set up camp and bed ‘em tight, some men stay with the cattle;
I head on home to pack more food, for eating’s half the battle.

And while the men are fast asleep, I prepare tomorrow’s menu;
just two more days of rounding up and then this job will be through.

So when you hear those poems and songs about those cattle drives,
just think about the “unsung” ones…about the cowman’s wives.

With that I guess I’ll bid “good-bye” and say just one more thing:
I’d sure like to be in Texas when we round up cows next spring!

© 2008, revised, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

The Ranch Rig

He comes inside and asks me if I’d like to take a ride;

he’s checking cows and knows I always like to help outside.


But there usually is a reason why I’m asked to go along,

he’s needing help with something or a calf is coming wrong.


But there’s one thing why I hesitate, and a reason to abstain,

it’s the inside of his ranch rig.  Perhaps I should explain.


Have you ever seen the aftermath of cyclones or of war,

or effects from an explosion, its carnage and the horror?


Have you ever smelled a feedlot mixed with someone’s garlic breath

or of decomposing mice after D-con caused their death?


Well, combine that all together and you just might have a clue

of the inside of his ranch rig that is multiplied by two.


the back one’s draped with ropes and guns and twine and gunny sacks.

You can’t see out the windshield ‘cause of caked-on dirt and cracks;


And you could plant a garden on the dirt that’s on the dash,

If it weren’t for gloves and papers and other types of trash.


The poor old seat has had it where some springs are poking through,

and I doubt that it’s been cleaned off since the day that it was new.


You cannot even fathom all the stuff that’s on the floor;

and part of it falls out each time you open up the door.


There are oil cans and grease rags, a rusty can of nails,

a vaccine gun and ear tags thrown in a plastic pail.


Some used cow tags, a log chain, and feed bills from ‘02

Pop cans, axe, and duct tape, some is used and some is new.


There’s a box of fencing staples, some are used and bent,

and there’s my good screw driver…I wondered where it went!


You can tell that he’s been calving by the pulling-chain and rag

and the odor coming from them is enough to make you gag.


I sure don’t need to tell you that among this junk and crud

Was hay and straw and pellets and manure, sand and mud.


But when we’re checking pastures, the one thing that I hate

is crawling over all this junk when I have to get a gate!

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


Hometown Shopping

I guess I’m just old-fashioned and I just don’t have a clue
about the modern type of shopping folks nowadays like to do.

And it saddens me that little towns are dying, one by one,
and surmise that “modern shopping” is the cause why they’re undone.

You used to find most anything in little one-horse towns;
now most their stores are empty and the buildings falling down.

And then I stop and wonder: “What caused those towns to die?”
Those little towns had everything you’d ever want to buy.

Folks never heard in cyberspace, they shopped the “Five and Dime”
or hardware store or candy shop where clerks would take the time

to thank you for your business and for sure it’s safe to say
that the goods you bought were made here in the good old U.S.A.

Do you know who you are buying from when you shop in cyberspace?
When your Little League needs sponsors can you call upon their place?

Are they doing us a favor or just taking us for fools
‘cause for sure they don’t pay taxes to support our local schools.

Maybe we should band together to start a “shopping drive”
where we buy goods in hometown stores and help those burgs survive.

If you are wanting something special and you’re really in a bind,
you might shop right at home and be surprised at what you’ll find.

And you’ll find it quite relaxing and will not have far to go,
and this “shopping drive” might play a part to help these towns to grow.

I don’t need a “Cyber Monday” or “Black Friday” shopping spree
‘cause the “Home Town” kind of shopping is the perfect type for me!

© 2011, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Old Eagle Eye

He can tell if a heifer is starting to calve, I swear from a mile away,
and see if he needs to go pull the calf by just simply looking that way.

He can see if a windmill is working or not from his horse on a faraway hill,
and tell what direction the wind’s coming from by watching the tail on the mill.

He knows if a coyote or badger is near by watching the tracks in the sand,
and see if a staple is loose from a post on the fence that encircles his land.

He’s got eyes like an eagle for finding new calves that their mamas have hidden all snug;
so why can’t he see the mud on his boots that he’s tracking all over my rug?

© 2012, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Song for Josiah

In the Sandhills of Nebraska was the first one
A flag on a great big bale of hay
And, I wondered just what that flag was there for
But, I would see many more that day
I took a break from driving for some coffee
And stopped in at the local town café
Out of curiosity I asked the waitress
Just why all those flags were flying that day

She said, “We’re flying those flags for Josiah
After all it is the least that we can do
To show our respect for his service
Defending our red, white and blue

He grew up living right here in the Sand Hills
And proudly answered the Nation’s call
He cherished the freedom of our country
To prove it he gladly gave his all

So, we’re flying those flags for Josiah
After all it is the least that we can do
To show our respect for his service
Defending our red, white and blue
Now, they’re bringing him back home to stay

I pondered those tearful words she told me
As I continued traveling on my way
I’ll show them all we never will forget them
I’ll fly a flag on our ranch every day

For those who have sacrificed so much for us
To let them know just how much we care
It’s a symbol of how we love our freedom
In the stars and stripes high up in the air

Let’s all fly a flag for Josiah
And for all of our country’s veterans, too
They’ve all paid a price for our freedom
After all, it’s the least we can do
Yes, they’ve all paid a price for our freedom
Defending the red, white and blue
After all, it is the least that we can do

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


This poem, put to music by Jean Prescott on her America— Home Sweet Home CD, honors the memory of Corporal Josiah Hollopeter, grandson of poet Willard Hollopeter. Josiah Hollopeter, age 27, was killed in Al Muqdidiyah, Iraq in June, 2007.

