June 12, 2010
Spokane Arena

Spokane, WA

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The Lives of the Cowboys

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(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS brought to you by Palouse Brand Pillows and Slipcovers for the trail ---- don’t be obtuse, use Palouse. And now today’s exciting adventure...

(HORSES WHINNY, GIDDYUPS. CATTLE. WHOOPS)

GK: Head em in, Dusty. Head em in.

TR: C’mon you dang longhorns...

GK: Git. Git. Heeyaw.

TR: Git, ya goldarned varmint...(COW BELLOW. RUSTY GATE SHUTS, CLAMPS)

GK: There. Got em in the holding pen. End of the trail. One more cattle drive finished.

TR: Yessir. (HAWKS AND SPITS. DISTANT COW BELLOW)

GK: Sort of sad when it comes to an end.

TR: Goodbye Juanita. Goodbye Delores.

GK: You gotta stop naming the cows, Dusty. They’re just dumb animals.

TR: He’s not talking about you, Brianna.

GK: So what we up to now? Lots to see and do in Spokane.

TR: I’m gonna find me a saloon and wait until some woman comes along who is attracted to a mature man with pointy-toed boots.

GK: I’m gonna look up an old friend.

TR: Oh? What’s her name?

GK: Her name is Serena.

TR: She lives in Spokane?

GK: I don’t know. Maybe.

TR: What’s her last name?

GK: That’s the problem. I don’t know. She always was just Serena.

TR: And you had a thing about her, huh?

GK: Yeah.
TR: That’s why I keep moving. To avoid that sort of thing. Any woman who’s attracted to me ---- I very quickly lose respect for her ---- a woman who’d love someone like me is nobody I care to spend time with.

GK: Serena liked me, but not quite enough.

TR: How’d you meet her?

GK: Long story.

TR: I got the time. (BRIDGE)

GK: I was 19 and I’d dropped out of St. Olaf college due to an unnaturally high score I got on a final exam in Shakespeare class. It was the same score as that of a girl who sat across the aisle from me, due to the fact that our answers were word-for-word identical. I said, “How do you know she didn’t copy from me?” Well, they just knew. And so did I. It was a Lutheran school, St. Olaf, and they didn’t tolerate cheating, and so they threw me and my guitar onto a westbound freight train (WHISTLE) and I rode away in a boxcar and wound up in Spokane, in a hobo camp.

(STRUMS)

GK (SINGS):
Ride around, little dogies, ride around slow
For the fiery and the snuffy are rarin’ to go.

FN (HOBO): Pretty good singin’, mister. You oughta be on the radio.

GK: Why do you say, radio?

FN (HOBO): Cause in radio it wouldn’t matter that you smell bad or that you look like death on a cracker.

GK: You in radio?

FN (HOBO): Was. Me and her used to be in radio.

SS (DEEP): Hi there.

FN (HOBO): Used to do a gospel show. I’m the Reverend Lowell Bumper and this is my wife Sister Fern.

SS (DEEP): Yeah, we used to be the biggest Sunday morning show in Spokane. We were pulling in love offerings to the tune of thirty-three thousand dollars a week.

GK: What happened?

FN (HOBO): We moved to Seattle.

SS (DEEP): There is no audience for the Word of God in Seattle, take my word for it.

FN (HOBO): In our desperation, we turned to Chardonnay and became addicted to white wine and soft cheese.

SS (DEEP): But you ought to go into radio, young man. Here. I’ll give you the name of our old program director, Buddy Spinks. (BRIDGE)

GK: I visited Mr. Spinks at KSRV Radio, the Voice of the Spokane River Valley.

TR (TWANG): I guess this is your lucky day, kid. You smell bad but my cowboy singer just walked out on me and I need someone to sing duets with my cowgirl singer. Think you can sing duets?

GK: I grew up Lutheran, sir. I’ve been around altos all my life.

TR (HIGH): Good. Put on some deodorant. You’re on in ten minutes. (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: The cowgirl singer was named Serena and she wore a white suit with sparkles and a big cowboy hat and boots and her mother was there and she didn’t like me at all----

SS: Where’d you get him? He’s filthy dirty. Go stand over there.

GK: And she made me stand on the other side of the room and then the ON AIR light went on. (THEME SONG, MOONLIGHT ON THE RIVER COLORADO)

TR (TWANG): Yes, once again it’s BUNKHOUSE BUDDIES brought to you by Hercules Cleansing Crystals --- Hercules gets down underneath the dirt and grease and just float it right out ----- with Serena the Cowgirl Sweetheart and her buddy Little Lefty.

