Poems of our past
I Love Roundup
Roundup, I love you when the morning sun
Rises in splendor from the dark Bull Hills.
I love you when the day is done
When in the West the sunset flaming spills
Its breathless beauty bathing forest, field and hills
With molten gold, slow fading into night.
I love you when the sun is at high noon,
When cars drag Main like antelopes in flight.
I love you when the day's work is through.
My neighbors are out for their evening walk.
Home is the last tired evening tower crew.
Laughter I hear and also pleasant talk.
I love you for the quiet and the peace
That each days happy ending brings
And pray this time will never cease.
Why is it that my heart forever clings
To memories of places, faces that are dear
Down old familiar streets and paths I roam
And find that ever always I am led
To Roundup, my love, I am home.
Let's put the Old House out to feed.
It's time to take a newer road.
Some sparkle and some vigor we need,
Not sit and blink just like a toad.
Our people power will show the way
Our town can prosper and can grow.
In the new climate of our day
A favoring wind must surely blow.
Our town we must rejuvenate
Make it a happy, hopeful town.
In times a-gone Roundup was great,
Before railroad and mines shut down.
We must do more than sit and wait.
Let's make again the Oil Patch live.
Let's bring our coal mines back on line.
We must have industry to give
The cart wheels that will make us shine.
Now this be our true, firm Resolve:
To work with heart and hand and brain.
There is no problem we can't solve
And bring the good times back again.
A Cowboy Riding the Musselshell
I'm an old cowhand from the Musselshell.
When I come to town I sure raise Hell.
I always drink my Whiskey neat.
I feel its glow from my heart to my feet.
I've forked the broncs and I've been throwed.
But some I ride till they are rode.
Now many Broncs have an an evil eye;
They'll kick or bite when you pass by.
A Wrangler's horse is his joy and pride,
I don't like walking, I'd rather ride.
I've trailed the hearts from the Texas plain,
Forded the rivers, been soaked by rain.
A slickers' no rig for the sleet and Snow
It doesn't protect when Northwesterns Blow.
You look out of eyes all red and blurry;
Your bones are leaden, your muscles weary
To be a Cowboy is what I choose.
I love my work and I like my booze.
I'd like a girl but my roving life
Only lets me dream of a loving wife.
And maybe that is just as well
For a cowboy riding the Musselshell.
The Centennial Cattle Drive
The Big Centennial Cattle Drive
Will keep fond memories alive.
Vast ranches and great cattle herds
Too numerous to put into words.
The Cowboy with his spurs and rope
Riding his Bronco at a lope.
Out on the Prairie he is King
In summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
He pulls the critters from the Quick-sand
And at the Branding lends a hand.
He knows where the greenest pastures lie
He reads the storm clouds in the sky.
His squinted eyes and face of tan
Mark him a special breed of man.
But something came out on the range
An Omen of the coming change.
Homesteader shacks built out of sod
Sprang up where the Buffalo once trod.
The Indian watched in sad Alarm
The Advent of the Family Farm.
He watched his herds of Buffalo
Vanish into the Sunset's glow.
The Mountain Men have had their day
Like river mists they faded away.
The miners came in a great flood
Gold fever burning in their blood.
With pick and pan they moiled the streams
Saw golden nuggets in their dreams.
Of many drives old timers tell
From Texas to the Musselshell
and Nelson Story tells his tale
of dangers on the Bozeman Trail.
Came the Copper King with avid eyes
with the richest hill on east the prize.
The miners delved deep under ground
where the dark copper ore was found.
When the price of copper fell worldwide
Butte's mine soon shriveled up and died.
The Berkeley Pit with truck and crane
brought copper to the fore again.
Teddy Treparish saw his town
of Meaderville all swallowed down.
His Rocky Mountain Club no more
and houses gobble by the score.
Only the gaping pit to see
small recompense it seems to me.
Our rivers by great power plants spanned
for 'lectricity thru all the land.
Our need for power did not abate
the coal was there and the thirst to sate.
And Colstrip turbines one, two, three
Churned out the power for the industry.
Our frontier towns to cities grew
The Horse and Buggy days were thru.
Iron horses ran from Coast to Coast
The pay express a long lost ghost.
Progress we called this forward thrust
Whatever stands still soon will rust.
A hundred years have past us rolled
And our achievements we've extolled.
But in my heart and mind it seems
Mayhap we've lost some of our dreams.
Let our Centennial Cattle Drive
Fulfill our hopes, God help it thrive.
Joe Vicars (1912 - 1997) was a lover of birds, an avid fisherman, and an army veteran. He was a city councilman, business owner, and small town Mayor. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Musselshell County Red Cross, Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, Member of the American Legion, to mention a few. Most of all, he was a lover of Roundup and the people that lived here. With dreams for its future as big as Main Street is long, he saw so much good in this small town. "Joe Vicars left a lot of footprints, but most people never saw them. He put up a lot of beacons, but they drew the attention of only those they were meant to guide. Joe died a very rich man, but his wealth was not in money. Joe's intelligence was shown in unobtrusive wisdom quietly offered. His accomplishments we're legion, but mostly unheralded."