Yvonne told us about her inspiration for what became "Song for Josiah":

It was a two-fold situation.

I knew Josiah had been killed in Iraq as our horse-breaking hired hand, Tyrel Licking, was a cousin to Josiah and had received the call from his mother while eating supper at our table. At the time, they did not know when Josiah's body was going to be brought home, or funeral arrangements, or anything.

That following week, I had to go to Omaha regarding my brain tumor situation. From my appointments in Omaha, I was heading clear across the state of Nebraska (400+ miles) to Gordon to stay a couple days with my mother who was not well. While driving across Highway 20 intersecting the vast Sandhills, I started noticing flags everywhere; in hay bales, on ranch signs, even on windmills—literally everywhere. It looked strange to see them in such wide open spaces where the you usually only see cattle and wildlife.

I stopped at a little village of Wood Lake to use the restroom at a roadside cafe and get another cup of coffee (Wood Lake is about 25 miles East of Valentine). While there I asked the waitress why all the flags were flying everywhere and she teared up and said, "They're bringing Josiah home today." I wrote the poem en route on to Gordon.

Valentine was literally solid flags as I went through and someone had made a huge heart out of flags on the front parking area of Valentine Feed Service, a business run by Josiah's father, Kenny.

The second thing that came out of all of this was the fact that I had just been told my brain tumor had returned and they were scheduling me for an upcoming gamma-knife surgery. So between that and my parents' situation, I had been having a royal pity-party. Seeing those flags and learning the reason
they were flying put my life in perspective and I no longer was feeling sorry for myself.

It sure gave me something else to think about and the poem was the result.

See a 2008 Picture the West dedicated to Josiah Hollopeter here.

The Truth About Cowboy Laundry

Rodney and Baxter have written some poems
about laundry that they have created,
but let me assure you, from the wives point of view,
their descriptions are far understated.

There should be awards such as “Tide’s Purple Heart”
for the wives that are put to the test
of handling the filthiest items on earth
and for sure the worst job in the West!

It might be a prolapse or pulling a calf,
whatever the job that was done,
most of the remnants ends up on their clothes
. . . the urine, the blood, guts and dung.

You’d lock all the doors and not let ‘em come in
but none of us wives are that bold
to make ‘em strip down outside in the yard
‘cause the weather is usually too cold.

So here they come in as you stand there in horror
and hope that you don’t have the luck
of having to help ‘em climb out of that mess,
but sometimes a zipper gets stuck

on their filthy old Carhartts, as your mind flashes back
to the time that you fell for this guy;
your mom tried to warn you of cowboy life,
and now you can understand why.

You use a broom handle to pick up the mess
and hope that it stays on the stick;
it’s a balancing act that can be quite a job
‘cause those garments are slimy and slick.

The smell fills the house and you gag and you choke
as you head for the washing machine,
you’re leaving a trail that drips from the clothes
on a floor that this morning was clean.

You dump in some Clorox, a half cup of soap
and your poor old machine goes to work;
it takes several washings before they come clean;
it’s enough to drive ranchwives berserk.

In the meantime you're scrubbing the mess in the house
that was tracked in and smeared on the floor,
‘cause doing the laundry that’s placed in your care
is only but one minor chore.

Even the broom handle reeks of the smell,
so you scrub it and spray it down good;
there’s blood on the door knob, inside and out,
and heaven-knows-what’s on the wood.

Then fresh from the shower, he arrives on the scene,
saying, “I’d help you if I thought I could,
but the smell of that Pinesol about makes me croak,”
. . . and you’re starting to wish that he would.

So, if your daughter is wanting to marry a cowboy,
and the idea has you in a quandary;
the best way that I know to help change her mind
is to show her some cowboy laundry!

Completed April 22, 2013 (after a similar experience)


comments, "Especially during calving season, a rancher’s wife often finds herself having to launder some extremely filthy coveralls and clothing. Recently, on one such occasion, I kept thinking about a couple of poems, one written by Baxter Black and the other by Rodney Nelson, describing some laundry they presented to their wives. That same day, while watching gates while my husband fed cattle, I wrote my answer to their poems in my calving book."


Cowman's Calculations

It’s a long way to the Orient, or from here to Calgary,
and many miles to places like the Mediterranean Sea.

But perhaps the greatest distance that one can calculate
is the space between a newborn calf to the steak that’s on your plate.

There’s a lot of cash invested long before that calf is born
in cows and bulls and pastureland; in vaccine, hay and corn.

Not every calf survives its birth; not every cow will live
no matter how much tender care the cattleman will give.

Several months of constant care and miles in saddle leather;
the rancher never takes a break no matter what the weather.

And no one’s ever guaranteed their pastures will withstand
drought and other troubles dealt from Mother Nature’s hand.

In the meantime he spends thousands on supplies to put up hay
and hope he has enough on hand to feed each winter day.

Most everything he needs to buy continues to get higher,
like diesel fuel, mineral, tires, posts and wire.

Then calves are weaned and some will die from going through the stress.
How many will survive through this is anybody’s guess.

Then after all the trials that a rancher must go through,
here comes folks from PETA claiming beef’s not good for you.

But we know beef is healthy and those folks are all dead wrong,
and the cowmen will continue what they’ve been doing all along.

