Hi, my name is Kathi and I'm the program assistant and volunteer coordinator for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  Every year you hear people ask and tell why they like to come to the Gathering.  I thought I would explain why I enjoy being part of this great event, too. I am fortunate enough to live and work on my family's ranch here in Elko Co.  Sometimes in the dust, dirt, snow and mud; the way too hot and the way too cold of ranch life it's easy to forget how fortunate I am.

That's what makes the Gathering special to me...every year when I sit in on a show, I'm reminded of how much I love branding calves, working cows and, yes, even putting up hay.  It's like a wake up call saying, "Yeah, life out here can be mean and hard when you're trying to work pairs and the wind is blowing a hundred miles an hour, but there are a lot of worse places you could be."

That's why I come to the Gathering.  Yes, there are friends and good times to be had, but there's also folks who understand how great it is to get up at 1am to check heifers in March or how fun it is to drag calves to the branding fire.  I guess to make a short story long, these performers put the romance back into a lifestyle that doesn't always seem so romantic.