Originally Published: August 7, 2008 11:51 p.m.
Marge Tucker of Chino Valley transports listeners to the world of the Old West with her life stories about horseback riding, wide landscapes, cattle and cowboys.
This female cowboy (authentic ranch folk say there is no such thing as a cowgirl) shares the dynamics of moving cattle out of the cedar trees, nudging the herd on to the branding corrals.
She's roped and doctored cattle and fed a doggie (a newborn, motherless calf) its first milk from a Coke bottle.
"I love everything about the western life - the outdoors, horses, cattle, dogs and ranching," Tucker said. She has lived her 87 years rich in her cherished lifestyle.
This red-headed Westerner won the Gail Gardner Award for a Working Cowboy Poet at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering last year.
Tucker's poetry renditions can be heard at the 21st annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering Aug. 16 and 17 at Yavapai College, along with a host of other great talent. (See the sidebar for the schedule of events.)
Tucker's poems provide an escape and an education for folks with a love for the Old West.
She is a Prescott High School graduate who worked the ranches of Yavapai Country from the 1940s to the new millennium.
"We rode all over Prescott as a teenagers and I married local cowboy, Bud Tucker, a few years after graduation," Tucker recalled. "We met outside the roller-skating rink in Miller Valley, where our horses were tied outside."
The "town" of Prescott was filled more with the smell of horse hair and hayfields than car exhaust in the '40s. Whiskey Row was a place where rain, native grasses and cattle genetics were hot topics of conversation.
"I have always loved everything to do with horses and cattle," Tucker said. "Bud and I raised top-quality quarter horses and two sons, Tom and Jerry, and a foster son, Brian.
"Being at a poetry gathering is like being at a family reunion," Tucker said. "I love being with my kind of people, and that's the best part of any gathering."
Tucker began attending the ACPG in 1989 and then performing with them, in addition to many other Cowboy Poetry gatherings across the Western states.