‘Though most have mangled fingers from a squeeze chute accident
or a couple that are missing, and a back that’s weak and bent.

So, hat’s off to all the cowmen and the things that they go through
providing safe and tasty beef for folks like me and you;

and remember all the miles, and the many steps it takes
to travel from a newborn calf to the steak that’s on your plate.

© 2013, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Banker and the Insurance Man

When the banker pays a visit
to check your inventory,
the way he figures assets
is quite a different story
than the values placed upon them
by the one who sells insurance;
and if those two would switch their jobs,
it’d really make a difference.

The first thing that the banker does
is want to claim your land.
He says it isn’t worth too much,
but on the other hand
he needs it for security ‘
cause the cattle market’s down,
but he can’t loan you cash on it,
‘cause it is only land.

The value of your cattle
is the price the packer pays;
your machinery isn’t worth a darn,
it’s seen its better days.
You can’t borrow on your good old horse,
you can’t borrow on your wife;
your house ain’t worth a tinker’s damn,
and neither is your life.

But here comes your insurance man,
he sings a different song.
He says your horse is worth a lot!
You knew that all along.
He says you need a policy
just in case it meets its fate,
and you’d better get a big one
on your kind and loving mate.

He says, “She’s worth a million
if you figured up the cost
of hiring folks to do her work;
without her you’d be lost.
And if lightning hit some cattle,
the loss would be immense;
heck, you’ve got a hundred thousand
in just windmills, tanks and fence.”

When that agent finished tallying,
it looked like we were wealthy;
the way he figures assets
make your finances look quite healthy.
So, I hope you see my point of them
switching jobs, you see
‘cause if bankers sold insurance,
not very much there’d be,

But if insurance agents started
making agriculture loans,
we’d all be driving brand new cars
and living in new homes.
We’d be looking pretty prosperous
and live a rich man’s life
and instead of buying life insurance,
you’d just mortgage one good wife!

© 2012, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


What Would Martha Do?

Martha’s making millions showing people how to cook
with her syndicated TV Show, her magazines and books.
But she don’t know a darned bit more than gals like me and you
‘though we don’t get a nickel for the many things we do.

It never seems to matter when her hair gets in her eyes;
she just pulls it back and then commences making cakes and pies.
She licks the batter off her fingers right there on TV,
and why she’s getting paid for it sure beats the likes of me.

I wonder if she’d fair so well if she lived on a ranch;
and what she’d use to get manure off of boots and pants.
And when she’s plumb exhausted and she has to feed a crew,
I sometimes stop and wonder: “What would Martha do?”

When hubby hollers that he’s stuck and he could use a pull,
would she know how to find the gears and let the clutch out slow?
I wonder how she’d do sorting yearlings through a gate.
That would test her many skills . . . perhaps would be her fate.

Would she know how to fix a fence and put a splice in wire,
or use a soaked-up gunnysack to fight a prairie fire?
And when she’s using cream and eggs, do you suppose that she’d know how
to clean a hen house, separate, or milk a kicking cow?

Her fancy TV oven, I doubt would fill the bill,
when in the house he brings a calf that’s taken on a chill.
Would she know how to do the chores when hubby has the flu?
I sometimes stop and wonder: “What would Martha do?”

Last week I helped with fencing; we set a couple gates;
I hadn’t done no housework in more than several days.
I came home sore and tired, and much to my surprise
was a couple cattle buyers, so I had to feed those guys.

And then I set another plate, ‘cause guess who next arrived?
The banker, with his briefcase, came pulling in our drive.
He said that he was passing by, so thought he’d stop and look
at our cattle and our horses and he’d like to check my books.

Now folks, I’d been real busy, and my books were way behind,
but I told him he could check them, I really didn’t mind,
'cause the records that I showed him were far from being true.
After all, I got to thinking: “What would Martha do?”

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


Yvonne Hollenbeck tells about her inspiration for this poem, an audience favorite: "One hot day in August, I spent several hours helping fight a prairie fire at a neighboring ranch. When I returned home, I was hot, dirty, tired, hungry, thirsty, and crabby. I turned on television to see if there was any chance of rain the forecast, only to see Martha Stewart showing how to properly iron table linens. As tired as I was, I wrote this poem before I went to bed that night."

This is page 1.

See more of Yvonne Hollenbeck's poems on Page 2.


See Yvonne Hollenbeck's Father's Day tribute
 to her father, Harry Hanson, here.


Yvonne Hollenbeck is featured in a Dakota Life television segment from South Dakota Public Broadcasting that airs on RFD-TV.

The program shows her at work on the ranch and at home, and she recites some of her poetry. You can view the complete program here at the South Dakota Public Broadcasting web site.


