#12 Tony, the Cowboy Poet
Road Trip Through West Texas
A road trip seems to encourage interaction with strangers, especially if you need help or directions. But on Sunday morning, this friendly fellow in Van Horn, TX was not asking for or giving help. He was just loading his car next to ours in the Hotel Capitan parking lot...just happily sharing about his great weekend.
Middle of Nowhere
Van Horn seems to be in the middle of nowhere. But back when Hotel Capitan was built in the 1930's, many travelers stopped here between visits to the caverns and mountains. There didn't seem to be anyone in Van Horn on Saturday afternoon.
When I wandered around the deserted street that Saturday, I noticed these curious posters taped onto a light pole and a brick building. How could you not be intrigued by a local Dance/Party with "cowboy music" that started at 9:01 pm?
Food Over Adventure
Don and I decided against the curious community party on Saturday night and instead had dinner at the hotel ...all to ourselves. In the morning, we came down to breakfast and noticed a lively table with 3 cowboy hats and a woman with a long braid. They were a good humored bunch and I strained to listen, but couldn't find out why they were in such good spirits.
Tony the Poet
Later as we loaded the car, I felt pretty lucky when Tony introduced himself and could fill in some of the blanks. Tony and his friends had come from Nevada to attend the annual Cowboy Poetry Contest in the area. (I think Tony did well, judging by his good spirits!) He told us he also spent some time in the schools performing for children. (I'm guessing Tony had them make signs!) Then on Friday night he and some local musicians brought our quiet hotel to life with an impromptu jam session. And I could only guess what an intriguing atmosphere there must have been at the community center on Saturday night, with children and families and traveling poets from as far as Nevada.
So Thanks Tony!
If someone would have mentioned cowboy poetry to me a year ago, I might have chuckled. Actually I think some of your poetry is more like storytelling and you would be pleased to have people chuckle. But mostly you made me curious. I'm regretting that we didn't let those signs lead us to the Community Center on Friday night. That would have been memorable! I learned a lesson...Pay Attention to the Signs!
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers