The Lives of the Cowboys, April 30, 2011
The Fabulous Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO
«archive page

The Lives of the Cowboys

Listen (RealAudio)
Listen (MP3)

(THEME)

SS (ANNC): The Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by Hoofmaster steel socks. Hoofmaster: for a happier horse.

(CATTLE, HORSES)

TR: Big McDonald's up ahead. Real big. Let's stop for a Big Mac.

GK: That's a different arch, Dusty. We're in St. Louis.

TR: Oh right. That thing.

GK: Gateway to the West. (COWS). Or the East, depending on which way you're heading.

TR: Heading west, I believe. Out where we belong. Out where people don't look down on you if you don't bathe every single day. Out where people don't spend a lot of time fussing with their hair.

GK: Well, let's bed down the herd along the river here, and we can cross in the morning.

TR: Sounds good.

GK: You and I could put up in that old hotel over yonder. Bright Morning Star Boarding House & Saloon.

TR: Let's go. (GIDDUPS, HORSE HOOVES)

GK: There's someone standing on the porch. (TROTTING HOOVES, WHOA WHOA) Howdy, ma'am.

SS: Hello gentlemen! Come on in.

GK: You got room for two for the night?

SS: You bet I do. Care for a drink?

GK: He does. I know that. (DISMOUNT, FOOTSTEPS ON WOODEN SIDEWALK) (DOOR OPEN. "CAMPTOWN RACES") How old is this place?

SS: My great-great-great grandma opened this place in 1806.

GK: Really.

SS: Her name was Bright Morning Star. So is mine.

GK: Looks like we're walking into a museum.

SS: Yeah. I never changed a thing. How about a drink?

TR: Whiskey. Neat. Rotgut if you have it.

SS: How about you?

GK: Cranberry juice. (POURING) Hey, piano player----- sir? You at the piano?

SS: The piano player is deaf. Only way to get his attention is to sic the dog on him. Bruno!!! (DOG WOOFS) Go get Artie, Bruno!!! (DOG GROWLS, BOUNDS, SNARLS. PIANO SPLATTER OF CHORDS)

RD: HEY!!! WHAT'S GOING ON??? GIDDOWN. GIT OFF ME. (DOG PANTS)

SS: You can write your request on his blackboard.

GK: Okay. (SQUEAK OF CHALK) No more Camptown Races. Play Summertime.

RD: Okay. (HARRUMPHS. PLAYS DOO-WOP SUM-SUM-SUMMERTIME)

GK: (CHALK SQUEAKS) Not that one. Play Gershwin.

RD: Oh. Right. (INTO GERSHWIN SUMMERTIME)

GK: 1806, huh? That's a long time to be in one spot.

SS: I'm part Native American. We've been around for awhile. My great-great-great-grandma was Sacagawea.

GK: Sacagawea, as in Lewis and Clark? That Sacagawea?

SS: More Clark than Lewis. But yes. I tell you, those two wouldn't have made it to the coast without her. And they knew it. They offered her a whole bunch of beads and mirrors and junk in payment. She asked for land instead. So they deeded her all this land on this side of the river. Yeah, she left me a whole boxful of William Clark's journals. Interesting reading.

GK: Do historians know about this?

SS: Historians don't come over to East St. Louis, mister. They stay on that side of the river. Safer over there.

GK: Let me see that journal right here. You mind if I read from it?

SS: Be my guest. (CAREFUL PAGING, 19th CENTURY BRIDGE).

GK (READS): Captain William Clark, November 1805. Dear Diary: Reached the Pacific and sat and waited for a ship to pass so we could get a ride home and not have to make that miserable journey all over again, but no such luck. Found a note from Captain Lewis. He said: Clark and Sacagawea sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g." The man is so immature. Sacagawea is my closest friend. Poor woman, bought as a slave by that French trapper Charbonneau. What an idiot he is. ------ You ever read this?

SS: No. It's just a lot of complaining.

GK (READS): 6 December 1805. Dear Diary: I am suspicious that Lewis is reading my journal and has read the entries of September and October when I write about my feelings for Sacagawea. Well, I don't care. I DON'T CARE. Read that, you big dummy, and while you're at it, let me tell you that if it weren't for me, William Clark, this expedition would've failed months ago, thanks to your bullheaded ignorance. In addition to which, you smell bad. Did you know that? You really need to use a cologne. Sacagawea says so too. -----

SS: People say that I'm descended from him, but I don't know.

GK: You're descended from Captain Clark and Sacagawea? You mean they---- the two of them-----

SS: He writes about it in the spring----- May, I think.

GK: (PAGING THROUGH JOURNAL) January... February... March... April... here. May. (READS) (MUSIC UNDER) She is the sun in my sky, she is the blossom on the tree. I went on an expedition of discovery and what did I find? I discovered my own heart. O my love, you and I will make our home on the bank of the Mississippi and we will make a family. I can never forget that night when ------ well, he goes into quite a bit of detail here. ------An undiscovered journal from the Lewis & Clark expedition ---- do you have any idea how much this might be worth?

SS: Oh, come on now. Nobody wants this old pile of junk.

TR: I'll take it.

GK: No you won't.

SS: Sure, you boys take it. Doesn't matter to me. If you sell it, give me half. That's all.

TR: It's a deal.