Read Yvonne Hollenbeck's

She's a Hand in our 2010 National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur project


Bringing Home the Tree in our 2008 Christmas Art Spur project


Sammy's Misunderstanding in our Art Spur project


A Great Day to be a Cowboy in our Art Spur Project


At His Own Pace in our 2007 Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur


Bringing Home Christmas  in our 2006 Christmas Art Spur project


Dining Out in a feature about Jean Prescott's Sweethearts in Carhartts recording


Leading a Spare in our Art Spur project


Heading Home in our Art Spur project


A Christmas Tale in our 2005 Christmas Art Spur project

and Still Doin' Business

posted with other 2004 Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering poster poems

and My Favorite Old Guitar

in our Art Spur Project

and From My Window

in our Art Spur Project


Headin' 'em Home, in our ArtSpur project


The Class Reunion in her From My Home on the Prairie column


  All American Christmas, posted with Holiday 2002 poems, and The Perfect Gift, Virginia, I Believe, and Cooper's Christmas, a skit for young people, posted with Holiday 2003 poems


See Benny's Funeral, by Pat Richardson and Yvonne Hollenbeck

from the Academy of Western Artists 1st Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Roping Challenge



Books and Recordings


    Rhyming the Range, both the book and CD, collect Yvonne Hollenbeck's original poems about her life on the ranch. Red Steagall comments, "No one puts the image, heart and soul of these people into verse in a more professional manner or with more emotion than does Yvonne Hollenbeck...No poet in America has a better feel for and understanding of the folks in our agricultural society. She shows us the struggles, the sadness, and the humor of folks who feed us..."

The book includes the most requested poems from her two out-of-print books and all of her newest poetry. The CD has 21 of her original poems and incidental music by Butch Hause. It is designed by Jeri Dobrowski ("Cowboy Jam Session"). 

The book is $25; the CD is $15; order both for $35, all prices postpaid. Order from Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291 St., Clearfield, SD 57580-6205; 605-557-3559; geetwo@gwtc.net.

Visit www.YvonneHollenbeck.com and find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/YKHollenbeck.




  You can nearly smell the pine and the cookies baking in top South Dakota poet Yvonne Hollenbeck's Christmas on the Range and other poems. She has collected 25 of her best Christmas poems, a varied and satisfying bundle, seasoned with heart, humor, compassion, nostalgia, and the true spirit of the season. Her life as a ranchwife, mother, and daughter shines a special light on the book's poems, family photos, a recipe, and reminiscences. To borrow the title of one of the poems, the beautifully bound, gilt-lettered hardcover is "The Perfect Gift."

Western Music Association (WMA)
Top Cowboy Poetry Book


When It's Christmas on the Range
My Favorite Memory
Al and Fred's Gift Exchange
The Bells and Grandpa's Sled
The Annual Christmas Program
The Perfect Gift
The Junk Man
Dear Santa
The Best Gift I've Had in Years
Christmas Gifts
Christmas Shopping with a Man
An Old-Fashioned Christmas
The Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree
A Ranchwife's Best Gift
Cooper's Christmas
The Heinous Husband Award
Virginia, I Believe
How the Poor Folks Are Doing
Bringing Home Christmas
Bringing Home the Tree
The Christmas Quilt
When Santa Fails to Call
Family Gifts
If Christmas Just Started Today
An All-American Christmas

Comments by the Author

Christmas on the Range and other poems is available for $18 postpaid from: Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com

  Sure to get you in a holiday mood and keep you there,
Sleigh Belles, from the Sweethearts in Carhartts, is a Christmas package overflowing with the spirit. Their wide selection of poems and songs—24 generous tracksshowcases the sparkling vocals and fine harmonies of respected singers Liz Masterson and Jean Prescott, and the award-winning poetry of Yvonne Hollenbeck.

There's fun, nostalgia, reverence, style, and even a bit of yodeling. The music is a fresh collection, far from a batch of the usual Christmas tunes. The "Sweethearts" celebrate good songwriting in their choices of some excellent tunes by others, including Tex Williams' "Christmas Time's a Comin'"; "The Only Thing I Want for Christmas, by Vick Night, Johnny Lange, and Lew Porter; "The Pot-Bellied Stove" by Scott Vaughn; and "When it's Christmas on the Range" by Dave Denny and Perry Ward, to name just a few. Jean Prescott, known for her songwriting collaborations, also performs songs she has written with Gary Prescott, Doris Daley, and Yvonne Hollenbeck.

Yvonne Hollenbeck may be the patron poet of Christmas (she has a 2010 collection of her Christmas poems, Christmas on the Range and other poems). Her poems can take you back in time, take you back to what's important, make you laugh, and warm your heart. From stories that come right out of her ranch life ("Best Gift I've Had in Years") to the often-requested "The Christmas Quilt," you are drawn into the scenes that her words create.

An impressive crew backs up the Sweethearts in Carhartts with standout music (Butch Hause, Ernie Martinez, John Magnie, Jon Chandler, Chris Strongle, and Tom Nugent). Waddie Mitchell, Gary McMahan, and Jon Chandler add to the fun when they join in on "Cooper's Christmas," a song by Yvonne Hollenbeck and Jean Prescott.


Christmas Time's a Comin' by Tex Williams
The Only Thing I Want for Christmas by Vick Night, Johnny Lange, and Lew Porter
Best Gift I've Had in Years by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Don't Look Out the Window by A.J. Neilburg and J. Fred Coots
Making Christmas Cookies by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Joseph and Mary and Me by Don Von Tress
All American Christmas by Yvonne Hollenbeck
From Cradle to Cross to Crown by Loney Hutchins
When it's Christmas on the Range by Dave Denny, Perry Ward
The Christmas Quilt by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by Adger M. Pace and R. Fisher Boyce
Christmas Gifts by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Come On Ring Those Bells by Andrew Culverwell
The Bells and Grandpa's Sleigh Poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Cooper's Christmas by Yvonne Hollenbeck and Jean Prescott
A Cowboy's Rocky Mountain Christmas by Don Woolett
Dear Santa by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Mary's Christmas by Jean Prescott and Doris Daley
The Annual Christmas Program by Yvonne Hollenbeck
The Pot-Bellied Stove by Scott Vaughn
An Old Fashioned Christmas by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Cedar Top Christmas Tree by Jean Prescott and Gary Prescott
I Still Like to Go to Grandma's by L. Kirk Talley
Santa's Yodel by Dave Branson


Order info:

Sleigh Belles is available from:

The Sweethearts in Carhartts
Prescott Music
PO Box 194
Ovalo, TX 79541


   Sharing the title with one of her most popular poems, top South Dakota poet and ranch wife Yvonne Hollenbeck's latest CD is Sorting Time. The collection has many of her newer, most-requested poems and a couple of older favorites. The poems offer up her world with humor and with her signature wry observations of ranch life, cowboys, and the joys and challenges of marriage. 

