Kansas State University

search

Kansas Profile

Tag: Abilene

Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Michael Hook and Jim Gray – Chisholm Trail 150

“The Chisholm Trail.” The name evokes cattle and cowboys, independence and daring, the frontier and the wild, wild West. All those things are part of the history of the Chisholm Trail, which will honor its 150th anniversary beginning with a celebration in the town where it really all began: Abilene. This is today’s Kansas Profile.

The 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail will be celebrated from Kansas to Texas in 2017.
The 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail will be celebrated from Kansas to Texas in 2017.

Michael Hook is an events coordinator for the City of Abilene. He is from Kansas City but grew up in Texas where he became a western history buff. “Davy Crockett was my hero,” Michael said. A business career took him around the Midwest but he became interested in possibly teaching history.

“I stumbled upon Abilene, and it’s everything you would ever want,” Michael said. He moved to Abilene, met his wife, studied local history and became the coordinator for a landmark series of events marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Chisholm Trail.

Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Michael Hook and Jim Gray – Chisholm Trail 150”

Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Geff Dawson – Poetry Rodeo

The rodeo is coming to town! But this isn’t a competition of riding bulls or roping calves. This competition takes the form of rhyming words. For the first time ever, the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo is coming to Kansas.

Geff Dawson is the new organizer of this event, which he is bringing to Kansas for the first time. Geff grew up at Abilene, where he was always around horses and rodeos. After studying at K-State, he and his wife Dawn bought a place in rural Wabaunsee County north of Alma, population 785 people. Now, that’s rural. Geff worked at the Aye Ranch for a time and now manages the Illinois Creek Ranch.

Geff Dawson, cowboy poet.
Geff Dawson, cowboy poet.

Like me, Geff is a cowboy poet. Like me, it was not something he planned to do.

“I’d come home from work at the ranch and tell my wife about something funny that happened that day,” Geff said. “She’d say, `You ought to write that down.’”

He wasn’t very quick to take the time to write those things down, but one day when he did sit down to record the day’s events, he tried to write in rhyme. He found it was a fun way to tell a story. Geff became a cowboy poet.

Continue reading “Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Geff Dawson – Poetry Rodeo”