AS/GK (SING):

Lunchtime in the Spokane River Valley
I’m so glad that you are here with me.
All our friends are here so bright and jolly
Here to raise our voice in harmony.

TR: Yes, time to come gather around the radio for another relaxing half-hour with your radio pals, Serena and Little Lefty. (AS: Morning, everybody.) Howdy Lefty. (GK: Howdy.) Here’s a request from J.L. of Grand Coulee, hoping you’d sing her favorite song, “Old Paint”----- how about it, kids?

AS/GK (SING):

I ride an old paint, I lead an old dan
I'm goin' to Montana to throw the hoolihan
They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw
TR: Okay. Real good. That’s going out to J.L. in Grand Coulee. Back with more of your favorite songs from the Bunkhouse after this word from Dog-Gone Pet Repellant. And Pastor’s Mastitis Cream. ------ Good. Okay. Got three minutes of commercials, kids. Then we’re back. (SQUEAK OF CORK IN BOTTLE, POURING)

GK: A long commercial break and Mr. Spinks poured himself a glass of whiskey and Serena looked at me from 12 feet away----

AS: You like cowboy songs?

GK: Sure do.

AS: So do I. My mother thinks they’re dumb.

GK: How come?

AS: She’s trying to get me onto a show in Seattle. I’d be singing Gershwin and Sondheim and things like that. She wants me to meet a man who has a good job and owns his own home. Someone who can take good care of me. Not a cowboy.

GK: Ahhh. Well, there’s more than one way of taking care of a woman.

SS (ICILY): Serena----- no talking, please. ----How about you use a little cologne, young man...(SPRITZES)
GK: Thank you, ma’am.

TR: -----Back in 10 9 8 7 6------

SS (HISSES): If you so much as touch my daughter, I will take a Swiss Army Knife and turn you into a soprano. You understand me?

TR: 5-4-3-2- And we’re back with more from the Bunkhouse Buddies. And here’s a request from A.G. of Coeur d’Alene, he wants to hear “Old Gray Mare” and send this out to his mother on her birthday. Mom, this is for you.

AS/GK (SING):

The old gray mare,
She ain't what she used to be
Ain't what she used to be,
Ain't what she used to be
The old gray mare,
She ain't what she used to be
Many long years ago.

Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
The old gray mare,
She ain't what she used to be
Many long years ago.


TR: Okay. “Old Gray Mare” and that’s for Myrlene from her son Al. It’s Bunkhouse Buddies here on KSRV Radio, the voice of the Spokane Valley, and a reminder that the Saturday Night Spokane River Barndance is tomorrow night...with the Spinners---- Sparky Sperling and the Spellbinders-----and special guest Spud Spooner, sponsored by Spokane Spotlights and Downspouts. Back after this message.

(BRIDGE)

GK: We did the show every day at twelve noon for half an hour and we sang duets standing twelve feet apart because of her mother----

SS: Don’t look at her when you sing. Turn that way. Don’t look this way. Don’t even think of it.

GK: So I looked that way and saw her reflection in the studio window and I fell in love and I think she loved me too, but it was hard to tell. We hardly ever got to talk.
---- Where’s your mom?

AS: She went to put money in the parking meter.

GK: Oh. She doesn’t like me, does she.

AS: I don’t know.

GK: Could I see you sometime?
(FAST FOOTSTEPS)

SS: What are you doing standing over here? That’s your side, over there. Get over there and stay over there. I didn’t raise my daughter to run off with some cowboy singer, take it from me. You see what I have in my purse?

GK: That’s a Colt pistol, ma’am.

SS: You bet it is. You stay away from her or you’re going to be very very sorry. (BRIDGE)

GK: It aroused my affections, singing love duets when I knew I could get shot for it-----

TR: Back now with Bunkhouse Buddies and time for another Serena and Lefty duet, this one goes out to Howard and Margaret in St. Maries on their anniversary. This is for both of you.

AS/GK (SING):

Darlin’ you can count on me
Till the sun dries up the sea
Until then I’ll always be devoted to you

I’ll be yours through endless time
I’ll adore your charms sublime
Guess by now you know that I’m devoted to you

TR: Okay. Congratulations and happy anniversary to Howard and Margaret and we’ll be right back after this message. (BRIDGE)
GK: Your mother’s not here today?

