Bill May: Where the Old West skis |

Bill May: Where the Old West skis

Bill May

— Yes, friend, I’m a native

And I’ve sure seen some change

In our old mountain village

And out on the range.

For the wagon-road trail

Is now a four-lane.

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And instead of a stagecoach

Folks now ride a plane.

To the little white school

On my pony I went.

Now kids on a school bus

To town school are sent.

And our steers to the railroad

We used to trail each fall

But now diesel trucks

All the cattle do haul.

Yet there’s things that’s no different

Like the rain and the snow

The green grass of summer,

The sunset’s red glow.

The aspen-clad mountain,

The smell of the pines,

The wail of the coyote,

The river that winds.

And then in the winter

Horses pull our big sleigh

So we still feed our cattle

In the old-fashioned way.

Cowboys on horses

Still round up the cows

And a cheery wood fire

Still warms up the house.

And then there is skiing

Which we did long ago,

For that’s how we traveled

And played in the snow.

Our sled roads in winter

Weren’t used then by cars

And the skier on the mountain

Set his course by the stars.

Now, the mail stage driver

Never uses a sled,

But in the old days

He might have been dead

If it weren’t for his skis

When his horses got down

And he used the old hickories

To make it to town.

The skis were called snowshoes

In those early days

And the deeds performed on ’em

Sure deserve praise

For that’s how the mail

Got over the hill

And the doctor got on ’em

To go check on the ill.

Then came a stonemason

Carl Howelsen by name

Taught the kids here ski-


And they jumped into fame.

We kids who rode horses

To school, at recess

Always pulled skiers

In a playful speed test.

But instead of snow parties

Enjoyed by a few

Carl the Norseman

Started something quite new.

A community “fest”

Where the whole town turned out

And we ski-jored on Main Street

How the people did shout.

So now we keep playing

On skis yet today

Like Carl said folks did

In Norge far away.

So lots of old customs

Here keep living on

Amid all the changes

And thus ends my song.