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November 1, 2012
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Cowboy poets to perform at annual gathering in Grand Junction Nov. 2-3

Ninety-year old poet extraodinaire Al Albrethsen has published a new book of original cowboy poetry - some of which he may recite at Grand Junction's Cowboy Poetry Gathering, starting today, Friday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m., and continuing tomorrow through the evening at the Whitman Educational Center, 248 S. Fourth St.Albrethsen's book, "From True to Coulda Been" will be for sale, the proceeds of which will go to the Museum of Western Colorado, the event's sponsor. This year's cowboy poetry gathering also welcomes back two performers who haven't been to a Grand Junction gathering in several years. Ross Knox of California was a wrangler in the Grand Canyon for many years, where he rode mules down into the canyon to deliver supplies to Phantom Ranch, the rustic and historic lodge at the bottom of the canyon. "He's cowboyed all over the place," the museum's Ronna Lee Sharpe said. "He's a great poet, and great reciter."Another returning poet is Vess Quinlan from the San Luis Valley. "He helped get cowboy poetry gatherings started everywhere," Sharpe said. "He's been involved in Elko (national cowboy poetry gathering in Elko, Nev.) since it started more than 25 years ago. He's helped poets, organizers all over the West."At the two-day Grand Junction gathering, more than a dozen poets perform their poems, often humorous, and sometimes poignant tales of the cowboy life. Some, like Peggy Malone - winner of the Patsy Cline Sing-alike contest - perform poetry in song.Another musician featured at this year's gathering is Slim McWilliams of Lewis, Colo. Local cowboy poet Tom Sharpe invited McWilliams to the Grand Junction gathering after hearing him perform at a Prescott, Ariz., gathering earlier this year.Other out-of-towners include classic poetry reciter Jerry Brooks of Utah and cowboy "rap" artist Fred Ellis of Penrose, Colo. Ellis is famous for a poem he performs in the rap-genre style.Local artists performing this weekend include Albrethsen, Malone, Deb Bukala of Glade Park, Nona Carver of Mesa, Slim Farnsworth of Cedaredge, Ray Lashley, Terry Nash and Don Wynkoop, all of the Grand Valley."We're so excited about all the people we have coming this year," Sharpe said. Books and CDs will be for sale at the event.

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 1, 2012 06:29PM Published Nov 1, 2012 06:23PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.