Pat Richardson of Merced was picked this year to share his prose. He likes to keep an audience on its toes, "Chases cars and chickens and killed a neighbor's sheep…but if he weren't my brother, I'd have him put to sleep."
Richardson was one of those selected from a pool of 250 entrants. A three-judge panel also invited Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong from Paradise and their vaudeville-themed review, "Oh, sweet mama, I love the way you rock and roll. You ease my troubled mind and pacify my weary soul."
But the event offers more than just reading and singing. Each year, ranchers and cowboys from a different part of the world are invited to attend as special guests.
Darcy Mintner with the Western Folklife Center says this year, a group of ranchers from the Marrema region of Italy will share their ranching practices, "We have a lot of commonalities, but we all tend to do things a little differently based on the landscape that we work in and the animals that we work with."
There will also be a horsemanship class, a roundtable discussion on water conservation….and more music….including the work of the Saddle Cats out of Oakland, "Roly Poly, daddy's little fatty. Bet he's gonna be a man someday."