Ode to the Mavericks

of Glade Park and Pinon Mesa

I wrote this poem when I was asked to speak at the funeral of Gail Burwell Blaisdell. As I wrote it, I was also thinking of the other cousins we had lost, so it is originally dedicated to Gail, William (Bill) Westcott, James Gordon (Little Jim) Kruckenberg, and Jixi Lou (Jix) Kruckenberg. I don’t think they would mind if I now expand that dedication to a whole bunch of old timers who lived, worked and played on Glade Park and Pinon Mesa at one time or another.

This bunch is descended from pioneer stock,

And we’re not talkin’ ages ago.

Generations still living remember those times,

And the characters we used to know.

Some have lived on in stories,

And some are sweet or painful memories,

That leave us wondering where Time went,

And sometimes wishing it could just freeze,

So we could live it again.


As we gradually move toward gettin’ civilized,

Living by ever compounding rules,

Getting hooked on the comforts of modern times,

Which secretly play us as fools,

We remember the open spaces,

The fragrance of sweet clear air,

The lean toughness of less pampered faces,

The risks taken because they were there.


While most of us headed back to the barn,

And adjusted to the comforts, the safety and rush,

A few mavericks slipped out of our herd,

And headed right back for the brush.

Throwbacks, of sorts, they kept that old edge,

Kind of ornery, and ready for trouble,

But on those ole hides, all weathered and scarred,

Were the brands of not-forgotten loved ones.


They played by the rules of another time.

Their final round-up came too soon,

But the mavericks so tough,

Are remembered with smiles,

And their love still fills this room.

--- Debra K. Moorland