The CD package says it all, "Yvonne Hollenbeck writes about her life as a cowboy-rancher's wife on the Northern Plains. She is not only one of the most published poets, but is the top award-winning cowgirl poet in America."

A frequent performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other events across the West, in "Woman's Worst Fear," she mentions some of the well-known poets and their poems (including Pat Richardson, Red Steagall, and the late Sunny Hancock). That poem, like so many of her best stories, keeps the listener interested from the first word. Her twists, turns, and unexpected endings are a great part of what charms her enthusiastic audiences.

Along with the title track, other standouts include "The Ranch Wife's Top Ten List," "I Dunno," and the one serious piece, the moving tale of "The Auction." "The Cowboy and the Quilter," like all of the poems, draws on her life; her own quilts have earned her many top honors.

Today, there are no doubt fewer ranch wives than there are cowboys. With humor often laced with wisdom, Yvonne Hollenbeck welcomes listeners into her rare life, one that—despite the challenges that offer her such great materialshe clearly treasures and wants to share with you. The delightful incidental fiddle music of her 95-year-old Old Time Fiddle Champion father, Harry Hanson, is the frosting on the cake of this new release of always-original poems, another excellent offering from one of today's most popular poets.


The Ranch Wife's Top Ten List
Sorting Time
Branding Time
Junk Food Bachelor
The Making of a Cowboy
Halloween Headlines
What's Good for the Goose
The Cowboy and the Quilter
Woman's Worst Fear
Going Green
The Old Cowboy
I Dunno
The Auction
The Ranch Wife's Best Gift

Sorting Time is available for $18 postpaid from: Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com

The Sweethearts in Carhartts (Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jean Prescott, and Liz Masterson) offer up a wide view of the West on their new CD, Ranch Life 101. The three popular performers—their group name inspired by Montana ranch hand DW Groethe's "The Carhartt Song"take their show of poetry and music to gatherings and events across the West.

Ranch Life 101 brims with entertaining pieces. Yvonne Hollenbeck's refreshingly honest and and often-humorous poetry opens a window on the joys and trials of her life as a South Dakota ranchwife. Strong performances ring true, especially in "While You're At It," and "The Ranch Rig." 

Top Western songwriter and singer Jean Prescott stands out with Randy Huston's powerful "One Cowboy Left"; her own music and arrangement of S. Omar Barker's "Ranch Mother"; and "Dining Out," co-written with Yvonne Hollenbeck. The two were the first-ever recipients of the Western Music Association’s Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician Award in 2006, and in 2008, they again received the award for “Dining Out.”

The unique voice of "Songbird of the Sage" singer and songwriter Liz Masterson (www.lizmasterson.com)—a founding member of the Western Music Associationshines on tracks including Cindy Walker's "Wide Rollin' Plains," Michael Fleming's "Last Cattle Drive" and Tex Owens' "Cattle Call."

Ranch Life 101 brings forth rich and engaging stories in a collection of polished performances.


Road of Dreams  Jean Prescott
While You're at It  Yvonne Hollenbeck
Little Green Valley  (Carson Robison) Liz Masterson
Ranch Wife in the Making  Yvonne Hollenbeck
One Cowboy Left  (Randy Huston) Jean Prescott
I Don't Know Yvonne Hollenbeck
Cattle Call  (Tex Owens) Liz Masterson
Haunting Headlines  Yvonne Hollenbeck
Too Many Irons (Luke Reed) Jean Prescott
The Ranch Rig  Yvonne Hollenbeck
Wide Rollin' Plains (Cindy Walker) Liz Masterson
The Affair  Yvonne Hollenbeck
My Husband and I (Gary McMahan) Jean Prescott
The Old Felt Hat  Yvonne Hollenbeck
Last Cattle Drive (Michael Fleming) Liz Masterson
Ranch Mother (S. Omar Barker) Jean Prescott
Meal Time  Yvonne Hollenbeck
Dining Out (Jean Prescott and Yvonne Hollenbeck) Jean Prescott


The CD is available for $22 postpaid from Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580, 605/557-3559, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com. For bookings, contact Jean Prescott, P. O. Box 194, Ovalo, TX  79541; 325-583-2551; www.jeanprescott.com.


Western Music Association (WMA)
Top Cowboy Poetry CD, 2008


  The poems and songs of Pieces of the Past are tributes to the lives of pioneer women. Yvonne is the Western Music Association (WMA) Female Poet of the Year and has also received that honor from the Academy of Western Artists. As the CD title hints, some of the poems draw on another of her celebrated talents: her quilt making and her knowledge of the craft's history. Enriching the fabric of the project, the CD weaves kindred songs from award-winning Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott among the poems. The poems flow into the songs, and the entire effort results in a fresh and warm wholesomeness. It is the voice of the Heartland, with an emphasis on the "heart."

