Our dear friends (neighbors of ours) attended a wedding for their kin in Arlee, Montana where this picture was taken. Most of the men in this photo are real cowboys; rodeoing, working stock or both. Knowing my interest in anything "cowboy", and my persistent quest for poetry inspiration, they shared this picture with me. There are thirteen men in this pic - three ushers, nine groomsmen and the lucky man himself. At first I noticed the red ties and cowboy tuxedos and smiled. But then I got excited because there was a rhyming, fictionalized story here asking to be written. Thanks to the bride and groom (whose names have been changed to protect their privacy) for "Keepin' It Cowboy".
Hitchin' Up Cowboy Style
My name's Ty. I rodeo bulls and dog steers
Been cowboyin’ nearly since I could walk
Don’t really matter much, bronc or bull
I try ‘em all to the eight second clock
When I finally made it to the NFR
Way back in two-thousand sixteen
I knew I'd reached cowboy mecca
I had arrived at the top rodeo scene
Las Vegas was all sparkle and glitzy
Everything seemed at a glamor-frenzied pace
But I don't much cotton to all that
Outdoors or an arena's my feel-good place
Loiterin' behind the buckin' chutes
After drawin’ a bull named Bushwhacker's Son
I was casually watchin’ the barrel racers
Whippin' and spurrin' for their best-time run
A cowgirl's hat had gone a’ flyin' off
As she rounded her last barrel
But she scored a seventeen-three
The announcer congratulatin' Kelly Carrol
I made my way to the other end
Needin' to meet this good-lookin’ cowgirl
She was groomin' her mare when I brazenly asked,
"Howzabout givin’ this bull rider a whirl?"
Apparently a direct-talkin’ bull rider
Weren't exactly her cup of tea
But later when I rode Bushwhacker's Son to eight
She took just a touch more likin' to me
We found us a two track and drove my truck out
For some picnickin' on the colonel's best
I ran around and opened her door
Winning a smile and passin' my first test
She sure weren't no eight second win
Fact is it took more'n four years
Of courtin' and occasional askin'
A'fore I overcome her marryin' fears
After that last kneelin' we were off at a gallop
We found a venue and set up a date
Then began invitin' friends and family
Neither of us liked bein' last outta' the gate
Our wedding was at the Cattle Lack Ranch
So named because they had no herd
But there were bull’s horns on the wedding arch
Every detail fittin’ just as we preferred
We snagged our favorite rodeo announcer
Friend Barney officiated this cowboy weddin'
My bride doin' the arrangements heelin'
While I did the invitations headin'
Bein's we weren't exactly pups no more
We had lotsa' folks in the weddin' party
With twelve groomsmen in red ties
As you might imagine attendance was hearty
My bride arrived a'horseback
Sidesaddle on Banquet her dun mare
Her stunning beauty blurred my vision
As I helped her dismount with care
We didn't have one of them runaway brides
Yet there was a runaway mare
But she didn't have a whit of a chance
Seein' how many Cowboys were there
At a run, Kelly’s brother jumped on Banquet
Named for the bride's favorite beer
And tossed a loop on that runnin' horse
Folks sittin' on straw bales hollerin' their cheer
The flower girl tossin' feathers and dried weeds
Oh goodness it was a fine, unique affair!
It woulda' been normal to toss fresh petals
But our weddin' had a keepin-it-cowboy flair
We both chuckled and grinned our “I-do’s”
There was a huge barn reception after
Yippee-ki-yay what a joy-filled bash!
The timbers were vibratin' with laughter!
I love my spirited bride more every day
It took me years to get 'er roped and branded
But it was worth all the long trails
I married way 'up' and we are, as-one, banded
by Rik Goodell
© 2022. All rights reserved
This story-telling photograph is the work of the talented Montana Photographer, Piper Crowe.
To see more of her work, go to her website: https://www.pipercrowe.com/