A few weeks ago, Pat and I attended the “Music On The Mountain” hosted at a ranch west of Chester, Ark. It was country singer Royal Wade Kimes’ charity event. This event sponsors backpacks for school kids. Royal Wade told me they serve 9 counties in Oklahoma and 11 counties in Arkansas. There are, I would bet, many youngsters going to school who get a new backpack from his organization who are sure pleased.
Earlier that afternoon, several of my directors from the Rodeo of the Ozarks and I introduced Hispanic children in northwest Arkansas to mutton busting at their special Hispanic Days at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The kids rode sheep and then the storm struck and we were all trapped in the show ring. The rain also drove in the clowns and dancers and it was a very nice deal.
I got to talk to Tim Stroud who is the top sheep stock contractor these days. I’ve known his family for years. I taught his late father Butch in high school and serviced his late grandfather’s breeder hen operation, plus Tim and I worked on the Huntsville rodeo together.
Next stop was the festival “Music on the Mountain” six miles west of Chester.
It was still raining and foggy. But Royal Wade had invited us and I told him I’d be there. We had our lawn chairs but I didn’t know they had a huge tent on the flattest piece of ground on that mountain. Plenty of easy parking and lots of farm and ranch folks that I knew and we all were in the dry.
Part of this celebration was also Royal’s trail rides so there were several folks that had been out riding earlier. They all had on long tailed yellow slickers and no one looked the worst from it. I never heard a complaint from any of them, just laughing about the names like Bug Tussle and more in that country.
At 6 o’clock, four cowboys from Hiwasse got on the stage and made some fine country music and one of them hollered, “That Dusty Richards, the western author, is here. I read all his books.” The Poindexters band is made up of three brothers and a son. We go back to several National Chuck Wagon Racing weekends over at Clinton, Ark. If you ever need some music, they’d sure western up your event.
Royal Wade and I talk about lots of things whenever we meet. He loves country-western music as much as I do, probably more because he lives it. Him, his band and some more stars from Nashville entertained us for two and a half hours. His organization awarded me a fine horse trophy for my years of service to the junior rodeo, Rodeo of the Ozarks and my writing to keep the cowboy alive in all of us. I was very honored.
I turned off the country music awards on TV. That is not country to me. But there was real country western music on that old mountain that Saturday night. The 13th annual Music on the Mountain will be next September. Don’t let a little rain scare you off. It was a wonderful evening, I even got to talk to two men that I taught science to in the eighth grade. How long ago was that? They are both retired now. God bless you all and America, Dusty Richards
Western novelist Dusty Richards and his wife Pat live on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. For more information about his books you can email Dusty by visiting ozarksfn.com and clicking on ‘Contact Us’ or call 1-866-532-1960.


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