GK: Dusty. This belongs to her.

TR: She gave it to us.

GK: We're not going to take advantage of a woman---- (PIANO SWINGS INTO CAMPTOWN RACES) Hey, enough with the Camptown Races.

SS: Go get him, Bruno. (DOG BARKS, GROWLS, LUNGES)

RD: HEY. (PIANO STOPS)

GK: (SQUEAKY CHALK) Duke Ellington. East Saint Louis Toodle-oo...

RD: Oh. Okay. (ELLINGTON PIANO)

TR: Could I have a word with you, pardner.

GK: Excuse us, ma'am.

SS: I'll be right back with that whiskey.

GK: Yeah?

TR: You say this here journal is worth a lot of money. She wants to give it to us. ---- What exactly is the moral dilemma here?

GK: Would you mind not sticking your face right up close to my face? Would you?

TR: How's this?

GK: Better.

TR: Since when is it wrong to accept a gift?

GK: I don't feel right about accepting large gifts from folks who are worse off than I am. It makes me wonder if they are non compos mentis.

(FOOTSTEPS)

SS: Here's your rotgut whiskey. ---- And a cranberry juice.

GK: You really ought to call the Historical Society, ma'am. Have somebody look at this.

SS: Sure, and then they'll be wanting to go through my stuff and open up the place to tourists who'll come in and use my bathroom and make a mess and ask a million questions and it'll be a big freak show and there'll be television and people wanting me to tell my story over and over and it'll drive me nuts and I'm just not interested. I like my life as it is. Quiet.

GK: But the true story of the Lewis and Clark expedition ought to be told. His love of Sacagawea. The rivalry with Lewis. The fact that they invented the game of baseball when they were crossing North Dakota. The fact that Edgar Allan Poe was with them and he wrote "Annabel Lee" in Oregon and died there from injuries suffered in an attack by a large black bird. The fact that Robert Johnson was on the Expedition and he took the blues up the Missouri River and that's how Sitting Bull was playing slide guitar at the Battle of Little Big Horn. This is interesting stuff.

SS: Not to me. But I thank you for your advice. And now if you're finished with your drinks, I recommend you get your herd across the river before it rises. River's that way.

GK: Promise you won't destroy these papers.

SS: I'll put them right back in that big old chest and set it back down behind the bar.

(BRIDGE)

(CAMPFIRE, COWS)

TR: Wish you'd let her give you that journal she wanted you to take.

GK: Wouldn't have been right, Dusty.

TR: We coulda been on Easy Street. How much you think they're worth?

GK: Hard to tell. Priceless. A couple million.

TR: We just walked away from a million bucks?

GK: Maybe.

TR: I vote we go back.

GK: Naw, I don't think so. It belongs to her. Bright Morning Star.

TR: She didn't want it.

GK: Anyway it's a private journal. Wouldn't want someone reading my private journal.

TR: You keep a private journal?

GK: You knew that.

TR: You writing about me in it?

GK: Every day.

TR: Things I say?

GK: Word for word.

TR: How much you think it's going to be worth?

GK: Depends on how interesting you are.

TR: How am I doing?

GK: After twenty-some years, I have about 16 pages. Mostly I write about women, Dusty. (GUITAR TUNES UP)

TR: Oh oh. I feel a song coming on.

GK (SINGS):
When it's Springtime in Missouri,
I'll be coming back to you;
Little sweetheart of the prairie,
Waiting for me in St. Lou;
We'll sit in the bleachers
And cheer for the redbirds
St. Lou has many features
That are almost beyond words.

AS: Excuse me.

TR: Whoa! Who're you? Kinda surprised me walking up sudden like that.

AS: I'm camped over there under the oak trees ---- heard singing ----

TR: What's your name?

AS: Angelica. Angelica Olson.

TR: Well, I apologize for the singing. He'll stop in a minute.

AS: I like that song.

GK: You've heard this song before?

AS: We sing it all the time at the seminary.

GK: You're at the seminary?

AS: I'm in my senior year. Graduate in a month and go off to serve a church in Mandan, North Dakota.

GK: I've always wanted to live in Mandan.

TR: Ha.

AS: It's pretty there.

GK: A perfect place to continue my faith journey.

TR: Your what???

GK: Dusty here is a born-again atheist, but I'm a seeker of truth. And I see by your outfit that you are Missouri Synod.

AS: That's right!

GK: The very people I came to Missouri to meet. An old sinner looking for a good synod.

DUET:
When it springtime here in April
And the sun shines on the Arch.
And the leaf is on the maple
And life is rich and large
And love sings in Missouri
Like a river flowing wide
And I am in a hurry,
To sit there by your side.

GK: So which way is the seminary?

AS: Over that way. Not far. Want to see it? Chapel starts in half an hour.

GK: I'd love to. Let's go. Bye Dusty. (FOOTSTEPS OFF)

TR: I'll be waiting right here for you. Don't be too long.

DUET CHORUS:
When it's Springtime in Missouri,
And also East St. Lou;
And there is no fear or worry
Only love forever true.
And our love is the truest
The brightest and the best
When it's Springtime in St. Louis,
The Gateway to the West.

(THEME)

SS: The Lives of the Cowboys Brought to you by Hoofmaster steel-toed socks.

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»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy