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The Cowboy And His Guitar (standard:westerns, 1839 words)
Author: Joan (Michalke) RitcheyAdded: Jun 25 2008Views/Reads: 3045/2239Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
About a Cowboy and his guitar. The song he wrote and a surprise ending.

The Cowboy & His Guitar 

By Joan (Michalke) Ritchey 

I wasn't a real cowboy.  I lived in a small town on the Central Oregon
Coast with my parents.  We didn't even live on a farm.  The only horses 
I ever rode were rented from a nearby horse stable.  I did wear a 
cowboy hat and boots, felt at home in my Wrangler jeans and western 
shirt, and I loved playing the guitar. 

My 13th birthday present from my parents was an Alvarez guitar.  It was
a beaut. It had a dovetail neck joint, an Indian rosewood back and 
sides and Western cedar top.  The mosaic rosette and redwood finger 
board under the six strands was awesome and although heavily lacquered 
I could still smell the aroma of the rosewood and cedar. 

I taught myself how to play my guitar with the aid of music books and
some instruction from the high school band teacher.  Hooking up with a 
couple of high school buddies - Larry on banjo, and Steve on fiddle - 
we played for school assemblies and talent shows.  In our senior year 
we began making a little spending money by playing for picnic groups, 
weddings and birthday parties.  Before long we were asked to go into 
Portland for different gigs, and I became lead singer for our group.  
We called ourselves the Hobson-Three. 

The three of us put ourselves through college playing for different
group parties and functions, and after we reached 21-years old, in our 
junior year, we had arrived, landing a weekend job at a local bar and 
grill.  We even cut a couple CD's and DVD's, along with being the 
featured band on our local radio station.  We began writing some of our 
own western songs and we always closed our act each night with a 
crowd-pleasing song I had written, A Happy Cowboy. 

I am a happy cowboy. 

I love to rope and ride. 

I carry with me always, 

My guitar by my side. 

I am a happy cowboy. 

Nothing would I change. 

With my guitar and my song, 

I'm in Heaven on the Range. 

Near the end of our senior year in college we were approached by a man
whom I had noticed in the audience several weekends in a row.  After 
our show one Saturday night, he interviewed the three of us and asked 
what we thought about coming out to Nashville, Tennessee and 
auditioning for a new comer's spot at the Grand Ole Opry. The 
auditions were to begin in July.  We graduated in June.  Things were 
falling into place.  You never saw three more excited guys and our 
parents were proud of all of us. 

Our auditions were set for the third week in July.  My two buddies had
commitments during the first couple of weeks, so they decided to fly 
back to Tennessee.  I wanted to see some of the country so I left a 
week earlier.  Our plans included the three of us driving home together 
on the return trip. 

I had my sleeping bag with me and at night I found a couple rest stops
or all-night grocery store parking lots where I could catch a couple 
hours sleep.  In Colorado I became pretty sleepy one evening just after 
dusk.  I rolled down the windows and reached over to turn the music up 
on the CD, shook my head to get rid of the grog's and looked straight 
into the blinding lights of a big semi-truck.  I heard the earsplitting 
air-horns and the pulsating sound of the Jake-brakes, and then total 
blackness engulfed... 

At 6 o'clock the next morning, Mr. & Mrs. Hobson were awakened to the
ringing of their front doorbell.   They opened the door and stood 

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