There are new poems, as well as favorites such as "The Red Geranium" (often recited by Red Steagall), "The Christmas Quilt," and "The Old Home Comfort Range." Two of the songs are collaborations between Jean Prescott and Yvonne Hollenbeck, including the award-winning "How Far is Lonesome," which received the 2006 Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician award from the Western Music Association (WMA) and "Her Feet Would Rock the Cradle." Jean sings the works of other top songwriters, too, including Andy Wilkinson and Steve Spurgin.

The selections will please both regular fans of both of these top artists, as it will those who have the opportunity to view Yvonne Hollenbeck's traveling trunk show, Five Generations of Quilts. The show includes her family quilts and stories and poems inspired by her ancestors and other pioneer women of the Plains. The show has been offered at many venues, festivals, and cowboy poetry gatherings, including the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, Wet Mountain Western Days, the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival.

The stunning CD package design—both inside and out—by Jeri Dobrowski incorporates quilts from the unique show. Yvonne has won countless awards for her quilts, including ribbons and "best of show" honors. As the liner notes tell, the interior quilt images, with their fine stitching, are "the reverse of Yvonne's masterpiece, 'Pansies for Mama.' Done entirely by hand, it was created as a tribute to her mother, who taught her to quilt and who loves pansies. It is comprised of 5,600 pieces and took 17 months to complete." The cover's crazy quilt "dates to 1900. The initials stand for the maker, Matia Hanson, Yvonne's great-grandmother. Matia emigrated from Norway as a young bride, settled on a Campbell County, South Dakota homestead."  Even the disc is decorated as carefully as the quilts are stitched, with its treasured family thimble and antique scissors displayed on a handmade quilt.

Tracks include:

As Birds Fly from the Nest (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
She Always Smelled Like Lilacs (sung by Jean Prescott, written by Steve Spurgin)
Grandma's Homemade Aprons (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
Prairie Patchwork (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
Her Feet Would Rock the Cradle (sung by Jean Prescott, written by Yvonne Hollenbeck and Jean Prescott)
The Old Felt Hat (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
The Flag Out on the Ranch (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
How Far is Lonesome (sung by Jean Prescott, poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck and Jean Prescott)
The Christmas Quilt (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
The Old Home Comfort Range (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
Handmade Gift (sung by Jean Prescott, written by Andy Wilkinson)
The Little Red Geranium (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
Unsung Heroes (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)
Women of the West (written by George Essex Evans)
Pieces of the Past (poem by Yvonne Hollenbeck)

The CD is available for $18.50 postpaid from Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580, 605/557-3559, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com.

  What Would Martha Do? and other poems has 14 original poems by Yvonne Hollenbeck, including the title track, which was named "the most popular cowboy poem of 2005" by Western Music Association (WMA) disk jockeys. Beginning with the first track, "A Plain Ol' Ranchwife," and throughout, she presents engaging poems that come from life she shares with her husband Glen--who she credits as "the cowboy behind the poetry"--on their South Dakota ranch. 

Yvonne is one of today's top performers, featured at the top gatherings across the country, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and named the Academy of Western Artists' Top Female Poet in 2005. She's the only two-time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award (for her books, From My Window and Where Prairie Flowers Bloom).

Most of the poems include her signature humor, with a working ranch woman's realistic view of ranching life, including such poems as "Sorting Time" and "Dining Out."  There are serious and touching poems as well, poems that honor the past and the women who came before her, such as "That Old Comfort Range," and poems about more serious life events, such as "Putting Down Old Red."  

Throughout, the background music by Rich O'Brien, who also produced the CD, enhances each piece, and the quality reflects the entire package. Paulette S. Tcherkassky provided the graphics, and the CD design--from the wide view of the Hollenbeck's ranch on the prairie with the poems' notes to the cover that spoofs Martha Stewart's style--all adds to the enjoyment and professional presentation of the whole project.

The final cut, "Nature's Church," is an extraordinary, moving piece, accompanied by Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott's rendition of the perfectly-matched hymn, "In the Garden."  The track gives the deepest insight into what it means to be "a plain ol' ranchwife." Its uplifting message goes to the core of what is valued by those who  live the uncommon, challenging, and rewarding life of ranching.

ywhatwouldcd.JPG (8943 bytes)

Poems include:

A Plain Ol' Ranchwife
Sorting Time
What Would Martha Do?
Meal Time
That Old Home Comfort Range
Truth in Advertising
Dining Out
Origin of Mountain Oysters
Old Folks Rodeo
Putting Down Old Red
That Old Felt Hat
Duct Tape
Why His Ears Were Swollen
Nature's Church (with Jean Prescott)

What Would Martha Do? and other poems is available for $18 postpaid from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com

   From My Window and other poems contains 65 new poems together with pioneer stories and vintage photos never before published.  Poetry about quilts and quilters, as well as holiday poetry is included. You'll find the ever-popular "What Would Martha Do?" in this book.

Read about the Award here.

Among those with early praise for the book are Red Steagall (2006 Texas State Poet Laureate), who has written, in part, "The ability to project life scenes through poetry is a very special and rewarding gift...the window she paints poetic scenes through is very clear and easy for all of us to see ...She is truly a special gift to mankind.  Take the time to read her poetry and enjoy ranch life as she sees it "from her window."; and Pat Richardson, who comments, in part, "...People like Yvonne and Baxter Black have a gift that can't be learned. It's the ability to "connect" with people, and it doesn't matter if they've never been close to a cow, or raised with them ...It's the real gristle and bone of real ranch life from the mind of a great poet."

