RIK GOODELL




Describing my life in any manner resembling conventional is challenging. Looking it over, there isn’t much normal to it and if it had to be encapsulated in a word or two, they might be “exceptional adventure”. Come to think of it, that may be why I have long carried the handle, "Yonder".

Writer’s bio

Yonder hangs his hat in northwest Montana where he pens cowboy poetry based on his own experiences with a little imagination tossed in for fun. He fancies himself a story-teller in rhyme as he performs at gatherings all over the west. His background includes a small cow-calf operation, work on a horse ranch, and many years as a deputy sheriff and an actor.

He is a member of the International Western Music Association, The Western Writers of America and the Academy of Western Artists.

His poetry has won awards and exemplifies his deep-seated respect for “The Cowboy Way” which he promotes with passion, humor and integrity. 

I n my teens, I got to work at a desert horse ranch where I was taught to ride, saddle, hoof-pick and curry horses. It was also there that, at thirteen years old, I was introduced to pistol shooting and my natural gift as a marksman erupted. Four years of military service as a Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor followed during which I was a member of the base pistol team and once won the Hawaii State Pistol Championship in the ‘Expert’ class. I went on to win gold and silver medals at a California State pistol Championship and became designated a Lifetime Master in Outdoor Pistol by the NRA . After military service I joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and had the rare honor of being awarded the unique Distinguished Expert Medal while still in the LASD Sheriff’s Academy.

I recognized a passion for motorcycles when my age was still defined as a single digit. I started riding motorized, two wheelers at 14 and never quit. I was fortunate to attend the California Highway Patrol Motorcycle Academy and graduate. That training, and my years of experience as a Motor Officer led to my motorcycling through decades of innumerable miles all across North America and Europe.

 

I was a drama major in high school and college. While I dreamed of acting in Westerns, I never did but I landed a part for a year and a half run in a Hollywood play followed by acting and directing in various community theaters, radio programs and a few TV gigs. Although drawn to writing poetry and prose during my high school years, I didn’t actually get my first article (about motorcycles) published until in my 30's and then I wrote a monthly magazine column for twelve years.

Although I worked on a horse ranch throughout my teens, and I did operate my own small, cow-calf operation for several years, I don't pretend to be a cowboy. When I write Cowboy Poetry, it comes from a deep respect for the Cowboy Life and values, and my passionate belief that "The Cowboy", especially in these confused times, is the last best hope for America. When I write it is from muscle memory or my study of history and a sincere appreciation for my God-given blessings and a mindful awareness of the adventures I've been granted in this life.

 Cowboying is about essential-ness  and consequences - good or bad. There is a justice in being connected to the land, The more densely our cities become populated, the more people and chaos get stuffed into a concrete wilderness, the more anonymous an individual becomes while disrespect for one another grows while a disconnection from the true stuff of life deepens. That’s why I write “Cowboy”. Though I’ve never been a real one, never earned my keep doing the hard work of a cowboy, I can be a Cowboy Poet. By doing so, I hope I am helping to preserve, maybe even grow, the way of the American West and the essential Cowboy Culture.

 

Rik is married, has two married sons, three grandchildren and lives in Montana.

 

 


"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space"