Walt “Bimbo” Cheney
Walter James Cheney II was an active five-year-old in Holbrook, Arizona, when he tagged along with a family friend to sing a song at the local radio station. The song was “Bimbo” and the nickname was born.
When he was in his early teens his family moved to the Midwest, but when he was eighteen he returned to Arizona where he found work as a cowboy. He subsequently rode rough stock in rodeos and worked as a cowboy in New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada.
Walt began writing poetry 45 years ago, behind bucking chutes in rodeos, continued writing as he worked as a cowboy, and later discovered that other cowboys had done the same for over a century. Over 35 years ago, when he and other cowboys had a day off, they would gather at a park in Elko and tell each other their poems. Now, they gather everywhere.
“Quakie Braile,” a poem he wrote after visiting the scene in a recurring dream, has become a cowboy poetry standard—written by a cowboy, with a cowboy setting, it illustrates the universal appeal of cowboy poetry. A poet, a philosopher, and a Western storyteller, Walt’s poems transcend their settings, relating to people of all ages and all walks of life.