Poems include:


                The Western Words Dictionary
                A Ranch Wife
                What Would Martha Do?
                Why Jane Left Ted
                The Corner Grocery Store
                Queen of the Cow Towns
                Geezers (by Pat Richardson)
                Poor Old Geezer Dames
                Good Old Days
                That Old Felt Hat
                Ranchwife in the Making
                Truth in Advertising
                That Old Home Comfort Range
                How to Cut Taxes
                Why His Ears Were Swollen
                What I Really Need's A Wife
                The Lobster Test
                Dining Out
                Benny's Funeral
                Money Talks
                Casting Stones
                The Origin of Mountain Oysters
                Cutting Katie
                Watch What You Pray For
                Feed Salesmen Don't Lie
                The Waitress
                The Truth About the Bra
                My Driver
                A Farmers Worst Nightmare
                Reality Check
                A Good Name
                The Veterinarian's Goat
                Duct Tape

                Old Folks Rodeo
                A Horse Nobody'd Want
                Putting Down Old Red
                What a Ride
                Don't Ever Judge
                The PETA Reporter
                The Old Cowboy
                Nature's Church
                Virginia, I Believe
                The Best Gift I've Had In Years
                The Annual Christmas Program
                Christmas Shopping With a Man
                The Perfect Gift
                All American Christmas
                Dear Santa
                A Senior New Year's Eve
                A New Year Dawning
                Halloween Headlines
                Prairie Patchwork
                Grandma's Homemade Aprons
                The Thimble
                Nanny Needed
                Quilters' Paradise
                Grandma's Rocking Chair
                Patchwork on the Prairie
                Ode to Smithsonian
                Our Guild's Next Quilt Show
                Her Feet Would Rock a Cradle
                The Christmas Quilt

From My Window and other poems is available for $15 postpaid from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com

Read our review here.

Read about the Award here.



Where Prairie Flowers Bloom has 57 original poems, together with a number of old photographs and stories about pioneer ranch women. Yvonne says "It shows a stark contrast between their lives and mine." Read a review here.

Poems include:

Where Prairie Flowers Bloom
How Far is Lonesome
The Unsung Heroes
That Old Home Comfort Range
Saga of the Feed Store Man
The Auction Sale
Ranch Wife Revenge
Don't Wait
Plum Blossoms in the Spring
Give Your Horse His Head
The Pedigree
The Old Folks
Waiting There at Sunset
Baxter's Famous Column
The Gospel According to Baxter
The All-Around Horse
The Affair
An Old Fashioned Christmas
The Annual Christmas Program
Best Gift I've Had in Years
Meal Time
The Benefit
Needin' a Pull
Grandma's Homemade Aprons
The Cowboy Fashion Show
Father's Boots
The Christmas Quilt
The Depression Quilt
The Saddle Tale
That Cowboy Touch
Dakota's Rose
Some Cattle Man
Three Payments Past Due
Where the Sweetest Grasses Grow
Roundup Day
Rebel Rouser
Saga of the Septic Tank
Some Things Never Change
Commercial Truckers Can't Be Beat
The Cattle Thief
How the Poor Folks Are Doing
Here to Help Us Out
That Little Shed Out Back
Mortgage One Good Wife
The Little Red Geranium
Saga of the Dust
Mother's Day Branding
The Vocation
The Calving Book
The Heinous Husband Award
A Windmill on the Prairie
To a Wild Rose
The Meadowlark

Where Prairie Flowers Bloom is $15.00 including postage and handling from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street (she says "yes, that's a ranch in the boondocks") Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email, www.YvonneHollenbeck.com

The book is also available at the Western Folklife Center at Elko and Red Steagall's General Store.


  Blossoms Beneath The Snow, a Tribute to the Pioneer Ranchwomen, Yvonne's first book, has been reprinted.  Poems include:

Blossoms Beneath the Snow
Roper's Wife's Lament
Ranch Marital Strife
Just to Be a Rancher's Wife
The Gourmet Code of the West
The Little Things
The Committeeman
Sorting Time
Life on the Ranch is Best
It's Sure a Lot of Work
Before TV and Remote Controls
The Country School
Oakie and the Skunk
Not Needed...Alone
How to Please a Man
The Local A. S. C.
A True Friend
A Tribute to Jake
Our New Dodge Pickup
The Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree
The Class Reunion (separate page)
The Closet Cleaning
Eat More Beef
Those Advertising Caps
I'd Like to be in Texas When We Roundup Cows Next Spring
Pioneer Gals Were the Best
Winter of '97
The Watcher

The book is $15.00 including postage and handling from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email

Academy of Western Artists' (AWA)
Best Poetry CD/Album

  Yvonne's My Home on the Range includes background fiddle music by Harry Hanson and the following poems:

The Auction Sale
Meal Time
Rebel Rouser
The Affair
The Old Folks
Ranchwife's Revenge
The Little Red Geranium
The Big "Oh No!"
The Pedigree
Mother's Day Branding
Cowboy Fashion Show
The All-Around Cow Horse
Unsung Heroes

The CD is $12.00 including postage and handling from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street  Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email

 Read a review here.

The CD is also available at the Western Folklife Center at Elko and Red Steagall's General Store.