AS: No.

GK: What’s wrong?

AS: Her varicose veins are acting up again.

GK: Oh. Sorry to hear it. You think I could see you after?

AS: You mean-----after the show?

GK: Yes.

AS: Well, I’ve got my tapdance lesson and I’m going to beautician school and learning cosmetology and tonight is my elocution class.

GK: I could come over and help you elocute.

AS: That might be nice.

GK: You want to?

AS: I could meet you in the park. By the river. When the sun goes down.
GK: I’d like that.

AS: So would I.

GK: You would?

AS: Yes.

GK: I didn’t know you liked me.

AS: I didn’t at first but when we sang duets, it went right straight to my heart. I like you a lot, Lefty.

GK: You do?

AS: I really do. (BRIDGE)

GK: And we met by the footbridge over the river and (CAROUSEL) the carousel was going around and the lights were flashing and the Spokane River flowing below us and the turbines turning in the powerhouse and she took one look at me and put her arms around me and we sang----


AS/GK (SING):

I’ll never hurt you, I’ll never lie
I’ll never be untrue
I’ll never give you reason to cry
I’d be unhappy if you were blue

Through the years my love will grow
Like a river it will flow
It can’t die because I’m so devoted to you

(GUNSHOTS)

SS (OFF): I see you over there. (GUNSHOTS)

GK: Come with me, Serena.

AS: Where?

GK: Come away. I’ll marry you.

AS: I can’t leave mama. She’d feel too bad. (GUNSHOTS)

GK: I’m gonna feel real bad in a moment. Those shots are coming close.

SS (OFF): You leave my little girl alone.

AS: I can’t, Lefty.

GK: You’ve got to live your own life, Serena.

AS: Mama gave up everything for me. She’d be heartbroken.
(GUNSHOT, CLOSE RICHOCHET)

GK: She’s handy with a pistol, I’ll say that for her.

AS: She was a sharpshooter in the circus.

GK: Come, Serena.

AS: I’m staying here, Lefty. ---- I love you.----- Goodbye. (GUNSHOT, BWANGGG)

GK: The last shot hit the cable of the footbridge, the section I was standing on------ (CREAKING, CRASHING) and the bridge fell-----as Serena ran to the other side----- (SPLASH) and into the river I went and over the falls (FALLS) and in the intake of the powerhouse (ROAR OF WATER) and the turbines missed me by inches (HIGH WHIRRING IN PASSING) and I shot out the other side (WHOOSH, SPLASH) and down the sluiceway (WHOOSH, SPLASH) and the old lady was still shooting (SS YELLS OFF, GUNSHOTS) and I caught a southbound freight (WHISTLE) and headed for Cheyenne and that was where I met up with you.

TR (DUSTY): Huh. You never mentioned her.

GK: Too painful. I loved her and she was a good girl and had to stay with her mother.

TR (DUSTY): One more reason to date women in saloons. Their mothers threw them out of the house years ago, they got no way back.

GK: Maybe I’ll step into this saloon and ask about her. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR CREAK. CAMPTOWN RACES PIANO) Hey piano player, here’s ten bucks to go take a break. (PIANO STOPS) (FOOTSTEPS) Howdy ma’am.

SS (OLD): Hi there. What can I get you? Whiskey?

GK: I don’t mean this as a come-on but you look an awful lot like someone I used to know.

SS (OLD): Oh? Who might that be?

GK: Aren’t you Serena’s mother?

SS (OLD): Nope. Who are you?

GK: The name’s Lefty.

SS (OLD): I remember you. I used to sing with you on the radio.

GK: You did?

SS (OLD): I’m Serena.

GK: You are?

SS (OLD): (SINGS)

Lunchtime in the Spokane River Valley
I’m so glad that you are here with me. (FADES INTO BRIDGE)

GK: Time does go by. There she was, the girl I loved and she looked just like the woman who succeeded in keeping us apart. Life is strange.

TR: That’s what I keep telling you.

GK (SINGS):

Oh the cowboy life is a hard life,
A life of toil and care
We got dirt in your shoes and shirt
We got dust in our underwear

We sit around the campfire
And dream of finding another,
And horseflies bite us and give us hepatitis
And our old love turns into her mother.

TR: Thank you for not yodeling.

(HE YODELS)

(THEME)

SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS...brought to you by Santa Fe Brand Saddle Soap ----- it’s the only saddle made of soap so it melds itself to fit your rear end even as it washes your pants.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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