History of Cowboy Poetry

Linda & Tom WhitakerOn a crystal clear day in the fall of 1994, Tom Whitaker was driving his pickup truck across Midway Lane. Ben Quinters and Kim Cutler were working some colts and had stopped to have a chat. Tom pulled over and joined them. During the conversation that ensued, all three admitted to having a few Cowboy Poems up their sleeve. Tom suggested that they pool their talent, invite a few other local musicians and poets and have a “Cowboy Poetry Gathering.” The Town Hall in Midway was reserved for the first weekend in November. Brent Kelly was asked to M.C. the evening and John Burns and his family cooked up some dutch oven chili. In fact, the dutch oven dinner was five bucks and the entertainment was free. Some posters were stuck around town, poems were brushed up and they all waited for the night.

Ben, Kim , and Tom weren’t sure if 15 or 50 would show up. When 250 people came, and more chairs had to be drug out from under the stage, they knew they had provided something the town was looking for! It grew each year until the town hall wouldn’t hold any more people and the gathering was moved to Wasatch High School. Heber’s gathering is now attracting people from all across the country and has become a premier event in the state of Utah.