  Yvonne's Prairie Patchwork has poems that are mostly about quilts and quilters.  When she performed her popular poem, "The Christmas Quilt," at Elko in 2003, the CDs were immediately sold out. The CD includes background fiddle music by Harry Hanson and the following poems:

The Christmas Quilt
The Thimble
Saga of the Feed Store Man
The Quilter's Nightmare
Ode to Smithsonian
Grandma's Homemade Aprons
Our Guild's Next Quilt Show
Pioneer Days
The Old Home Comfort Range
Quilters Paradise
Grandma's Prayer
The Clerk at the Quilt Shop
Pioneer Gals Were the Best
The Crazy Quilt
The Depression Quilt
Prairie Patchwork

The CD is $12.00 including postage and handling from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street  Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email


  Yvonne's Winter on the Prairie includes background music by Stringbean Svenson and the following poems:

The Christmas Quilt
Best Gift I've Had in Years
An Old Fashioned Christmas
The Annual Christmas Program
Give Your Horse His Head
The Fresh Cut Christmas Tree
Needin' A Pull
The Heinous Husband Award
Saga of the Dust
Sortin' Time
How the Poor Folks Are Doin'

The CD is $12.00 including postage and handling from: Yvonne Hollenbeck - 30549 291st Street  Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email

What's inside is just as good as the cover. Where the Buffalo Rhyme (named by Baxter Black) was recorded live in October, 2003 at the Boss Cowman Cowboy Opry in Lemmon, South Dakota, and features four top poets, all Honored Guests: Jess Howard, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Rodney Nelson and Elizabeth Ebert.  Jim Thompson, of Live With Jim Thompson! and Heritage of the West is the emcee.  

Included poems are:

Yvonne Hollenbeck
     What Would Martha Do?
     Poor Old Geezer Dames
     Why His Ears are Swollen
     The Waitress
     Rebel Rouser
     Best Gift I've Had in Years

Elizabeth Ebert
     It Takes Real Love
     The Last Great Rabbit Hunt
     An Ordinary Morning
     Ranch Romance
     The Cemetery
     Ode to Tofu
     Cowboy Courtin' Time

Jess Howard
Duckin' the Law
    Big Bad John, Part II
    Matter of Minds
    Old Henry

Rodney Nelson
     Auction Sale
     Getting Started
     Good Clean Fun
     Not Enough Stuff
     Cowboy Laundry

The CD is available from any of the four poets for $15. You can order from Yvonne Hollenbeck, 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580 - 605/557-3559 email. See a review here.

  The Verse & the Voice, Reflections of the West is a collaboration by Yvonne Hollenbeck and popular radio broadcaster Jim Thompson, host of Live With Jim Thompson! and Heritage of the American West.  Jim recites some of Yvonne's most popular poems:

Where Prairie Flowers Bloom
Why Debbie Quit Day Workin'
The Heinous Husband Award
The Perfect Gift
Some Cattle Man
Just a Plain Ol' Ranch Wife
The Auction Sale
Some Things Never Change
Here to Help Us Out
Never be the Same
The Roundup Day
The Winter of '97
The Fiddler
A Tribute to Jake
Baxter's Famous Column
Cuttin' Katie
The Waitress
Watch What You Pray For
Best of the Breed
Duct Tape
The Bet 

The CD is available for $15 from:

Creative Broadcast Services, Inc.
125 Colorado Blvd. Suite 2E
PO Box 1101
Spearfish, SD 57783

See a review here.


  Honored Guest Yvonne Hollenbeck, a favorite everywhere, full of boundless energy, talent, and humor, is facing surgery May 7, 2004 for a tumor (expected to be benign) that was discovered as the cause of hearing problems.  Characteristically, she says "See, you always knew there was something wrong with my head, didn't you?" She will be in the hospital for 4 or 5 days and expects to be fully recovered in 6 weeks and back on the road and on stage.  We expect she'll be breaking records for recovery time, and probably making a couple of quilts while she's at it.  You can write Yvonne at 30549 291st Street, Clearfield, South Dakota 57580.  

We're pleased to have two poems written for Yvonne by her good friends.  First Lariat Laureate Rod Nichols wrote:

Prairie Rose
A Tribute to Yvonne Hollenbeck

She's the prairie's own companion,
a compadre to us all.
Her words are of the land she loves
and the mem'ries she recalls.

Like a mornin' bud unfoldin'
to reveal a prairie rose,
there is truth within her beauty
that a cowboy comes to know.

She's a poet of the heartland
who speaks both proud and clear,
of the settlers and the women
and the lives of pioneers.

In a world oft lost in darkness,
she provides a needed light,
a risin' star to guide us home
with the verses that she writes.

She's a smile, a laugh, a teardrop.
There is wonder in her pen.
The Good Lord surely blessed us all
when He made Yvonne our friend.

© 2004, Rod Nichols

Honored Guest Pat Richardson, AWA Cowboy Poet of the Year, wrote:

Yvonne Hollenbeck

The verses of her poetry
are such, and of the kind
That will haunt you ever after
in the echoes of your mind

Like a song long since forgotten
that you haven't heard for years
that will suddenly be with you
bringing laughter, thought, and tears

She's the Queen of South Dakota
She's penned verses that I quote
She's the poet that I envy
she writes poems I wish I'd wrote

© 2004, Pat Richardson


Contact Information


Yvonne Hollenbeck
30549 291st Street
Clearfield, South Dakota 57580

Visit her web site:




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