Poster Boy

We’re down in another valley that is almost as beautiful as Cache Valley—Heber Valley.


If I didn’t live in Cache Valley I’d probably live here, or Ogden Valley.

I really like valleys.

It’s the 18th Annual Heber Valley Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair and the committee chose one of Jason’s paintings to use for this year’s poster, so they sponsored us to attend all the weekend events we want as VIPs—Very Important People they can’t pay.

Actually, we love being compensated with life experiences because we get to see and do things we probably otherwise would never get to. This is our first time at the Heber Poetry Gathering and it’s already turning out to be a rich experience.

We rolled into town last night just in time to catch the Michael Martin Murphy concert. In addition to his usual band, he was accompanied by the BYU Philharmonic Symphony.


They just don’t make ’em like MMM anymore and it’s a shame.

The guy is a born and bred Texas cowboy who grew up sitting on the front porch listening to his granddaddy tell stories of the Old West and sing cowboy tunes. He knew when he grew up he wanted to perpetuate America western life history through song and storytelling.

The concert was hosted by famous cowboy poet, Waddie Mitchell, who opened with a fun verse about taking his daughter to a dance only to get ditched for all the suitors lining up to dance with her.

Very recent experience made me completely relate.

Then Waddie called Governor Gary Herbert up on stage, who was all cowboyed up from his Stetson to his Justins. He looked fabulous. Waddie commented, “I think every governor of a western state should have a little cowboy in him.”

I completely agree, and I’m proud our governor does.

Governor Herbert was in attendance to present an award to Michael Martin Murphy for his contribution to western culture. When Herbert was finished with the presentation, he started walking his Wranglers and boots off stage, but Waddie wasn’t going to let him off so easy. He called the governor back to center stage to recite a cowboy poem Gary and his wife, Jeannette, had composed that Waddie had heard the governor recite years before at an event.

Governor Herbert confessed he hadn’t committed the poem to memory. Waddie thought that might be the case, so he just happened to have a copy of it in his coat pocket. He handed it to the governor to read.


I’ve search the internet in vain find a copy of it to share, but I couldn’t so I’ll just have to give you the jestful gist of it.

It’s about a politician who’s going in for knee surgery and the four surgeons set to work on him are discussing the different kinds of people they’ve worked on—mathematicians, librarians, contractors—and how they put them back together after surgery based on the method of each profession: using math equations, the alphabet, and building materials, respectively. The fourth surgeon goes on about how easy it is to put politicians back together because when you open them up, there’s nothing inside of them anyway—no brains, no spine, no guts. And their heads and rearends are interchangeable, so it doesn’t matter if you mix them up. After the surgery, the politician wakes up to find that his knee works and feels much better, but when he goes to talk all that comes out is a “Toot.” Further proof that politicians are full of “hot air.”

It was awesome. I already had plans to vote for Herbert, but it made me like him even more to know that he’s real, and funny, and a writer to boot, in addition to being a cowboy.

I’m so glad I married the poster boy so I get to be part of such a fun event!

Last night was just the kick-off of a whole weekend of festivities, folks. There are TONS more cowboy things to see, do, hear, buy, and eat, so head on up to Heber!

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