Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 5-14-12 | TheFencePost.com

Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 5-14-12

YEEEEEEHAAAAAW! All the hard work paid off! Big Timber has been designated as the home of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center!

Now to saddle up and hit the trail to create a lasting heritage, a lasting tradition, a legacy for future generations. As the Press Release stated: “This is a project whose time has come.”

And the Sweet Grass County Events Center – scheduled to be established in the same neighborhood makes for a unique partnership. Horse events, clinics, shows, and a covered arena for year-round events.

As the cliche states: Build it and they will come – people, businesses, activities, projects. Building the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center will act like throwing a pebble into a pond. Ripples of expanding creative commerce will follow. Main street will bloom. Empty houses will sell or be rented. New eateries, lodgings, shops and services will appear like chicks breaking forth from their shells. Bringing all to fulfillment will require plenty of time, work, energy and dedication.

Do I wax overly excited? Do I think all will fall into place like dropping a loop on a moving critter?

Certainly not. There will be the usual back and forth, up and down, arguing and doubting as we forge onward.

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On the negative side some folks:

• will say we have enough lodging places.

• will maintain we have plenty of locations to hold programs, weddings, reunions, shows.

• will claim we don’t need or want any growth.

• will feel threatened at the thought of competition to their current businesses.

On the positive side some folks:

• will see the opportunities.

• will be pleased at the thought of jobs (especially summer-time and part-time employment for youngsters – for example lawns to be mowed, stalls to be cleaned).

• will welcome additional commerce in this scary time of recession.

• will give their time and talents to making the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western heritage Center a gem reflecting cowboy and western heritage tradition – to the benefit of not only our state, but ultimately the nation.

To quote the Press Release: With the site selection process completed, the focus of the MCHF and WHC will be implementing a capital fundraising campaign to move forward with developing the campus in Big Timber.

Therefore we are starting out of Chute Number One with the idea of an Annual Cowboy Hall of Fame Whoop Up event. An event to become an annual doin’s. An event that could be counted on to bring in people, moola, and heaps of cowboy fun. A benefit, but more than that – a fun way to keep the project in front of the public, keep the interest going as we ride the long trail to completion. Folks in surrounding small towns have stepped forward to ask how they can help. Everybody seems to be cheering us on!

The first Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Whoop Up show is set for Sunday, July 15.

A Whoop Up of music, song, stories, poetry. Admission is FREE, but donations gratefully accepted.

Out Where The West Begins

Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,

Out where the smile dwells a little longer,

That’s where the West begins.

Out where the sun is a little brighter,

Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter;

Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter:

That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,

Out where friendship’s a little truer,

That’s where the West begins.

Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,

Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing

Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing

That’s where the West begins.

Out where the world is in the making,

Where fewer hearts with despair are aching;

That’s where the West begins.

Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,

Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,

And a man makes friends without half trying,

That’s where the West begins.

~ Arthur Chapman