Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good Ole Boys

The first people to move into the hostile territories of the American western frontier were brave souls. They included hunters, trappers, explorers and homesteaders. They all shared a common dilemma; they virtually lost contact with the world and loved ones they left behind.

One exception was the traveler that they might meet along the way. That’s the theme for today’s poem.

The sketch of the "good ole boys" gathered around a traditional potbellied stove listening to the courier was found at  Potbelly Stove   

Thanks, Howard, for sharing.

Early settlers pushed the nation’s borders west
Their endurance was sorely put to the test
One thing that weighed heavily on their mind
Twas the lack of gossip, rumors or news of any kind.

 Any traveler passing through their small town
Was often the only source of info to be found
Sometimes he carried papers of the official kind
Maybe news or a letter from a world left behind

The man in our scene rode into this small town
Decided to stop, water his horse and bed down
Got a room at the inn; bed, tub and hot water
Three days riding; to bathe, he felt he ought’er

Up at the crack of dawn, he heads for the café
Bacon, eggs and some cowboy coffee start his day
Chatting with the folks and sharing back-home news
He reads a tattered newspaper; listens to their views

Later, the "good ole boys" gathered; they were all ears
He talked of politics, new laws and changes over the years
Did they like what they heard or think it was absurd?
In either case, to a man, they were glad for what they heard!


Named for its bulging barrel shape, the potbelly stove often had claw feet. The front of a potbelly stove had a hinged door that opened wide enough to feed wood into and also clean ash from the bottom.

It was used primarily to heat large, public spaces such as stores, railroads, and school houses. People could gather around the warmth of a wood fire while they waited for the train, shopped for goods, or gathered for church or school. As the American frontier was developed, the potbelly stove made its way into some homes because it provided greater warmth than a standard fireplace.

The potbelly stove is now an antique.

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