The deadline is finally here: April Fool's Day is today, and your photo contest submissions are due, no foolin'.
And in honor of April Fool's Day, I recommend checking out a podcast of Elko's own Walter "Bimbo" Cheney, reciting his poem "April's Fool." Thanks to the great folks at the Western Folklife Center, you can listen to it here!
For a sneak peak at Cheney's life, Richard Whittaker (the editor and publisher of works & conversations magazine) has this to offer, after meeting the poet at the 2004 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko:
"Mr. Cheney was standing nearby, so I struck up a little with him. Sure enough he had been a working cowboy for many years, he told me, but a chance for a position at a big mining operation not far outside of Elko had come his way. Now he drove some behemoth machine around all day long. It wasn’t a bad job, he said. In the winter the cab was heated and in the summer, air conditioned, not cowboy amenities, he pointed out. Cowboying, in the winter, you rode your chilly butt out in the snow to tend the cattle and in the summer you worked out in the hot sun, all for less money per month than he was now making each week at the mine. No, he said, he wasn’t sorry about it, but maybe he did miss the cowboying a little now and then. It was a young man’s work. Somehow I’d imagined Cheney an extroverted character, it was the photo with the mustache that did it, but as I talked with him, I found him on the quiet side, reflective, not a swashbuckling type at all."
By the way, check out Google's homepage today. We bet Topeka's mayor is happy with this gesture! (If you haven't heard the news, Topeka has been trying to get Google to open its ultra high speed broadband project in the city.) Google Mayor Bill Bunten says, “Don’t be fooled. Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.”
Have a joke-filled day, and please send in your photos to us!
True West magazine