Johnny Carson


OK, so you don’t want to go to a store to buy Christmas gifts. Then how about buying some good books or music? You cannot go wrong with either. Kansas has some great writers and musicians and a good share of cowboy poets.

You cannot go wrong with music from the Diamond W Wranglers.

Orin Friesen has written some great books. GOAT GLANDS & RANCH HANDS, HONKY TONKERS & WESTERN SWINGERS, and he contributed to WINFIELDS WALNUT VALLEY FESTIVAL. You can get them at Watermark Books in Wichita (my favorite book store).

Annie Wilson and the Tallgrass Express String Band has some great music from the Flint Hills.

If you have not heard 3 Trails West or heard the Eilts brothers on the Americana Roadshow on Truckers Radio, you should.

Jeff Davidson is an original Flint Hills entertainer who does wonderful poems and music.

Have you ever watched the TV show Best of America by Horseback? Del Shields has been singing to the trail riders for years and now hosts the show. He is a great musician and you should have his music for yourself and share it with others.

A good cowboy poet is always good to listen to and Floyd Beard is one of Kansas Finest.

Scott Wiswell has a book of cowboy and western Poetry called WHEN THE STARS SANG: A COLLECTION OF COWBOY & WESTERN POETRY BY SCOTT WISWELL. It is available on Amazon books.

My old neighbor Scott Bergkamp has traveled the world starting by teaching in Africa in the Peace Corp and ended up teaching advanced Physics at Maize High School. He remembers a story about a dog that his Dad told him years ago. He has put that story into a children’s book. LOOPIE: THE SPIRIT OF A COWDOG is available from Watermark Books. I just got mine ordered. The proceeds go to the Maize School Solar Project. The first solar project that Stan had built has saved the district several thousands of dollars in a short time. This new project will fund another solar array at a middle school in Maize.

My friend Barry Ward is a fourth generation Kansas farmer who took the calling to spread his music and the good news to people everywhere. He and his wife Victoria have now entertained in all 48 states and Canada. They have even been to Alaska. This leaves only Hawai as the only state left that has not been entertained by Barry. Not only can you buy his CD’s but Victoria has three books that throws Barry under the bus on their many mis-adventures. You have to get the Prune Pie series to laugh at all the things that they have seen and the scrapes that they have been through without injury. For true western songs, sacred songs, and Christmas CD’s go to

How about art? Earl Kuhn at Sagebrush Gallery has Prints, gifts, and will even do you an original western painting if you want something really special.

Also Jerry Thomas out north of Scott City has his studio and museum shop by Scott County Lake.

Now you had better get cracking because the delivery services are going to be scrambling.

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