Twenty Years of Echoes of the Trail by Del Shields

Twenty years of Echoes, have come and gone so fast.
We're blessed with every soul here tonight, and think of those who've passed.
Dear Kathy Lester, we miss her smile and her perky "Howdy Do?"
As she and Joe stood side by side they were a handsome two.
Gary Wimmer blessed our lives as he MCeed and did his part,
And through the years he found his way into many a school kids heart.
Harold Carpenter was as good as they come with his poetry and wit.
Why he'd make you nearly wet your drawers, as he acted out a fit.
That big black hat and that bright red shirt were a trade mark to the man.
The day that he hung up his spurs, heaven gained a real Top Hand.

Some say cowboys are a thing of the past,
But Echoes proved them wrong.
As Ratliff shared his words of rhyme, and Sexton sang his songs.
Burton and Torrey and Wilson and Frye,
Were the men who paved the way.
They inspired and humored and provoked other men
Who stand here with us today.
A cowboy is a cowboy down deep in soul,
Neither vain glory or wealth is the focus of his goal.
His heart is filled up for his love of the land,
And he tells of his story with his guitar in hand.

The stories that have come across this stage through the years,
Have brought many a laughter, and also some tears.
Little Joe The wrangler we'll remember forever
Never sounded any better than when Richard and DJ sang it together.
When Dawson was here there would be laughter from the back.
He'd be talkin’ ‘bout Camels and his horse pullin’ slack.
Mr. Harris became our Pie Auctioneer,
It became a tradition when Best of America by Horseback was Here.
Steve, he sang Gospel Cowboy Songs,
And well, ol’ Royce he brought the Texas tradition along.

Johnny and Arnold began this whole thing,
I tell you folks It's been a true blessing for the joy it did bring.
Johnny's act has changed a bit as he no more sings alone,
Now he has the Branchy boys, that he literally brought from home.
I know there are names, I have left out.
Memory escapes me, of this there's no doubt.
But we all have our memories of the times we've had here.
We' ll remember them with fondness for many a year.
Like me I know some of your memories will pale,
But as you sit and reflect on the good days gone by,
In shadows of your quiet place, you will always hear
Echoes of the trail.

Del Shields
6-13-16