Monday Musical Memories: Rhinestone Cowboy

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

This past week, our community held its annual Sheridan Wyo Rodeo, a week of fun-filled activities including a boot kick-off, parade, street dance, and more. This has been an on-going tradition for many years.

After we moved here in 1973 when I was twelve, we always went to the parade. I enjoyed hearing music from various bands as they marched by while my parents described the myriad floats that drifted past us.

One year when I was in high school, I was in the parade, riding in a car with other cast members of a Winnie the Pooh puppet show we were putting on that summer. We held our puppets out the windows and tossed candy. There were several years when my barber-shop singing group had a float, where we sang as we rode down Main Street.

We also went to the carnival when I was a kid. My favorite rides were the carousel and Ferris wheel. I didn’t care for the roller coaster or tilt-a-whirl, and this was often a source of minor contention between me and my thrill-seeking younger brother and parents.

We went to the rodeo a few times. But because of my limited vision, I didn’t get much out of it. My younger brother didn’t like it because he thought it was cruel for the animals. I can see his point.

Often during my adult years when I lived in an apartment close to downtown, I lay awake, hearing the music from the street dance and wishing I were there. It was within walking distance, but I never had the courage to go alone, and no one invited me.

In the Glenn Campbell classic I’m featuring today, the singer longs to be a famous rodeo cowboy. I think we all would like to be a celebrity in one way or another.



How about you? Have you ever been to a rodeo? Did you have a favorite activity related to the rodeo?


Coming Soon: The Red Dress: A Novel

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.


My Other Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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News from Abbie’s Corner August 2016

Can you believe that August is already here? Summer’s almost over, but you wouldn’t know it with the heat wave that has been ravaging the country. I recently read on a blog post a poem about dreaming of a blizzard on a hot summer day. Isn’t it funny how we long for snowstorms when it’s hot but wish summer would come when we’re slip-sliding down icy sidewalks and landing on our back sides?

In July, my brother, Andy, and his wife, Christina, from Florida came for a visit. They flew into Denver on the 12th and spent a couple of days with relatives before renting a car and driving to Sheridan to stay with me for a few days. They arrived here on the 14th, just in time for our annual national rodeo. On the morning of the 15th, we went to the rodeo parade. I hadn’t been in years, and it was so much fun. Andy sat next to me and read me the signs on the floats and described them to me while Christina snapped pictures of them with her cell phone. She’d never been to a rodeo parade and found it fascinating.

Afterward, we had lunch at Frackleton’s downtown and then wandered across the street to the Wyo Theater where a piano was set out for anyone to play. I played and sang a few songs, much to the delight of passers-by. Here’s a video snapshot Christina took while I was doing this.

Andy’s class reunion was that weekend. When they weren’t involved with those activities, we went out to eat, explored our old neighborhood, got ice cream in the park, and visited with friends. Andy and Christina fixed my treadmill, disposed of a wasp nest under my old picnic table, and helped me pick out a new one at Home Depot. We also had dinner with my uncle and aunt who live out south of town. The following Tuesday, they drove to Yellowstone Park where they spent a few days camping and hiking before driving back to Colorado, spending time with friends, and flying back to Florida on the 25th. I had a great time with them, and I hope they’ll come back next year.

On July 8th, I played my guitar and sang at Sugarland Ridge. With the Fourth of July holiday a few days earlier and the upcoming rodeo, I performed a mix of patriotic and country and western tunes, much to everyone’s delight. I did the same program at Westview on the 26th, and those residents also enjoyed it.

On the 20th, fellow poet Christine Valentine and I were featured as part of the weekly Vaudeville program at the Wyo Theater where we performed the same poem we did in June during the Wyoming Writers’ conference. The poem, which Christine wrote, is called “Driven Insane by Mitzi Gaynor” and talks about songs that get stuck in your head. The songs mentioned here were “101 Pounds of Fun” from South Pacific and “Go Home with Bonnie Jean” from Brigadoon. Christine read the poem, and we sang the songs together when she got to them. It was a lot of fun, and the audience loved it.

Now, I’ve saved the best news for last. Those of you who follow my blog already know this, but it’s definitely worth repeating as part of my shameless self-promotion. My new memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, is now available for purchase from Createspace, Amazon, and Smashwords. It will eventually be distributed to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and other sources. For those of you like me with print impairments, if you purchase the book from Smashwords, you’ll be able to download it in various formats that can be read on a computer or device such as a Victor Reader Stream. I also plan to submit it to Bookshare and record myself reading it and make that available as a free download from my Website. For more information and to order, visit the book’s page on my Website. Happy reading, and stay cool.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds