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T-Bone was our camp cook
when we went on the trail,
whiskered an’ b-grizzled,
with a wit that never failed.



He took no guff from anyone,
not even the boss man,
‘cause he controlled his eatin' too
when he rattled those tin pans.

He made bakin’ powder biscuits
‘n beans most ever’day,
an’ swore the meal was hardy
an’ kept hunger pains away.



He always brewed black coffee,
you could cut it with a knife,
an’ had a squaw he took along,
he claimed she was his wife.

We’d cross wide-open prairie,
an’ ford the ragin’ stream,
while T-Bone would maneuver
that bedraggled two mule team.

Chuck wagon, he kept well supplied,
not only with our grub,
but also with some medicines,
liniments, an’ rub.

 


He allowed we tie our horses
to the wagon wheels to eat,
if we was still on duty
an’ not long upon our feet.

That cook was most obligin’
in the middle of a storm,
he’d break out extra blankets
just to try an’ keep us warm.

Sometimes we’d get to teasin’
an’ call him “Mother Hen,”
‘cause he always was a fussin’
an’ keepin’ track a men.

They say ol’ T-Bone’s mother
was a barroom girl from town,
an’ he never had no daddy,
at least, none come around.



But he musta had some learnin’
‘bout the good Lord up above,
‘cause our cooky was a Godly man
that filled his heart with love.

We laid the man to rest today,
an’ many tears was shed,
‘cause ever’one loved T-Bone
an’ hate the fact he’s dead.
 

Poetry by Tamara Hillman - Copyright 2005
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Photos by Steven and Becca
Poem by Tamara Hillman